15 June 2018
Reuters reports that Airbus “inaugurated a new production line” for its A320 jet with “robots Luise and Renate joining human workers as it turns to new automation to help it deal with an eight-year order backlog.” Airbus hopes that digital technology “will enable higher production and trigger a significant shift in research and development spending toward high-tech manufacturing.” In an effort to compete with the Boeing 737, Airbus is increasing A320 production from 50 aircraft to 60 aircraft per month. The new final assembly line “in Hamburg, like other lines, has a top rate of 10 aircraft per month, which it will reach by mid-2019.” The new robots will help to “drill over 2,000 holes to join the two halves of the fuselage together, work normally done by humans.” The robots are part of a “new final assembly line” where the aircraft’s fuselage and wings are “transported by automated moving tooling platforms, rather than being lowered by cranes onto fixed jigs, and where dynamic laser tracking is used to perfectly align aircraft parts.” According to Airbus, the new system’s reduction in damage and errors is more valuable than a reduction in time. (Image: Airbus A320neo on the runway of Toulouse-Blagnac airport, southwestern France, after successfully completing its first flight, Sept. 25, 2014. Credit: Associated Press-©)
More Info (Reuters)