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Title: A flexible fixture based on parallel kinematic machine for aircraft wing assembly automation
Author: Shang, Mingdong
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 0374
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2016
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The research deals with the investigation and development of novel parallel kinematic machine (PKM) applications and simulations which can be integrated into an advanced fixturing solution that offers aerospace manufacturers a form of automation which is easily adaptive, agile, affordable and sustainable. To achieve this, the build process for an experimental composite wing has been studied and documented based on the use of single-use, dedicated fixturing. An equivalent, high level, automated fixturing configuration has been developed based on automated PKM technologies. Virtual validation of the solution developed has been carried out using idealised structural analysis, physical experimental tests and digital manufacturing simulations. The results of structural stiffness analysis have been validated by physical experiments on a parallel kinematic robot to ensure that the idealised beam models used can accurately determine likely levels of deflection in the PKM devices as loads increase during the wing build process. A parametric model of PKM was developed for multiple-position and configuration stiffness analysis required by flexible fixturing applications. The outcomes make virtual analyses more representative of actual robotic performance by determining the effects of progressive assembly loads on the position of the end effector on individual fixturing robots. Provision can then be made for this behaviour in the virtual environment which is delivered in turn, to the physical environment by modifying robotic programs to include corrective displacement factors. The through-life cost benefit comparison showed that PKMs were cost effective for fixturing applications as long as they can be deployed across multiple programs over two times. The result is a virtual system which can ensure that the likelihood of achieving wing assembly tolerances is increased through the understanding and development of PKM robotic performance when they are deployed to fixturing applications.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available