A lightning development in production

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Elite 5K

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Unread post14 Dec 2017, 01:15

https://www.f35.com/news/detail/a-light ... production 13 Dec 2017
A lightning development in production [for some reason the f-35.com website has been digging up OLD stories!]
09 Nov 2016 Aerospace Manufacturing Magazine

"...Three into one
Producing all three variants on the same production line was a major ambition for the programme.

“Our aim was to reduce production costs and get the maximum commonality between all three,” Kinard explains. “So, for example, the mission systems are 100% common or shared. The vehicle systems are about 70% shared and the structure is around 20% commonly shared. That last figure is because the three variants were designed to carry out very different missions.

“What we have found as production has matured is that all the processes and materials are common, even if the some of the parts ultimately are different. So, when we started building the A variant there was the shared learning we could use on the B and C variants and vice versa.

“Our estimate is that if we had had three separate programmes, run by three separate companies, it would have meant a 30% increase in production costs, not including a lot more capital expenditure for tooling equipment and software laboratories etc.

“The commonality of the mission systems and most of the vehicle systems is also a long-term benefit for sustainability because common parts can be transported all over the world.”

Although the ambitions for the F-35’s performance were high, Lockheed Martin took a pragmatic approach when it came to production.

“The philosophy was to use low risk materials and processes, so the composites for the most part were well characterised and developed on previous programmes. There were a couple of technological challenges for large aluminium forgings which we had not done before and BAE Systems developed a great process for producing superplastic formed diffusion bonded engine doors.

“We use a significant amount of automated fibre placement (AFP) when it comes to making the composite elements, but none of these could be described as high risk applications. Its use is mainly to improve affordability.”

The main advance involved the low observables (LO) exterior [Stealth capabilities] of the aircraft. The manufacturers introduced technologies that control the thicknesses of the composite parts so when skins are installed there aren’t any mismatches on the surface.

“This was achieved through two different processes,” says Kinard. Firstly, high precision machining technology to machine sacrificial plies on some of the parts to control the thicknesses of the composites. Secondly, we used a technology called Cured Laminate Compensation which uses laser radar systems to measure the thickness of the parts and gives us the ability to add compensation material to bring it within the very tight tolerances required.

“We wanted to eliminate any filling and fairing that had been required on previous aircraft.”...

...With ramp-up rates required to rise, Lockheed Martin and its partners have introduced as much automation as possible.

“We robotically drill as many holes as we can. Automated drilling is around four times faster than manual drilling and essentially we get perfect quality. It is a repeatable and reliable process over a long period of time.

“Aside from drilling there is also robotic coating. With automated spraying, we can maintain precision and that means we can save weight by controlling the tolerances very closely. There is also precision machining of the composite materials mentioned before.”

The long run
One reason the manufacturers can introduce automation is because of the long length of the programme. Lockheed Martin is due to assemble 3,000 plus aircraft over the next 20-30 years.

Kinard notes: “Automation has been very beneficial, particularly for the B (STOVL) and the C (Carrier) models, because without it you probably couldn’t justify capital investments for building those variants as they are required in much smaller numbers.”

The final element of increased automation concerns measurement and inspection. “We are developing scanning technology that scans the whole aircraft and uses that data so we don’t have to take thousands of individual measurements on, for example, gap and mismatch.”

Software advances are also bringing down production times. “The 3D solid models for the tools used in the manufacturing meant we had unprecedented fit of the parts in the assembly line. We also use that digital thread of data to drive automation.

“Additionally, the system software is used for Prognostic Health Management (PHM). The PHM system, designed for maintenance, is also used for production. As this software has matured, it is rather like taking a modern car to the workshop and plugging it into a diagnostic system. This means as we build each aircraft we can test the systems to see if there is a problem. We are continuing to develop that software as the programme progresses so we can see any issues early on.”...

...“A fundamental advance is the increased use of the digital thread,” Kinard concludes. “We can scan the aircraft with non-contact metrology that can make an image of the aircraft and directly compare that with the electronic (digital) model so there is immediate verification.

“We are developing cryogenic machining to reduce the cost of machining titanium and we want to increase automation not just for hole drilling, but also for fastener installation, sealing and coating...." [without missing corrosion proofing bits]

Source: https://www.aero-mag.com/lockheed-marti ... -aircraft/
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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Elite 5K

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Unread post16 Jan 2018, 10:07

A glimpse into the advanced manufacturing line and the ongoing efforts to increase efficiency and cut costs, Using advanced scanning tech and robots, more than80% of the jets sent for RCS testing report zero defects. Truly impressive.

http://www.sldinfo.com/adding-new-digit ... f-35-line/

2017-12-31 One of the advantages of having built a digital thread manufacturing line for the F-35 at Fort Worth is the capability which the system allows to add evolving digital capabilities to that line.

A recent example was highlighted in a story published on exectuvebiz.com on December 7, 2017:

Lockheed Martin has licensed an industrial internet-of-things platform from Ubisense as part of efforts to increase F-35manufacturing efficiency at Lockheed’s Fort Worth, Texas, facility.

Ubisense said Wednesday it designed the SmartSpace system to help manufacturers address schedule, budget requirements for aircraft production, as well as boost transparency on the manufacturing process with location technology.

SmartSpace employs an indoor radar built to tracks tools and assets to mitigate potential production delays as well as helps stage and schedule assets ahead of future production tasks, Ubisense noted.

The system also works to electronically audit tools and assets, generate detailed reports on the whereabouts of customers’ furnished equipment and help users comply with potential spot checks.

Richard Petti, Ubisense CEO, said the company aims to help Lockheed obtain visibility of its Fort Worth aircraft manufacturing process with the SmartSpace platform.

Lots more...
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
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Elite 2K

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Unread post16 Jan 2018, 11:36

popcorn wrote:....SmartSpace employs an indoor radar built to tracks tools and assets to mitigate potential production delays as well as helps stage and schedule assets ahead of future production tasks, Ubisense noted......

....Yes, good article but "Not Radar"(scares people!); passive RFID labels and tracking. This technology coupled with an "indoor" GPS allows LM to insure the "Correct" tool is at the "Correct" workstation at the "Correct" time per the production schedule. Likewise the "Correct" production materials will also be tracked. The RFID identifier will also provide the verification that the tool is certified (tested) "as required" to identify if it has/ has not been damaged or "abused" and is no longer in tolerance. This is the IoT in the digital workspace. "Rosie the Riveter" is not building the F-35 but her 2018 great-great-(iphone)granddaughter, is!


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Unread post06 Aug 2018, 23:10

Pretty cool video going into some detail on how Lockheed is integrating IT with operational technology and creating digital twins for manufactured F35s





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Unread post07 Aug 2018, 00:51

citanon wrote:Pretty cool video going into some detail on how Lockheed is integrating IT with operational technology and creating digital twins for manufactured F35s

This is a pretty damn good thing considering this impacts both lockheed and other companies, so a market shift within the next decade or so may be likely.
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