Virtual tooling enhances Airbus A3XX production

Jig and fixture re-calibration is gaining a productivity increase with the use of virtual tooling models for Airbus A3XX wing production at BAE Systems’ plant in Broughton, North Wales. The process involves creating virtual master models by measuring their dimensions on a co-ordinate measuring machine. The digital models are then used to recertify production tools. […]

Jig and fixture re-calibration is gaining a productivity increase with the use of virtual tooling models for Airbus A3XX wing production at BAE Systems’ plant in Broughton, North Wales.

The process involves creating virtual master models by measuring their dimensions on a co-ordinate measuring machine.

The digital models are then used to recertify production tools. The plant has 693 recertifiable tools and the new system will be able to cut the amount of time taken by 80%.

Trevor Wiggins, an engineer in the Broughton site’s tool engineering department, said: `The beauty of reverse engineering with the CMM is that it is fast enough to be capable of creating a virtual master in an average of three to four hours. We can complete this one-off exercise and check a jig or fixture on the CMM within the time it previously took just to recertify the tool.’

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