Airbus has opened an automated fuselage
structure assembly line for A320 Family aircraft in Hamburg,
With a special focus on manufacturing longer
sections for the A321LR, the new facility features 20 robots, a
new logistics concept, automated positioning by laser measurement
as well as a digital data acquisition system.
“By embracing some of the latest
technologies and processes, Airbus has begun its journey to set
new standards in A320 Family production. This new fuselage
structure assembly line is an essential enabler for the A320
Family ramp-up. Increasing the level of automation and robotics
enables faster, more efficient manufacturing while keeping our
prime focus on quality,” said Michael Schoellhorn, Airbus Chief
Operating Officer. “A high level of trust and
investment has been placed in our people and factories in Hamburg.
We now need to deliver in line with our commitments made to
customers while ensuring overall competitiveness.”
initial section assembly, Airbus is using a modular, lightweight
automated system, called “Flextrack”, with eight robots drilling
and counter-sinking 1,100 to 2,400 holes per longitudinal joint.
In the next production step, 12 robots, each operating on seven
axes, combine the centre and aft fuselage sections with the tail
to form one major component, drilling, counter-sinking, sealing
and inserting 3,000 rivets per orbital joint.
Besides the use
of robots, Airbus is also implementing new methods and
technologies in material and parts logistics to optimise
production, improve ergonomics and shorten lead times. This
includes the separation of logistics and production levels,
demand- oriented material replenishment as well as the use of
autonomous guided vehicles.
The Hamburg structure assembly
facility is responsible for joining single fuselage shells into
sections, as well as final assembly of single sections to aircraft
Aircraft parts are equipped with electrical and
mechanical systems before eventually being delivered to the final
assembly lines in France, Germany, China and the U.S.