Vakil, K., "Meeting Challenges of Key Characteristics (KC) Measurements in Aerospace Manufacturing," SAE Technical Paper 2012-01-1861, 2012, doi:10.4271/2012-01-1861.
The objective of this paper is to discuss challenges involved in the measurement of key characteristics in an integrated aircraft assembly line environment. The measurement process is complicated by the fact that each workstation may have different fixture configurations that pose limitations on accessibility, optimum positioning of the measurement device, and accurate transfer of data into aircraft coordinates. The project objective is to develop and implement an optimum metrology system that meets program requirements to reduce both the cost of quality and product cycle time through increased measurement efficiency, “as-built” feature characterization, assembly guidance, “real-time” control, data analysis, and report generation. The key system requirements are: limited number of down-selected hardware solutions specifically tailored for different areas of aircraft production; a single data analysis and report generation software solution throughout the entire assembly process; electronic and seamless integration of quality and inspection data between partnering companies; common sharing of databases for streamlined data handling; and a single integrated system that is simple enough to be pervasively implemented across industry. There are plenty of metrology devices available for measuring assembly or tooling features. The critical question is how to adapt their usage to the assembly methods and fixture configurations so that the measurement process is ergonomically convenient, accurate, and robust, while keeping the capital investment as low as possible. There are several assembly scenarios that are discussed with potential KC measurement methods. Finally there is a common software model presented in the paper that addresses quality data collection in a common database for real-time continuous improvement