Digitalisierte Bohrbearbeitung

Digital assistance systems for smart drilling units in aircraft structural assembly

Digitized drilling technology for aircraft assembly

Riveting is the main technology in the aviation sector for joining components. Accessibility of the work space is often inconvenient and heavily dependent on the assembly task at the fuselage, cross-section or final assembly line. For the drilling processes of rivet holes, manual and semi-automatic machines are therefore predominantly used. Hence, the joint development project SmartADU2020 focuses on cross-linking innovative technologies to significantly improve the effectiveness of both manual and semi-automatic drilling processes in the aviation industry. At the same time, the operator is digitally guided, enhancing the workflow as well as time and material resource consumption.

A central database has been implemented, thereby managing process data directly captured by the electrically driven ADUs. Each dataset has been associated with the specific drilling location on the aircraft structure via an ultrasonic-based tracking system. A framework for tracing reference drillings from the outside has been integrated in the technology pool as well. A portable probing system facilitates advanced analysis of borehole characteristics. The whole concept has been validated in a full-scale testing environment.

For conducting the project SmartADU2020, the established aviation suppliers Lübbering and Ceratizit, the innovative manufacturer of assistance systems Sarissa and two experienced research institutes in the fields of production Engineering - the Institute of Production Management and Technology (IPMT) of the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) and the Fraunhofer IFAM - have founded a consortium of different backgrounds to create solutions not only to guarantee a better documentation of assembly process, but also to substantially facilitate them. The project partners would like to cordially thank the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy for its support via funding code 20Q1522.