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Development of a rapid, multifunction, automated gap filler device

NOGAP

Development of a rapid, multifunction, automated gap filler device

Call for proposal: 
SP1-JTI-CS-2012-01
Link to CORDIS:
Objectives: 

Natural Laminar Flow (NLF) has been identified as a key technology to contribute to the reduction of emissions in aircraft transport. However, the stringent NLF surface requirements are difficult to be reached with conventional manufacturing processes. The aim of NOGAP project is to develop a fully automated gap filler device that is able to performance in a 3D environment and achieve surface finish within NLF tolerances at high production rates.

To achieve its purpose, NOGAP project will integrate different systems in a single multifunction robot:

  • Computer Vision device and 2D laser measurement device integrated in a verification system, for guidance, surface scanning and post-application metrology control;
  • Innovative filler injection system with flow software control and variable-geometry nozzles (under patent development);
  • Multiple operation for accelerated curing (thermal, UV) and/or secondary finishing.

The flexibility and automation of assembly tooling is therefore a step forward to achieve the Aeronautical Factory of the Future based on the concept of “Smart Factory”.

Institution Type:
Institution Name: 
European Commission
Type of funding:
Programme Other: 
JTI-CS-2012-1-SFWA-02-020 Development of an automated gap filler device
Key Results: 

Executive Summary:

Stringent NLF surface requirements are difficult to be reached with conventional manufacturing processes. NOGAP project has developed a fully automated gap filler device that is able to performance in a 3D environment and achieve surface finish within NLF tolerances at high production rates.

To achieve its purpose, NOGAP project has integrated different systems in a single multifunction robot:

  • Computer Vision system and 2D laser measurement device integrated in a verification system, for guidance, surface scanning and post-application metrology control.
  • Innovative filler injection system with flow software control and variable-geometry nozzles (under patent development).

It can be said that NOGAP project has developed the first automated gap filler device for aircraft manufacturing that is accurate enough to maintain the surface quality to NLF tolerances. Technological leaps achieved in the NOGAP device are:

  • Fully automated and easy to use gap filler device;
  • Multi-task device, as all filling stages (gap analysis, sealant mixing, curing, post application metrology and curing) are performed by one single robot;
  • No direct manipulation of the sealant by the operators, avoiding high number of errors and reducing the time for application;
  • Surface finish requirements verified by computer vision and laser sensors;
  • Flexible gap filler device that can be used to fill other joints (i.e. chord wise joints, countersinks or minor service defects), in contrast to actual specific tooling developed to specific aeroestructures of a specific aircraft programme;
  • High production rate in contrast to high application and rework time of actual devices.

NOGAP project has made a significant contribution to the flexibility and automation of assembly tooling, which is a step forward to achieve the Aeronautical Factories of the Future based on the concept of “Smart Factory”.

 

Lead Organisation: 

Ct Ingenieros Aeronauticos De Automocion E Industriales Sl

Address: 
AVENIDA LEONARDO DA VINCI 22 PARQUE EMPRESARIAL LA CARPETANIA LA ATALAYUELA
28906 GETAFE (MADRID)
Spain
EU Contribution: 
€247,667
Partner Organisations: 

Fundacion Para La Investigacion, Desarrollo Y Aplicacion De Materiales Compuestos

Address: 
Avda Rita Levi Montalcini (Tecnogetafe) 29
28906 Getafe
Spain
EU Contribution: 
€38,589
Technologies: 
Development phase: