Factory of the Future for Aircraft Wing Manufacture and Assembly

Lead Participant: Airbus Operations Limited

Abstract

This is a two year programme of work that is aligned to the ATI strategy to Protect, Exploit and Position UK key Aerostructures companies that brings together a consortium of Prime and leading supply chain companies within the civil aerospace sector with the following aim:
“To maintain and strengthen UK Aerostructures manufacturing capability for conventional and next generation airframe structures in support of maintaining complete wing capability for UK manufacturing.”
This proposal is an integrated part of a seven year strategic target to generate a future factory vision that enables component manufacture, assembly and equipping to be developed and proven in a safe environment in a novel way, before it is applied to the production line, differentiating the future facility from any other global benchmark. The strategic vision will develop a number of key outputs that will define a world class manufacturing facility:
Vertical and horizontal integration of the supply chain in the virtual environment to manage logistics, zero variation, and product customisation
Low energy facility and technologies to minimise operational costs within the plant
A reconfigurable industrial facility to meet operational needs such as surge capacity, rate fluctuation and product mix variation
A high level of automated activities to minimise variation, eliminate repetitive and unwieldy tasks, qualify processes and equipment, and realise measurement assisted manufacture to optimise product quality.
The project will also generate spin off technologies virtually from the start that can be transferred to production as soon as they are mature enough to begin to deliver benefit on today’s products.

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