Electroimpact have supplied a complete turnkey factory solution for the manufacture of Airbus’s A350 aircraft wing. The facility, located in Broughton, North Wales UK, is purpose built for the assembly of Airbus’s first commercial carbon fibre composite wing.
Electroimpact proposed the overall factory layout and multiple assembly station designs involving flexible automation solutions.
The initial static wing build jigs assemble the 33m wings horizontally oriented.
The jigs were initially commissioned for full assembly of a wing in a single jig, with scope to allow phased production rate increases as further project construction continued and additional jigs were gradually incorporated to separate the major assembly stages into process specific jigs.
This gives the assembly line flexibility to adapt to changes in production rate.
The modern production solution provided by Electroimpact involves the ‘pulsing’ of full size wings in semi assembled states along a production line. The cells are configured to maximise Electroimpact’s automation solutions.
Electroimpact provided cell transferable robotic drilling machines that can be deployed to primary assembly cells to tack the wingbox. The pulse movement of the wingbox along the production line sees automation specific cells highly utilize large gantry drilling and slave fastener insertion machines capable of drilling Carbon-Aluminium-Titanium components.
The machines can work together to concentrate the drilling and slaving of thousands of holes on both upper and lower wing surfaces.
The provision of configured cover handling frames allows for rapid transfer of large components from differing aircraft variants to and from specific assembly stations quickly.
Worker safety and access has been optimised through the horizontal approach by reducing fall from height risk. The spread of intelligently designed platforms and staging provide efficient ergonomic worker access and welfare.