CompositesWorld

JUL 2018

CompositesWorld

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JULY 2018 32 CompositesWorld INSIDE MANUFACTURING 4 On a parallel production line, the flat floor panels are produced. A moving line brings flat table molds into position in front of stationary robots, which lay the lower skin, core panels and upper skin, in sequence. 2 "Rings" or fuselage frames are produced first, via automated fiber place- ment (AFP) on metal mandrels. Two robots would work together, to reduce layup time, as the mandrel rotates on the positioning robot. Note that the rings have grooves, which will act as exterior stringers when overwound during final assembly. 1 Factory of the future: An overview of MTorres' factory concept for auto- mated production of aircraft, using robots. 5 Like the rings, floor panels are bagged and prepped for infusion and oven cure by technicians. 3 After completion of the ring layup, the positioning robots move the rings to the bagging area, where the rings are prepped for resin infusion, and cure. Note that the flat plates that extend across the bottom of each ring will act as supports for the fuselage cabin's floor panels. 6 After oven cure is complete, parts are transported to the machining area, where a robot trims and creates openings in the rings' floor supports, and trims the floor panels. Shown here is a robot collapsing and removing a ring's mandrel. Following this step, the elemental parts undergo non- destructive inspection.

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