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Knowledge-enabled digital twin for smart designing of aircraft assembly line

Xiao Chang (School of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, China)
Xiaoliang Jia (School of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, China)
Kuo Liu (School of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, China)
Hao Hu (School of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, China)

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 8 June 2021

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a knowledge-enabled digital twin for smart design (KDT-SD) of aircraft assembly line (AAL) to enhance the AAL efficiency, performance and visibility. Modern AALs usually need to have capabilities such as digital-physical interaction and self-evaluation that brings significant challenges to traditional design method for AAL. The digital twin (DT) combining with reusable knowledge, as the key technologies in this framework, is introduced to promote the design process by configuring, understanding and evaluating design scheme.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed KDT-SD framework is designed with the introduction of DT and knowledge. First, dynamic design knowledge library (DDK-Lib) is established which could support the various activities of DT in the entire design process. Then, the knowledge-driven digital AAL modeling method is proposed. At last, knowledge-based smart evaluation is used to understand and identify the design flaws, which could further improvement of the design scheme.

Findings

By means of the KDT-SD framework proposed, it is possible to apply DT to reduce the complexity and discover design flaws in AAL design. Moreover, the knowledge equips DT with the capacities of rapid modeling and smart evaluation that improve design efficiency and quality.

Originality/value

The proposed KDT-SD framework can provide efficient design of AAL and evaluate the design performance in advance so that the feasibility of design scheme can be improved as much as possible.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Science Foundation of China under Grant 52075452.

Citation

Chang, X., Jia, X., Liu, K. and Hu, H. (2021), "Knowledge-enabled digital twin for smart designing of aircraft assembly line", Assembly Automation, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/AA-09-2020-0133

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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