An off‐line programming system for flexible drilling of aircraft wing structures

Cheng Zou (School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Beihang University, Beijing, China)
Jihong Liu (School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Beihang University, Beijing, China)

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Publication date: 12 April 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Drilling is an important operation in aircraft wing assembly. In order to enhance this operation, automated machines are used. The purpose of this paper is to propose an off‐line programming system to generate NC code effectively and accurately for a five‐axis NC drilling machine applied in aircraft wing flexible assembly.

Design/methodology/approach

The NC program is divided into three hierarchical parts to correspond, respectively, to the whole wing, single rib and single hole. The programming procedure for such three‐layer wing structures is detailed, which includes product model modification, NC program generation and post‐processing.

Findings

By demonstration, the implemented system is proved to increase the efficiency and correctness of NC programming, and the generated program performed well on a flexible wing drilling system.

Research limitations/implications

The system can only program for automated drilling machine at present, however with further development both automated drilling and riveting machine in aircraft wing assembly can be programmed by this system. Another development might make this system universal for different machineries and other aircraft components.

Originality/value

The paper indicates a new way to program for rapid wing flexible drilling, and the generated NC program is more adaptable and easier to update for various aircraft wing structures.

Keywords

Citation

Zou, C. and Liu, J. (2011), "An off‐line programming system for flexible drilling of aircraft wing structures", Assembly Automation, Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 161-168. https://doi.org/10.1108/01445151111117746

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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