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Multifunctional automation system for Fuselage Assembly Line

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - MultiFAL (Multifunctional automation system for Fuselage Assembly Line)

Reporting period: 2021-03-01 to 2022-08-31

The main objective of the MultiFAL project is to design, develop and construct an automated plant system for joining thermoplastic fuselage shells considering three different design use-cases, taking into account the existing assembly plant system at the topic managers’ facility.

Objectives include reducing the commissioning time of automated plant systems up to 20% by the use of virtual commissioning tools, increasing the level of detail for production steps around 25% by implementing interfaces between plant system and production control.

Additionally, usability and re-utilization of automation systems by the development and implementation of standardized interfaces will be enhanced. In the MultiFAL project, lean development approaches will be combined with agile methodologies to develop not only software modules for the simulation but also for the virtual commissioning of the plant system.
MultiFAL provides a tailor-made solution to adapt to the characteristics of the MultiFunctional Fuselage Demonstrator (MFFD), and for each of the welding technologies and case studies involved.

During the third period MultiFAL design has finished. A final agreement with partners, through the Interface Control Documents, has been necessary to launch the last iteration for the 3D models, Finite Element Model and manufacturing and assembly drawings. So the purchase and manufacturing phase could start.

In addition, simulation of moveable parts is now available to check the welding heads positions along the fuselage. It will be used to support first trials and to define in advance the coordinates to be used.
MultiFAL Modules have been manufactured and installed in this period. The mechanics, pneumatics and automation of the Inner Positioner are successfully tested. The hydraulic system for the Bridge Support. And the drive motors, gear boxes and the grease pumps of the linear axes. PLC systems were also installed and the communication set up and tested.

First tests on-site and process development is planned and will be complete in the last period, just as the delivery of fuselage shells and the welding head final setting.
MultiFAL will consider process simulation, automation, plant concepts and virtual commissioning technologies in order to bring both an increase in the assembly process performance and a deep understanding of the relevant factors implementing a full size automated plant following a brownfield approach. Different assembly approaches and joining processes for different use-cases will be considered, taking into account the currently existing double-sided and limited accessibility for full fuselage sections. As a result, MultiFAL will also facilitate the adaptability of both the robotic machinery and a central control system.
MultiFAL Station - DMU vs Real
Inner Positioners LHS - DMU vs Real
Ultrasonic End-Effector Kinematics