Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


PROUD Report Summary

Project ID: 296588
Funded under: FP7-JTI
Country: Spain


Executive Summary:
Project data:
Call (part) identifier: SP1-JTI-CS-2011-01
Grant Agreement number: 296588
Project acronym: PROUD
Project title: Precision Outer Wing Assembly Devices
Funding Scheme: Article 171 of the Treaty

The project approach innovative solutions for the design and manufacturing of the tooling needed for the assembly of two different kinds of configuration for the outer wings within a smart fixed wing aircraft.

PROUD understand that the main requirement for this wing structural part is based on their high dimensional stability and tight geometrical tolerances to compliance with surface quality for a natural laminar flow condition, and therefore stability control and manufacturing precision over the integration tools to be designed and manufactured shall be strict.

The project has combines skilled and qualified aeronautical process and tooling engineers to be able to achieve main goals of the project:

- Demonstrate technical viability of manufacturing high precision tooling that will impact directly at the aircraft assembly;
- Research on tooling manufacturing affordable limits to achieve the very high precision assembly;
- The study of the real specimen own deformation impact on the final assembly process;
- The study and demonstration of the robot positioning implementation technologies at high accuracy structure assemblies;
- The study and demonstration of alternatives imaging measuring ways to be correlated with the latest laser measuring technology;
- The new study of the complete assembly process to evaluate new technology insertion and its impact;
- Economic viability study of the implementation of new technologies based high precision assembly added with photogrammetric and automat zed portioning systems;
- As the end goal of the project, the demonstration of these different advances at the complete wing;

Company data:
Participant legal name: Servicios de Tecnologia Ingenieria e Informatica SL
Participant short name: SERTEC
Street name: Rita Levi Montalcini nº 14
Town: Getafe, Madrid
Postal code / Cedex: 28906
Country: Spain
Phone: +34-917241775

Project Context and Objectives:
PROUD (Precision Outer Wing Assembly Devices) project of Clean Sky program, SERTEC has worked on two different parts:

• High precision new concept tools for wings assembly and panels positioning with precisions of less than 0.1mm.
• Robotic and automatic wing assembly of parts; the goal of this project has been to be able to work in an aircraft wing assembly with anthropomorphic standard robots for the positioning, drilling, riveting, sealing and checking all the different parts of the assembly.

With respect to the high precision tooling, the project has achieved innovative solutions for the design and manufacturing of the tooling of two different kinds of configuration for the outer wings. The tools main requirement was based on a high dimensional stability and tight geometrical tolerances to compliance with surface quality for the natural laminar flow condition for the BLADE test. Stability control and manufacturing precision have been the two main characteristics that have been taken in account by the skilled and qualified aeronautical tooling designers and manufacturing engineering team involved in the project jointly with our main partner AERNNOVA and their high experienced wing assembly team.

Two Main Jigs (12 meter length by 4 meters high by 4 meters wide) have been manufactured and measured under diverse conditions and the goal to be able to manufacture such big structures with precisions under 0,1mm have been achieved. On top of these massive and precise structures is still left the assembly of mechanical locators to be able to install the different parts of the wing. Those locators have been manufactured with new innovative assembly technologies to assure the tight tolerance gap we maintain for this type of project.

With respect to robotic and automatic wing assembly, huge structures and aeronautical products are assembled in an automatic manner. But, in small parts or limited assemblies, the human based assembly process remains as the only way to go, forcing subcontractors to move to lower cost countries to achieve costs reductions in the process. SERTEC has developed a new way, using intelligent systems and high precision robots to accomplish small parts assembly automatically (or with low human interaction).

We have designed and built a one-of-its-kind technological demonstrator, in order to test new systems, and to achieve the full automatic assembly stage. Our goal has been to obtain the «best fit» position of several wing parts (ribs and spars) of a 1:1 scale dummy.

Thanks to high accuracy robots and to flexible grippers, combined with high accuracy computer vision feedback systems, we have achieved the goal of best fit automatic assembly. In the future, we will move forward from assembly to other operations like drilling or riveting.

Also, we have used the same computer vision systems, with new augmented reality goggles, to control the workflow in real time, and to provide the operators quality inspection data on-line. The project was leading us to introduce and modify the standard aeronautical factory, and moving fast to reach the «factory of the future» designation: a delightful concept, marked as a strategic goal on the program.

The project has been broken into 14 work packages:

WP 1. Plateau phase Aernnova-Sertec.
Cooperative work between Aernnova and Sertec where have defined the processes and tools. Work orders with manufacturing flow and process for the jigs. Sertec tooling design specialists and manufacturing engineers have worked with Aernnova in the complete definition of the process, tools and manufacturing flow of the tool parts in order to be able to achieve the required tolerances. These engineers have defined the different conceptual needs of the process of the tooling manufacturing to achieve the tolerances in the specimen.

WP 2. Tooling deformation FEM analysis.
Due to the high level of Tolerance required the tools have been analyzed by FEM methods to avoid self weight deformations or at least be able to predict them during the use of the tool and helping to the design of the tools with the required recommendations. Analysis engineers have worked on the prediction of the self loss of tolerance of the tools due to their own structure and to the external efforts that the manufacturing and assembly process can cause to the tools.

WP 3. Upper panel deformation analysis.
Upper panels are the most demanding tolerance element of this project due to that Sertec will realize a detailed analysis of the local potential deformations on the specimen due to its interaction with the tool. FEM upper panel model to be correlated with measuring results during the manufacturing process to study the interaction between the specimen and the tool and the loads transmitted from the attachment procedures to the tool that could create local deformations.

WP 4. CNC machines capability studies and tooling manufacturing procedures
The conceptual manufacturing procedures have to be implemented in a CNC machine. Sertec has made and analyzed of several CNC chances that could achieve the CNC tolerance of the project. To be able to understand if the required tolerances can be achieved with the standard CNC technology in big dimension machining and have studied which machine and type of have been the most suitable one to the project.

WP 5. Auxiliary tooling design
To manufacture the jigs Sertec has designed auxiliary tools to fix the jigs in the machines and to prepare them for heat stabilization procedures. Also Sertec has designed and manufactured drills templates and wood supports to other jigs part.

WP 6. Complete tooling manufacturing and assembly
Assembly works for the tools and systems. Sertec has been responsible to design, manufacture and assembly for main jig. This jig assembly the most aircraft part: Leadinge Edge, Trailing Edge, Wing Box, Lower Cover, etc... This main jig has been divided in sub groups that each one is specific for an aircraft part.
• Sub-group B: Upper Panel
• Sub-group C: Leading Edge
• Sub-group D: Front Spar
• Sub-group E: Rear Spar
• Sub-group F: Wing Box Ribs
• Sub-group G: Trailing Edge Ribs
• Sub-group H: Lower Panel
• Sub-group I: Hinge points
• Sub-group J: Trailing Edge Lower Panels
• Sub-group K: Upper Panel T.H.
• Sub-group L: Krueger
• Sub-group M: Vacuum System

WP 7. Automation on internal structure positioning for the serial production
Sertec has implemented the automatic positioning system based on 6 axis software controlled robot and have tracked to position the internal ribs, spar and lower panels. The state of the art of robotics at positioning take us to the chance of using the standard 6+1 axis robot to implement automatization in the position of elements in a complex aeronautic assembly, this chance will avoid structure, will eliminate errors and give flexibility to the assembly, eliminating dedicated structure per program, as the same robot could be programmed to position other parts of other different programs.
Sertec has worked in the implementation of this industrial theory into a high tolerance demanding assembly from the analysis of the tolerances that can be automatized up to the demonstrator of the technology during the assembly phase. The use of automatic positioning can add value to an assembly line at low cost with the extensive use of standard systems, reducing hand labour and production cost due to the fast amortization of the product with the flexibility of making multiple different tasks. This is an innovative alternative to the traditional manual positioning and evolution of the extensive use of templates and positioning elements and with the added chance of being able to analyze the situation and do a best fit solution to allocate the part.

WP 8. Metrology and measuring of the tooling: laser and optic sensors.
Use different measurement methods to check the potential visual measuring technology. The actual use of visual cameras to measurement application is normally used in serial production in confined and controlled areas, by counterpart Laser tracker technology is extensively use in big structures measures. The idea has been to study the implementation of visual measuring on large structures by the use of fixed and pant tilted cameras and the camera positioned in the robot. With this 4 to 5 camera the triangulation of the dimensions can be executed by software and be tested with the use of the laser to correlate the results. Also this cameras systems can control de security alarms systems and procedure and check positioning of the specimen on the jigs. The extensive use of automatic vision systems in the assembly procedures is a potential added value to reduce the stops to measure and the high cost of dedicated laser tracker equipment.

WP 9. Logistic and methodology analysis of transport & manipulation efforts and its impact on tools.
Analysis of the transport impact on tooling tolerances. The realization of a complete study of the logistic flow and the manipulation effort on each specimen and tool to understand the best process and design for the manipulation and transport conditions. Sertec have simulated transport and manipulation for main jig to avoid possible fails. All simulated process has been satisfactory and the real results have been the same.

WP 10. Tooling setup
Sertec has moved our maintenance operator’s teams to setup jigs and as support during first aircraft assemblies test. They had to fix main jigs (LH & RH) to the floor, had to level foot’s jig, had to assembly all sub group, had to measured all this with laser tracker and had to used shim where was necessary to obtain required accuracy.

WP 11.CE tool certification
CE marking is a mandatory conformity marking for certain products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA) since 1985. The CE marking is also found on products sold outside the EEA that are manufactured in, or designed to be sold in, the EEA. This makes the CE marking recognizable worldwide even to people who are not familiar with the European Economic Area. The CE marking is the manufacturer's declaration that the product meets the requirements of the applicable EC directives.
The mark consists of the CE logo and, if applicable, the four digit identification number of the Notified Body involved in the conformity assessment procedure.

WP 12. Project managing
The Project Management Institute defines project management as `the art of directing and coordinating human and material resources through the life of a project by using modern management techniques to achieve predetermined goals of scope, cost, time, quality and participant satisfaction'.
Project management must look ahead at the needs and risks, communicate the plans and priorities, anticipate problems, assess progress and trends, get quality and value for money, and change the plans if necessary to achieve the objectives.
The current project has been developed with a planned and organized methodology, with a logic distribution for task and activities. The project manager have had controlled each realized work, using a effective management for human and technical resources. Thus he has ensured a proper project monitoring, status progress for all activities and have been informed for all changes that affect to our work team.
Each project has a beginning and an end, and hence it is said to have a life-cycle. The stages for this project have been:
• Project Initiation:
o Feasibility study
o Design, Development and research
o Project Implementation
• Project Risk
• Project Objectives
• Project success

WP 13. First article support
During first article assembly engineers and operators team have moved to Aernnova facilities to support during this first assembly. They have solved all doubts and problems happened during this first article. We needed to remanufactured same parts, re-calibrate any elements, cut clashed elements to allow the assembly and gave instruction about main jig assembly process.

WP 14. Lessons learned
For us the more important milestones and points are:
• Management
o Same documentation shared and formats.
o All the working parties should take part at beginning of the conceptual phase in the same place.
o Same location and access for the shared information.
o Integrated planning and coordination for all partners.
o QRM importance
• Design
o Only manufacture a single aircraft(this project)
o Use PLM software
o Ergonomics, safety and hygiene rules
o Jig setup
o Design considerations
• Assembly
o Simulation
o Quality process
o Cost
o Training
o Support
o Logistic
o Achievements

Project Results:
The main project final result is all jigs and tooling have been designed and manufactured, it allow to assembly aircraft wing. We have applied technology innovations to obtain quality and accuracy requirements, it has force us to have a high quality control, following all activities during life-cycle Project.

We have place more emphasis to allow the best precision and quality in assembly superficial wing parts. All main jig sub-groups have been designed to facilitate the most precision as possible. For example, in blades components, we have reproduced theoretical wing surface with an 5mm offset, machining blade contour in a high precision CNC centre and checking this with measurements systems as DEA or laser. Also we have used and vacuum sucker system to keep upper and lower panel position during assembly operations.

This blades support upper panel during assembly operations, so it has been very important during assembly. The most main jig sub-group have been designed as static element, it are not disassemble in this way we got reduce minimal deviations produces during this operations.

The followed sequence has been:

Lower panel sling:
Design and manufacture this sling have been the first milestone, because this are the first manufactured part and used to start wing assembly. This sling allows move lower panels from storage to main jig. It has two hoist point and four planar contacts with clamps. This is a welded steel structure and it weight are over 2.000Kg, it can support only Lower panel or fully product too. It is very strong to avoid aircraft part deformations.

Main Jig:
It is the main assembly jig, we have RH and LH. Here the most aircraft part are assembly as Lower Panel, LE, Wing box Ribs, panels, Trailing Edge, Ailerons, Hinge Line, etc. The main structure is welded steel, the blade system for panels is made in Aluminium and the most of the other sub-group are made in steel too. This complete structure weight over 13.000Kg each one. The most of sub-groups are removable and we assembly when as needed, various can be assembled at same time but other are not compatible between them.

Finished product sling:
It is the same than panel sling but with different assy fitting. It allows move finished product to different position main jig, complementary jig and storage box. This is a strong structure to avoid deformations in final product, the assy weight over 4.000Kg and can moved easily by facilities.

Complementary jig:
The aircraft wing needs to be placed in horizontal positions to finish any assembly task. This jig has four static jacks that support sling + aircraft wing in horizontal position. Two of them allow rotating assy from vertical position to horizontal. Once on horizontal position operator can work in required tasks.

Jacking Points Fittings:
When aircraft wing are in complementary jig to finish any assembly operations, we need to elevate aircraft wing by three points. In this points we designed and manufactured 3 spherical fitting that allow elevate it with hydraulic jacks.

Automatic wing assembly
This are the environment used for automatic wing assembly. We have used a Kuka robot, demonstrator (is a little part of main jig), and dummies (lower composite cover and aluminium ribs). All tests are made with this part.

Potential Impact:
Potential impact

Based on the above-mentioned results, the following main overall impacts can be expected from the BLADE project. The global objectives for project are:

• Reduce the aircraft drag by 10% by reducing the wing drag by 25% using lamination, and by reducing the aircraft weight and drag through innovative control surfaces and load control.
• Reduce the aircraft noise by up to 10 db by engine noise shielding configurations, in particular for business jets.

The key role to implement these technologies and to achieve the objectives in the SFWA-ITD is through the validation in large scale demonstration in real flight condition.

Our activities in this project were mainly focus on a technology capability comercial impact. In an every day more dominated working environment by the big corporations the technologies and capabilities of SMEs like Sertec are buried under the demand of much bigger companies and the concept of supply chain organisation.

PROUD project a cut on the edge technology concept could be though in this environment just in the hands of huge corporations capacity due to the technical complexity, high demanding deadlines and international colaborative environment.

The fact that sertec has been a successful partner for the sfwa project with its size and capacity shows the main oems that there are SMEs with huge potential in the European market that are able to develop complex projects with high technical requirement's.

The comercial projection into the main partners of the project is been one of the main benefits of the PROUD project for Sertec as they have been able to understand that the high complexity and high time demanding projects can also be performed by SMEs like Sertec.

The big public is not a target as SME does not sell to the market and only specialized people really can appreciate the skills showed during the execution of the project.

The acquired knowledge and test performed have been used like a potential new business line on.

On the side of the SFWA-BLADE social benefits. PROUD project by itself has a direct social implications.

In a social environment where we find two main streams about the work in low cost countries called globalisation and the robotization that is the increasing automatisation of process that could lead to a workforce reduction.

PROUD has worked to proved that in the aeronautical field the use of robots and more complex systems in the assembly process is a social benefit in the European environment that does not really means the need to less workforce it leads to the reuse of the workforce capabilities to create better products based on human process experience but not in human handcrafts hability.

The globalisation process usually moves companies based on workforce to lower costs countries and in aerospace this is not an exception, the use of robots and automatic machines increase the technical requirements of the workforce that usually requires a developed social environment with universities and technical shools able to understand these process and train the personnel to work on them.

Also the investment and technology acquisition will give the European companies a better option to grow in a competitive environment.

The creation of high level of technology workforce in the manufacturing of a much better product than the competitors is a inherent social benefit form a new technology project like this.

Disemination activities

During project life-cycle Sertec Company has actively participated in dissemination of the project information and results many international fair. We aimed at dissemination of the knowledge developed such as the methodological advancements and the results.

A plan for dissemination knowledge obtained during the project was developed during the first project stage, to publicize our company and the project we have developed, Sertec Company Rollup.

Participation in follow business events

• 2013
o June:
▪ Le Bourget
o November:
▪ AIRTEC Frankfurt
▪ Dubai Airshow
▪ CleanSky General Forum
▪ Aerospace Meeting Lisboa
o October:
▪ Aerotrends Bilbao
▪ Aerospace & Defence Exhibition Korea
▪ Defence and Security Equipment International London
• 2014
o February
▪ CleanSky Infotoday CDTI
o March:
▪ ATM World Congress Madrid
▪ JEC Paris
▪ Cleansky Workshop Reporting Progress
▪ Cleansky Bruselas
o April:
o May:
o June:
▪ Eurosatory
▪ AUTOMATICA Messe Munchen
▪ Aerospace & Defence Meeting Sevilla
o July:
o October:
▪ Euronaval Paris
▪ MRO Madrid
o November:
▪ FS Events Lelystad
▪ VISION Stuttgart
o December:
▪ Aeromart Toulouse
• 2015
o March:
▪ Cleansky Forum day
▪ World ATM Congress
▪ ITER Marseilla
▪ Homsec Madrid
o April:
▪ LAAD Rio
o June:
▪ Le Bourget
o July:
o September:
o November:

Magazine publications

It has made two publications in different magazines:

Skyline magazine: Pag. 10

Parliament magazine: Pag. 17

List of Websites:
We refer to two websites:

Project website:

Sertec website:

Contact details:

Participant legal name: Servicios de Tecnologia Ingenieria e Informatica SL
Participant short name: SERTEC
Street name: Rita Levi Montalcini nº 14
Town: Getafe, Madrid
Postal code / Cedex: 28906
Country: Spain
Phone: +34-917241775

Personal contact: Eduardo Cano Corral
Movil: +34 630 98 62 88

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