Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TCTOOL (Innovative Tooling, End-Effector Development and Industrialisation for Welding of Thermoplastic Components)
Reporting period: 2019-10-01 to 2020-09-30
The overall target of the TCTool project is the assembly of different parts of a fuselage demonstrator efficiently and with low cost. For a conventional assembly, fixed tooling is dedicated to specific set of products. As there is an increasing demand for larger number of aircrafts, for the case of new products, new tooling is necessary. At the same time, tooling accounts for one third of total non-recurring costs, and jigs are a major element of tooling and of the total cost of manufacture.
For the case of a thermoplastic assembly, in order to make the most out of their advantages, it is necessary to combine high degree of automation and cost reduction in the assembly. This can happen through the development of:
• Single, highly automated and configurable robotic assembly to replace a number of jigs
• End-effectors to deliver heat and pressure into the joint
• Assembly tooling for automated welding of fuselage components
TCTool project aims to develop innovative solutions to address the requirements for tooling and end-effector development for thermoplastic composite assembly of fuselage components. More precisely, the objectives of the project are the following:
• Develop innovative end effectors for picking and placing of fuselage components
• Develop innovative end-effector for welding
• Develop assembly tool for welding of fuselage components
• Digital-twin with direct link to jig-less tooling to:
o Provide change-controlled model capability
o Provide capability to analyse and visualize data rapidly
The findings from TCTool project are expected to have significant societal impact. Training and nurturing future leaders in innovation, business and science and technology research is essential for developing new products and services that will ensure the future prosperity of European citizens. This project will provide an excellent example of industrially driven new technologies, supporting an industry where European companies are world-leading. In particular, it will support the development of new expertise and transfer new robotic technology from the research base into future products and revenue generation.