Middle River Aerostructure Systems' assembly group has responsibility for the company’s tooling, process planning, shop floor support with first-builds, and ongoing production support. It develops the methodology for the assembly processes, including process flow, assembly line set-up and the facilities related to assembly.
The group applies the latest digital technologies in laser and dimensional inspection, as well as in reverse engineering. The technology includes the V-Stars digital photogrammetric system, capable of coordinating directly with computer-aided design (CAD) data, which is ideal for large tools and parts – specifically in repeat measurements made during tooling periodic inspections and production process verification.
Middle River Aerostructure Systems’ 1-million sq. ft. facility includes
165,000 sq. ft.
of high-bay and low-bay assembly areas
MRAS’ laser tracker system is capable of high-accuracy, absolute-distance measurements for measuring and inspecting large parts, tools and machine tools. The company applies Verisurf, CAM2 and Solids software for measuring, identifying and verifying feature locations directly with CAD-released files in real time, while 3D design models are utilized as an “active participant” in the build-up process.
As part of MRAS’ “under one roof” capability, the assembly group works in close coordination with the company’s designers – ensuring optimum producibility for structures and parts. The group also has the resources of an in-house tool manufacturing center.
The overall 1-million sq. ft. facility operated by MRAS includes 75,000 sq. ft. of high-bay assembly area with 3-ton cranes, along with 90,000 sq. ft. of low-bay assembly areas with 2-ton cranes – both supplied by 90 psi. air and 460 Volt electrical power.
On the production floor, MRAS places the emphasis on ergonomic-focused tooling and lifting equipment that is designed for improved efficiency and reduced worker fatigue. For the CF34 and A320neo thrust reverser programs, mobile tooling facilitates flexible configurations and reduces floor space requirements. The company also has created hydraulic actuation test and leak test systems for each of its major programs.
The MRAS assembly group’s responsibilities also extend to the company’s suppliers, providing guidance for their production of parts, and providing assistance – including hands-on support – to help resolve technical or producibility issues.