Skip to main content

O.M.P.M. LiferCraft Tail Innovative Tool Assembly

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - OLTITA (O.M.P.M. LiferCraft Tail Innovative Tool Assembly)

Reporting period: 2019-11-01 to 2020-06-30

The aim of this proposal is to develop, design, manufacture and deliver to the Core Partner of the Call For Core Partner AIR-02-02, the prototype assembly and transportation tooling for all components of the LifeRCraft Rotorless Tail that belong to the WP_B4.1 “Rotorless Tail for LifeRCraft” and relevant for:
• Tail Boom
• Horizontal Stabilizer
• Vertical stabilizer
• Control Surfaces
• Fairings

The tool chain developed was very challenging and demanding. A big effort has been performed in design phase between AHE and OMPM engineers and this collaboration is resulted very fruitful and allowed to design tools and define their shape and geometry, keeping in account:
• all technical requirements and constraints requested;
• the process and sequence of assembly, on purpose to save time and costs;

In particular, the design has been focused on the main jigs: Tail Boom Assembly and Empennage Assembly.
They use the technology Measurement Assisted Assembly (MAA), a novel approach for assembly based on very light adjustable supporting structures and wide use of optical system to position the parts in the nominal position.
In this type of assembly, the parts are simply supported by adjustable supports while the nominal position of each one is reached using a combination of undersized DA holes and laser tracker that measuring the coordinate of suitable levelling and indexing points allow fine positioning of parts on parts.
Moreover, over this innovative solution, a big effort was performed during the design phase by developing a back-up solution which considers a traditional assembly of the same jigs.
"The project started in delay, in fact, the Kick off Meeting (KoM) was held on December 2017 (not November 2016). The output of the project, that is the prototype assembly and transportation tooling for all components of the LifeRCraft Rotorless Tail mentioned, has been splitted in two groups:
• Tail Boom Assembly (Group#1)
• Empennage Assembly (Group#2)

During the project, a big effort has been performed in design phase with weekly WebEx between AHE and OMPM in order to collaborate and define the configuration of tool chain.
Conceptual layout and 3D models have been developed by partner using Catia solid model with an accompanying Power point presentation. Those documents have been exchanged with Topic Manager by email, conference call and physical meeting to collect comment and approvals.

Both the OLTITA Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and Critical Design Review (CDR) have been evaluated positively and OMPM received the green light to launch the material purchase and start the manufacturing of the parts according to the schedule agreed.

For each group, the tool chain has been designed, fabricated, checked and accepted by the TM. A dedicated quality documentation has been prepared and delivered to TM for each group.

Beacuase of Covid Outbreak, OMPM couldn’t complete the follow-up activities for supporting the Topic Manager in technical assistance and laser support for any adjustments and tuning of the tool during the assembly phases of the Airbus Empennage assembly.
These activities are of great importance to learn how the jig are used, what are the key factors that affect the assembly process and check the use of laser device to control the correct positioning. So, they will be performed outside of the project in order to assure the exploitation of the project results.

Regarding the dissemination, the primary channel has been directed to the Italy and Europe aerospace sector, and specifically a communication to the specialized magazines has been given in June 2017 during the International Aerospace Fair, at Le Bourget. Other additional activities have regarded:
• Several Presentations to our Customers (2018)
• Specific Project link in OMPM Website (to be updated in agreement with our partners, AHE and JU)
• Internal Training Courses focused on project results of interest for OMPM business."
The proponent, OMPM, has designed and fabricated the required assembly tools according to the part configuration, sequence and method of assembly in close coordination with the Core partner responsible for design and fabrication of tail boom and empennage assembly jig.

The Tail Boom and Empennage Jig are based on the MAA approach. The main advantages of the MAA approach are that main interface and others parts like frames and hinge line are hold in position and continually monitored trough the assembly without co-action imposed by hard link typical of traditional jig that can cause part distortion when the component is removed from jig an is free standing. The other advantage is the reduction of cost of tooling. This method is particularly suitable for the assembly of the prototype as do not require “monument” costly assembly jig. It is possible to reconfigure the hardware for different component. Recovery of most of the hardware (Adjustable supporting ground stand, Transportation and supporting dolly, Laser alignment system with relevant sensors) at the end of prototype program for future re-use also in series production.
The novel approach developed and results achieved in the OLTITA project, waiting to complete the exploitation activities, are very successful and address to the study of other possible application in aeronautic field:
• to enlarge the OMPM products portfolio;
• to simply assembly process with time and cost savings
• to improve the functional, environmental and energetic requirements;