Electroimpact developed a state-of-the-art automated positioning system (APS) for the Bombardier Global 7000/8000
final assembly line (FAL). The FAL consists of three work centers: wing-to-wing join, joined wing to center fuselage
join, and forward and aft fuselage join. Within each work center are precisely coordinated multi-axis manipulators
complimented by an integrated metrology system.
Aircraft components are positioned using laser tracker feedback. A dedicated metrology PC and custom software in
conjunction with Spatial Analyzer automates laser tracker measurements and transform calculations, which are then
fed into the APS PLC allowing the operator to move the measured part(s) into position. Communications between
the metrology PC and the APS PLC is automated. The custom human machine interface (HMI) is informative, user-friendly,
and allows for non-specialized operators. For safety, all moves are automated, hold-to-run commands. Siemens
wireless SIMATIC Mobile Panel technology was used to allow for maximum operator flexibility within work zones.
During the build process, several rigid-body motions of over-constrained parts is necessary. To prevent damage to
the parts, precise coordination between the APS axes is essential. All driven axes include monitoring of position
and load for error checking and prevention of damage to aircraft components.
Components are conveyed from work center to work center using the ATLAS (Aircraft Transportation Linear Actuation System).
ATLAS is a cradle type system that lifts the aircraft by its wings and transports it down the FAL. It runs on subfloor
beds protected by flip floors, which allow for a clean, flush-to-floor surface. Safety interlocks prevent out-of-sequence
operations between the ATLAS and the APS.
Design of the APS was coordinated with Electroimpact’s Mobile Accurate Robot for joint automation along the FAL.