This presentation will cover the development process and lessons learned for the Edge Coating Verification project. This groundbreaking project took extensive metrology algorithm development and complex integration to pair the system with a robotic automation cell. This process achieved more accurate measurement of edge coatings while reducing panel install time on the aircraft assembly line.
In 2016, Lockheed’s Manufacturing Technology engineers began brainstorming and evaluating methods to more accurately measure panel edge coatings as opposed to a visual inspection. The legacy inspection process was not very accurate and was subject to interpretation by the inspector. Out of tolerance coating conditions were being passed to the install procedure where they would be caught by seam gap and mismatch check, leading to increased rework in the assembly line. An edge coating verification system was essential to meet rate requirements.
Manufacturing Technology launched a pilot measurement cell where the team leveraged existing metrology scanning technology and created an automated analysis tool to verify edge coatings. The technology revealed repetitive out of tolerance edge coatings which drove corrective action and decreased defects by 10%. The successful pilot led to substantially increasing the panel count which necessitated a robotic automation cell. Through close coordination with external vendors and internal stakeholders, the cell was ready for production in only 2 months. These improvements have contributed to a 30-40% drop in touch labor in the panel install process.
- Define the benefits of using in-process inspection
- Determine when to use automation
- Implement automation in under three months
Why Is This Important?
This presentation will discuss the technical development of the automated analysis tool, the rapid deployment of robotic automation, and the advantages that the process brought to production once implemented.