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Bosch Rexroth has developed four access platforms for aircraft manufacturer Airbus to facilitate the wing manufacturing process for the new A350 XWB twin-engine jetliner.

The wings for the new extra-wide-body aircraft are produced at Airbus’s facility in Broughton, near Chester, and Electroimpact, a designer of tooling and automation for the aerospace sector, has been contracted to construct the manufacturing system.

According to Damon Griffiths, project support manager at Electroimpact, this is the first time Airbus has manufactured the wings using a horizontal build process. Electroimpact decided that a new design of access platform would be required to help the company overcome the various issues associated with horizontal manufacture.

For this reason, Bosch Rexroth created four bespoke inboard platforms and 36 bespoke lower-access platforms — all made from aluminium profiles and accessories. The platforms are utilised within the manufacturing cells during production to form a complete platform throughout the length and width of the wing.

Key benefits of product application

  • The Bosch Rexroth platforms are ergonomically designed to take into account the curvature of the wing to ensure access at the correct height position, minimising strain on the human body.
  • The access platforms are flexible and versatile enough to be deployed by two men in the required tack times and robust enough to withstand some harsh treatment.
  • When the platforms are being used in production, they link together like a jigsaw puzzle to create one single platform.
  • Both the inboard and lower-access platforms feature drop-down guarding, point-of-use services and lighting in the floor.
  • The Bosch Rexroth platforms cost more than £750,000, offering huge advantages compared with heavy, fixed, welded structures, according to Griffiths.
  • The platforms provide a more cost-effective solution overall thanks to their modular design and construction; they provide excellent flexibility during manufacture and during modifications on site.
  • The access platforms are designed to enable Airbus to construct the new wings in the safest manner possible.

Bosch Rexroth

Economical, precise, safe, and energy efficient: drive and control technology from Bosch Rexroth moves machines and systems of any size. The company bundles global application experience in the market segments of Mobile Applications, Machinery Applications and Engineering, and Factory Automation to develop innovative components as well as tailored system solutions and services.

Economical, precise, safe, and energy efficient: drive and control technology from Bosch Rexroth moves machines and systems of any size. The company bundles global application experience in the market segments of Mobile Applications, Machinery Applications and Engineering, and Factory Automation to develop innovative components as well as tailored system solutions and services. Bosch Rexroth offers its customers hydraulics, electric drives and controls, gear technology, and linear motion and assembly technology all from one source. With locations in over 80 countries, more than 33,700 associates generated sales revenue of approximately 5.6 billion euros in 2014.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 360,000 associates worldwide. The company generated sales of 49 billion euros in 2014. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiary and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including its sales and service partners, Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. In 2014, Bosch applied for some 4,600 patents worldwide. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to create solutions for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

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