Design of the Assembly Systems for Airplane Structures

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Yurdakul M., Iç Y. T. , Çelek O. E.

in: Design Engineering and Science, Nam Pyo Suh,Miguel Cavique,Joseph Timothy Foley, Editor, Springer, London/Berlin , Heidelberg, pp.521-541, 2021

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter TextBook
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Publisher: Springer, London/Berlin 
  • City: Heidelberg
  • Page Numbers: pp.521-541
  • Editors: Nam Pyo Suh,Miguel Cavique,Joseph Timothy Foley, Editor
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


This chapter deals with the design of automated assembly systems of airplanes. Axiomatic Design (AD) methodology is used to develop a general design hierarchical tree for the assembly of an airplane fuselage panel. Introduction of new and advanced machinery and assembly equipment in material handling, measurement, robotics, plant modeling and simulation, manufacturing processes require the usage of systematic methodologies for the design of assembly systems. In this chapter, multiple alternative design solutions are demonstrated from the general hierarchical tree, which are compared for their acceptability in satisfying various factory objectives. In two case studies presented in this chapter, design solutions are obtained and described in detail. The first assembly system alternative consists of the following: (1) an automated laser tracking measurement system, (2) reconfigurable fixtures for fixing the panels, (3) frame clip riveters in frame assembly cells, (4) 3D projection devices to control the position of the fastener on the panels, (5) autonomous mobile robots for material handling, and (6) automatic riveting machines for the final fuselage panel assembly. The second assembly system alternative includes the following: (1) robotic measurement systems, (2) robotic stringer placement robots for stringer positioning, (3) reconfigurable fixtures for holding the panels, (4) frame clip robots to assemble clips to frames, (5) 3D projection devices for fastener position controls on the panels, (6) modular crane for material handling, and (7) mobile automated drilling and fastening robots for final fuselage panel assembly. These two alternative designs are compared, and results are made available for system designers to assess the capabilities of each alternative. The application of the proposed design methodology provides a reference guide for system designers to apply in designing assembly systems in an aerospace assembly factory.