Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CALITO (CAbin LIning auTOmation)
Reporting period: 2018-08-01 to 2020-01-31
Since 1974, air traffic has doubled every 15 years, according to the largest European aircraft manufacturer, and more than 30,000 passenger and freighter aircraft are expected to be delivered between 2015 and 2034. For example, since the current single aisle family was designed for a total fleet size of around 500 aircraft and began production at a rate of 1 to 2 aircraft per month, a new manufacturing principle is required to achieve a rate of more than 60 aircraft per month.
The purpose of CALITO is to face the challenges and to develop a redesign for cabin and cargo lining and hatrack and fastening concepts with the focus on:
- Optimization for automation, robotics and human-robot collaboration
- Use of latest materials and innovative manufacturing processes (e.g. additive manufacturing)
- Modular and multi-functional solutions with high customization capability
- Self adjustment solutions to minimize installation effort
The CALITO project offers tier-one suppliers solutions to improve cabin installation efficiency in the future. As a result of the modular design of the solutions, cost and weight savings are realized, as well as time savings during installation due to less assembly steps. By refining the ideas for automated cabin and cargo lining assembly, the a/c manufacturer is given entirely new possibilities for optimizing the final assembly line. The CALITO principles are designed so that the level of automation can be changed at any time. From conventional manual assembly to cooperative assembly involving human-robot cooperation to fully automated assembly.
For the cargo interior parts, a simplified detailed design was developed, taking into account that there are less aesthetic design requirements. Analysis of cutting-edge designs and technologies, as well as simulations of various creative installation scenarios and the concept of automation specifications, were all completed. For the sidewall and ceiling panels, the latest materials (Solvay Tegracore) and a weight-optimized automation design were used. During the second 18 months, prototypes for the first practical tests were developed. For the development of the lining components, three companies' expertise was acquired: SFS intec as an expert in the development and manufacture of fastening solutions, Solvay as an expert in high-performance aerospace materials and Bertrandt as a subcontracting partner as an expert in development and design services, in particular with regard to the detailing of aircraft cabin lining components. Functional testing was used to confirm that the new concept was suitable for an automated cabin installation. The parts were tested using the topic manager's existing automation technologies, and final changes to the comprehensive design data and parts were made. Following that, the consortium members demonstrated and disclosed that all necessary tests had been conducted and that the necessary modifications had been incorporated into the detailed design data as a result of the tests.
In addition, the prototypes' adaptation to the design data was confirmed, and a new design evaluation was included to meet all requirements for an automated cabin installation.
The following are the major accomplishments during the reporting period:
Smart Fasteners: Simple linear installation movements optimized for automation are made possible by smart easy snap fasteners. Complex positioning is eliminated thanks to the integration of self-adjusting functionality. For a cleaner look, the design eliminates the,,Schwalbennester" and hides the gap between the hatrack and sidewall.
Integrated cargo lining fastening concept: Due to fewer cargo lining requirements, we created a simplified sandwich panel design with a Solvay TegraCore foam core and an integrated smart bracket solution that is optimized for automation.
Test of self-adjusting bracket system: Installing a sidewall in under 10 seconds is possible with only three parts: LED cover, window funnel, and bottom rail, as opposed to the traditional installation process, which requires screwing. Smart tolerance compensation and adjustment functionality, as well as a simplified lining design optimized for fully automated installation.
Weight reduction: Due to the new material and design, the lining parts will be 20% lighter than the traditional lining components. This not only decreases the cost but also reduces the pollution.
Cost reduction: Overall, foam sidewall and hatrack are around 15% less expensive than honeycomb due to lower labor costs (honeycomb requires a lot of rework after applying the phenolic due to the holes in the structures) and lower equipment costs (no or lower need for insulation). In addition, the dado panel and cove light panel are already built into the CALITO sidewall. This eliminates the production process of these two components which has a positive effect on the production costs.
It takes on two big challenges the aviation industry faces, customization and automation, allowing manufacturers to master both. Its self-adjusting system and reduced interfaces simplify the assembly process which is a huge step towards cabin automation. Not only a robot is able to assemble the components efficiently, but also manual assembly has been perfected in ergonomic and economic terms. Furthermore the improved lining design saves costs in production, ensuring competitive advantages for the a/c manufacturer. In addition, reduced interfaces not only saves weight but also installation time, space and cost.
The latest state-of-the-art LED technology allows for the integration of jetlite’s Human Centric Lighting that increases passenger well-being as well as displaying information such as (de)boarding assistance, seat reservation or filling level of hatracks.
CALITO can be installed in already existing aircrafts (Retro-Fit) as well as future ones and fits every size of aircraft.
The CALITO project members have the ability to present the project results in the best possible light at the ZAL TechCenter in Hamburg. The ZAL provides the ideal medium for showcasing results from a/c producers, major tier-1 suppliers, and device suppliers in the form of movies, face-to-face presentations, exhibits, and mock-ups. Also being presented at the AIX 2019 and APEX 2019 the CALITO system has been selected to be one of the three finalists of the Crystal Cabin Award 2020. Many airlines have shown interest in the CALITO project so the system has been further developped and will be shown at the next exibition.