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A reactive reconfigurable tool for aerospace structures

A reactive reconfigurable tool for aerospace structures Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe the development, testing and scientific evaluation of a novel, load‐cell‐controlled reactive reconfigurable tooling (RRT) solution. This RRT not only addresses the underlying inherent problems with traditional reconfigurable tools but also potentially expands their use into the area of condition monitoring. Design/methodology/approach – The paper covers the design intent and methodology. The construction and evaluation of both a simple prototype and a fully functional tool are described. Findings – The tool was successfully demonstrated using friction stir welding (FSW) of fuselage panels as a demanding application and the full functionality of the tool was demonstrated. The condition and process monitoring system was also demonstrated and shown to be able to distinguish both between different types of weld and tool failure conditions. Research limitations/implications – Having successfully designed and tested the novel RRT system under the extreme conditions of FSW, it is apparent that there are many more applications and developments that this system could be used for. The same requirements for accurate control of geometry exist in processes such as water jet cutting, trimming and machining. However, there was not sufficient resource or time within the research programme to verify this. One disadvantage of the tool is the cost of the individual load cells and the associated charge amplifiers; however, this cost is offset by the opportunity to use them in a tool condition monitoring function as well. Practical implications – The tool developed not only has the potential to provide cost benefits but also time reductions due to the elimination of the need to move large and heavy tools in and out of the FSW machine when part production runs are changed. Originality/value – The originality of work described is the tool's ability to both adapt and monitor the component being held. This places it considerably beyond the state of the art in large‐scale industrial reconfigurable tooling. The research's value lies in applicability and demonstration for real production parts and processes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Assembly Automation Emerald Publishing

A reactive reconfigurable tool for aerospace structures

Assembly Automation , Volume 31 (4): 10 – Sep 27, 2011

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References (18)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0144-5154
DOI
10.1108/01445151111172916
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe the development, testing and scientific evaluation of a novel, load‐cell‐controlled reactive reconfigurable tooling (RRT) solution. This RRT not only addresses the underlying inherent problems with traditional reconfigurable tools but also potentially expands their use into the area of condition monitoring. Design/methodology/approach – The paper covers the design intent and methodology. The construction and evaluation of both a simple prototype and a fully functional tool are described. Findings – The tool was successfully demonstrated using friction stir welding (FSW) of fuselage panels as a demanding application and the full functionality of the tool was demonstrated. The condition and process monitoring system was also demonstrated and shown to be able to distinguish both between different types of weld and tool failure conditions. Research limitations/implications – Having successfully designed and tested the novel RRT system under the extreme conditions of FSW, it is apparent that there are many more applications and developments that this system could be used for. The same requirements for accurate control of geometry exist in processes such as water jet cutting, trimming and machining. However, there was not sufficient resource or time within the research programme to verify this. One disadvantage of the tool is the cost of the individual load cells and the associated charge amplifiers; however, this cost is offset by the opportunity to use them in a tool condition monitoring function as well. Practical implications – The tool developed not only has the potential to provide cost benefits but also time reductions due to the elimination of the need to move large and heavy tools in and out of the FSW machine when part production runs are changed. Originality/value – The originality of work described is the tool's ability to both adapt and monitor the component being held. This places it considerably beyond the state of the art in large‐scale industrial reconfigurable tooling. The research's value lies in applicability and demonstration for real production parts and processes.

Journal

Assembly AutomationEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 27, 2011

Keywords: Reconfigurable tooling; Friction stir welding; Condition monitoring; Aerospace structures; Aerospace industry

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