First F-35 Center Fuselage Produced by Integrated Assembly Line
PALMDALE, Calif., Apr 2, 2012 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's /quotes/zigman/236055/quotes/nls/noc NOC +0.31% first F-35 center fuselage produced by its Integrated Assembly Line (IAL) was delivered to Lockheed Martin on March 16, 2012. While the company has delivered 69 center fuselages since 2005, this is the first produced using the IAL. The IAL maximizes robotics and automation, providing additional capacity and assembly capability while meeting engineering tolerances that are not easily achieved using manual methods.
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The IAL will be central in producing the F-35's center fuselage as well as increasing the program's affordability, quality and efficiency. The technologies deployed on the IAL have created more efficient and ergonomic process for assembly. The IAL was developed and designed with the help of the Detroit-based KUKA Robotics Aerospace Division, a commercial automation integrator, and was inspired by automation systems used by American automakers.