Irving, L., Ratchev, S., Popov, A., and Rafla, M., "Implementing Determinate Assembly for the Leading Edge Sub-Assembly of Aircraft Wing Manufacture," SAE Int. J. Aerosp. 7(2):246-254, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-2252.
The replacement for the current single-aisle aircraft will need to be manufactured at a rate significantly higher that of current production. One way that production rate can be increased is by reducing the processing time for assembly operations. This paper presents research that was applied to the build philosophy of the leading edge of a laminar flow European wing demonstrator. The paper describes the implementation of determinate assembly for the rib to bracket assembly interface.By optimising the diametric and the positional tolerances of the holes on the two bracket types and ribs, determinate assembly was successfully implemented. The bracket to rib interface is now secured with no tooling or post processes other than inserting and tightening the fastener. This will reduce the tooling costs and eliminates the need for local drilling, de-burring and re-assembly of the bracket to rib interface, reducing the cycle time of the operation.Ultimately, self-indexing components mean that the there is more flexibility as to what point in production the bracket can be attached to the rib. This allows for a reduction in cycle time and cost, whilst increasing production flexibility. This research has improved the design for wing manufacture capability of the company.