API Radian 6 Degrees of Freedom Laser Tracker, combined with laser scanning, provides critical fitting data in advance of physical wing assembly at aircraft manufacturer.
Aircraft wings are one of the most important components of an aircraft structure with their principle function being to generate lift. Wings have streamlined cross-sections that are subject to aerodynamic forces and act as airfoils. The aircraft wing is also used to carry key components including jet engines and landing gear. Moreover, the aileron, which is raised or lowered in order to control the aircraft’s in-flight movement, is also attached onto the wing. The wing is of such importance that extremely strict accuracy requirements during the critical wing assembly operation are demanded.
API was approached by a Chinese aircraft manufacturer to ascertain how its measurement technology could assist in ensuring the required high-level of accuracy in wing assembly, while also making the complex assembly task more efficient.
After extensive trials, API’s breakthrough multifunctional iScan measurement tool was selected by the aircraft manufacturer. iScan was used, in combination with the API RADIAN 6DoF laser tracker, offering both tactile probing measurement and laser scanning in a combined unit. iScan can measure difficult to access features by using a 100mm length styli and can perform both geometry measurements and deliver surface topology using the 3D laser scan function. The unique 360°iScan head rotation provides considerable user convenience allowing the scanning of the complete airframe and wing without needing to relocate the Laser Tracker.
The process adopted by the aircraft manufacturer using RADIAN and iScan to ensure wing assembly accuracy and improve assembly efficiency was as follows:
- Establish aircraft coordinate system using measurements taken with RADIAN.
- Confirm non-interference of the geometries of both the joints of the airframe and wings using the iScan sensor to scan the mating surfaces while using the generated data to calculate physical errors and tolerance compliance.
- Virtual assembly. If the joint geometries were calculated to be within acceptable parameters, the generated scan data is further processed in the metrology software to create a new coordinate transformation matrix.
- Physical Assembly: The matched data on selected reference points is used to guide the actual wing to fuselage assembly operation.
API support its Chinese customers directly through its subsidiary operation with facilities in Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu, China.
Read More API News:
Name: Gunnar Denney Position: Sales Engineer -NC & SC What was your childhood like? My childhood was very quiet but filled with amazing family/friendships. Growing up with three sisters, I didn’t have to do much.…
Breakthrough LADAR technology sets new standard in non-contact optical dimensional metrology for manufacturing industries In September, API’s Dynamic 9D LADAR, an innovative LAser Detection and Ranging system that captures both dimensional and surface geometry data,…
What is LADAR? As industries around the world work to make their process and products not only automated but autonomous, there has been an explosion in the use of Detection and Ranging systems over the…
Name: Isabella Broaddus Position: Inside Sales Support – US Southwest 1) What was your childhood like? I spent most of my childhood living in a cul-de-sac in a neighborhood walking distance to my elementary school,…
Learn More About API’s Product Lineup and Services:
XD Laser CMM Calibration
The XD Laser is the only assessment system that can measure all 6 error parameters simultaneously in a single set-up
API Reverse Engineering Service
Reverse engineering services include scan as-built parts to creation of a 3D digital point cloud and CAD Model.
Sign up to the API Monthly Newsletter and stay up to date on the latest metrology news with more great articles and API product promotions.