Investigations to new fixturing principles for aerospace structures
Automated assembly is generally confined to mass production environments such as the manufacturing of cars and white goods. Even in this environment high-level automated assembly is restricted to the OEMs where production volumes are high. The flexibility and the ability to quickly reconfigure systems is not a major driver. In the aerospace industry the problem is further complicated by the move to thin walled monolithic parts and the increasing use of composite structures. Monolithic structures have been introduced to reduce the costs of assembling large numbers of components. Although the benefit of using monolithic parts is a large reduction in overall manufacturing costs. The downside is a more difficult component to handle and assemble. In this paper a theoretical analysis regarding mechanical behaviour of an aerospace part - a Nozzle Guide Vane (NGV) - starting from macro scale effects up to micro scale domain mechanics evaluation is going to be presented. Finally, strategies for new sensor/actor (designed) clamping mechanisms are discussed. A preliminary mechatronic model which is able to reproduce (and predict) the basic multifunctional features of a case-study design within a virtual environment is going to be discussed.