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Case Studies

Mastering Accuracy Control in Aircraft Assembly

Mastering Accuracy Control in Aircraft Assembly

In pursuit of conquering the skies, the human race has made great strides throughout the history of aviation. Whether in the production of components or aircraft assembly, each step must be accompanied by precise measurements. The accuracy of an aircraft assembly jig directly affects the precision of a piece that it produces, which, in turn, affects an aircraft’s flight safety and the safety of its crew and property.

Established in 2013, Tianjin TQM Feiyue Aviation Equipment Technology Co., Ltd. (TQM Feiyue) is a subsidiary of Tianjin Motor Dies Company Limited. TQM Feiyue focuses on aviation equipment technology development, transfer and consultancy, as well as the manufacturing of aviation equipment such as spare parts and aircraft sheet metal parts. Known for its excellent service and product quality, TQM Feiyue partners major aviation manufacturers, including AVIC, Bombardier Aerospace, Goodrich Corporation, Airbus, and General Aviation International (Xi’an) Aircraft Technology Co., Ltd. (Gavin).

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Tooling for a Bombardier C-series hatch door.
 

FARO Laser Tracker: A Customer’s Recommendation

TQM Feiyue purchased its first FARO Laser Tracker in 2008. Seven years later, the company invested again in the FARO Laser Tracker Vantage, the FARO CAM2 Measure software, as well as the FARO Prime. Thinking back on the first time that TQM Feiyue selected FARO, Mr. Yan Zhichao, Project Manager at TQM Feiyue, recalled, “At that time, Airbus was using the FARO Laser Tracker on their shop floor. That prompted us to purchase from FARO, because we wanted to ensure consistency between us and our customer. Naturally, we also considered overall factors such as price point and brand. Based on the relatively high cost-performance evaluation, we decided to invest in FARO. Now, having used the devices for some time, we find them to be really effective. Moreover, with the quality after-sales support, prompt feedback, and the on-site support that we receive from FARO application engineers, we decided to purchase two additional laser trackers and a FaroArm in 2015.”
 

Undisputed Choice for Aircraft Assembly Jig Inspection

Typically, Laser Trackers are used to inspect the aircraft assembly jigs which form part of the production line. Once component parts of the jig are manufactured, they are put together to become the tool on which aircraft assembly takes place. Through accurate measurements taken by the Laser Tracker, a technician can check to ensure that various component parts are in the right position and within tolerance, as stipulated by design. Without the Laser Tracker, these measurements would not be possible with common measurement methods such as fixed coordinate measuring machines or traditional tools.

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Inspecting a LE700 small aircraft assembly jig with a FARO Laser Tracker.

Providing up to 80m of long-range measurement, the Vantage is FARO’s latest portable, high-precision coordinate measuring equipment. The device’s small size and light weight (a mere 12.6kg) allows it to be easily deployed on site. Equipped with SmartFind technology and a MultiView camera, the Vantage can quickly find and lock in on the desired target. The TruADM system also provides users with the accuracy required for every day, real-world applications.

At TQM Feiyue, the team’s work revolves around different assembly jigs and transportation jigs. Despite the wide-ranging measurement needs of between 8 – 16m, and accuracy requirements of 0.05 – 0.08mm, the FARO Laser Trackers satisfy TQM Feiyue’s variety of needs comfortably. Separately, the FaroArm is used to verify smaller-sized tooling at time of delivery, or used to complement the Laser Trackers in measuring difficult to-reach areas.

In 2015, TQM Feiyue built and commissioned a complete set of aircraft assembly line for Gavin’s latest line of private jets. For that entire project, TQM Feiyue utilized the FARO Laser Trackers to perform measurements and inspections, especially in the final stages of the project, before handover.

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Inspecting the Bombardier C-series hatch door assembly tooling with a FARO Laser Tracker.
 

Portable & Versatile: Performs in Various Work Environments

As business grew, TQM Feiyue found that its usage of the FARO Laser Trackers increased as well, with the team clocking as much as 12 hours on the devices each day. The increase in frequency is linked to the need for accuracy on the assembly jigs. The team would bring the FARO Laser Tracker on-site to take pre-delivery measurements. In addition, as a value added, post-sales service, TQM Feiyue would deploy the FARO Laser Trackers at their customers’ premises 60% of the time, which exposes the device to a variety of work environments. However, given that the Vantage comes equipped with IP52 waterproof and dustproof ratings, it has maintained good working condition, regardless of the environment – whether noisy, dusty, warm, or cool.
 

About Tianjin TQM Feiyue Aviation Equipment Technology Co., Ltd. (TQM Feiyue)

Established in 2013, Tianjin TQM Feiyue Aviation Equipment Technology Co., Ltd. is a subsidiary of Tianjin Motor Dies Company Limited. TQM Feiyue focuses on aviation equipment technology development, aircraft transfer and aviation consultancy, as well as the manufacturing of aviation equipment, such as spare parts and aircraft sheet metal parts. Known for its excellent service and product quality, TQM Feiyue partners major aviation manufacturers including AVIC, Bombardier Aerospace, Goodrich Corporation, Airbus, and General Aviation International (Xi’an) Aircraft Technology Co., Ltd. (Gavin).

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