Zero-defect manufacturing of composite parts in the aerospace industry

Zero-defect manufacturing of composite parts in the aerospace industry
Summary

In the aerospace industry very high quality standards have to be met. For the manufacturing of carbon fibre parts this is currently solved through extended end-of-line inspection in combination with re-work processes to deal with defective parts. Also, in-situ visual inspection is used for quality control, which is currently causing huge productivity losses (30%-50%) during lay-up and has become a real bottleneck in carbon fibre parts manufacturing.

The project will provide a solution by developing inline quality control methods for the key process steps: automatic lay-up (dry fibre placement and automatic dry material placement) and curing. At the system level decision support systems will be developed that assist human decision-making when assessing defects and when planning the part flow through the production line. These will be supported by simulation tools for part verification and logistical planning.

The future manufacturing of the A320neo wing covers will be provide the background for the developments. Each such wing cover consists of two parts, that each cost several hundred thousand Euros in manufacturing. Assuming the planned production rates of 60 planes per month from 2025, savings of 150 MEUR in production costs can be obtained per year.

The consortium consists of all key players that will play a future role in the manufacturing of such large carbon fibre parts. Airbus with its research centers Airbus Group Innovations and FIDAMC will play a leading role in the consortium as far as the multi-stage manufacturing process is concerned. Machine builders (MTorres, Danobat) and research centers will develop the inline quality control, while Dassault Syst_mes will provide simulation support.

More information
Web resources: http://www.zaero-project.eu
https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/205543/factsheet/en
Start date: 01-10-2016
End date: 30-09-2019
Total budget - Public funding: 4 124 144,00 Euro - 3 548 206,00 Euro
Call topic: Zero-defect strategies at system level for multi-stage manufacturing in production lines (FoF.2016.03)
Images
ZAero_Danobat_Machine.jpg
Zaero_A350XWB_wing_upper_cover.jpg
Location

This is a set of Specific Objectives and Research & Innovation Objectives that is subject to a consultation in preparation of the Made In Europe Partnership.  For more guidance about the consultation, please see www.effra.eu/made-in-europe-state-play.

    Comment:

    The project developed a zero-defects manufacturing process for large composite parts. Various monitoring systems analyse key steps in the process (lay up, infusion, curing) to provide immediate feedback to the process. Efficiency increases of 30% have been realized.

    Comment:

    Through oinline monitoring an immediate reaction to quality problems is possible and the autonomy of the production line is increased.

      Comment:

      Part flow simulation provides real-time feedback about the state of the production line and enables the evaluation of different strategies to optimize performance.

    Comment:

    Data collection in a "manufacturing database" to enable real-time feedback on how deviations in the manufacturing process will have impact on part performance.