Laser-guided Alignment of F-35 Fuselage and Wing Assembly Made Possible with LTD800MC Trackers
Miamisburg, OH - January 23, 2007 - Leica Geosystems, a Hexagon Metrology company, announced today Advanced Integration Technology, Inc. (AIT of Plano, TX) has purchased five Leica LTD800MC laser trackers for the second and third Electronic Mate and Alignment Systems (EMAS) for the Joint Strike Fighter program from Lockheed Martin (Fort Worth, TX). The laser tracking systems were specially designed for AIT's use in laser-guided alignment to automate and execute F-35 aircraft mating. AIT is an engineering and manufacturing company specializing in the design, fabrication, installation, and maintenance of fully integrated plant floor systems. Leica Geosystems is a leading global supplier of high precision laser trackers and theodolites for the industrial metrology market.
Lockheed Martin has contracted AIT to construct assembly stations used for laser-guided alignment and part mating of the F-35 modules. The EMAS system uses the Leica laser trackers and servo control positioners to mate the forward to the center fuselage, the wings to the center fuselage, and aft to the wing/center. The F-35 "metrology integration into assembly" yields a reduction in cost and schedule time due to the flexibility of the process.
This sophisticated part mating process uses a customized interface to integrate the Leica tracker with the servo driven jacks and the operator console to create the F-35 EMAS system. The AIT engineering team will use the 5 new laser trackers on the second and third EMAS systems. The EMAS tool can automatically point the laser tracker and acquire data from targets residing in off-the-shelf nests that have been applied to each aircraft sub-assembly. The laser tracker will acquire 3D coordinate target data until the large F-35 modules are adjusted to easily slide into position for connectivity and assembly.
The first F-35-JSF EMAS using Leica laser trackers was deemed a first-rate technical achievement as the first two aircraft components were loaded, maneuvered into nominal position, and the first hole was drilled for joining the components within 5 days of the completion of the surrounding working platform.
The EMAS program's cost reduction is due in part to almost no tooling and the related support expenses. A shorter assembly schedule is achieved because the process is based on highly accurate automated measurements derived from laser trackers rather than less-than-precise manual tool alignment. The direct measuring of components conforms to Lockheed Martin's digital thread foundation, which starts in the F-35 design phase and distributes its benefits throughout every process. Three-dimensional solid models, the digital thread, serve as the master data for all processes from flight simulation to CNC machining to fabrication to the assembly and part mating of the final product.
Leica laser trackers are portable coordinate measuring machines (PCMMs) that deliver an ultra-fast measurement cycle for high point density (3,000 points/second) and a measurement range reaching a full 40m (131ft) when used with a corner cube reflector. The trackers are used for a variety of manufacturing validation and inspection applications in the F-35-JSF program. Before each F-35 component is shipped to the mate station, an LTD800 is used to measure reference target values. Interfacing features are also scanned for a virtual mate to predict shim thickness.
About Advanced Integration Technology Inc.
Advanced Integration Technology Inc. is an engineering and manufacturing company specializing in the design and development of full turnkey aerospace factory automation systems. The company currently has over 60 automated aircraft positioning systems in service worldwide. AIT has extensive experience in several manufacturing industries and has worked as a prime contractor for many Fortune 500 aerospace companies and leading international manufacturers. Incorporated in 1992, Advanced Integration Technology is headquartered in Plano, Texas with design and manufacturing facilities in Seattle, Washington, Vancouver, Canada, Madrid, Spain and UmeÃ¥, Sweden. For more information about AIT, contact Lisa Day at 972-423-8354 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About Leica Geosystems
Leica Geosystems, a Hexagon Company, is a global supplier of comprehensive hardware and software packages for the industrial metrology market. These products integrate with popular CAD programs, various build-and-inspect tools, and reverse engineering software. Using state-of-the-art laser technology, Leica's laser trackers and theodolites make quality control, part mating, assembly and construction of large and small parts easier and more accurate than ever. Leica's U.S. headquarters is located at the Hexagon Metrology Precision Center in Miamisburg, Ohio. For more information about Leica Geosystem's metrology products and services, visit their web site at www.leica-geosystems.com/metrology, or call 937-353-1218.
About Hexagon Metrology
Hexagon Metrology serves the high precision measurement and inspection needs of Worldwide manufacturers with its extensive line of metrology hardware, software, accessories, and customer services. The company's name-brand portfolio of quality assurance products include Brown & Sharpe, Leica Geosystems, ROMER, Sheffield, PC-DMIS, DEA, Leitz, and TESA. Hexagon Metrology has an unrivaled installed base of more than 1.5 million handheld, stationary and portable measurement devices, and over 25,000 seats of PC-DMIS metrology software. The company is a subsidiary of Hexagon Measurement Technologies, a business unit of Hexagon AB (Nacka Strand, Sweden), a publicly-traded company (Stockholmsborsen: HEXA B). The Hexagon group consists of nearly 8,200 employees located in 30 countries. Call 1-800-426-1066 or visit www.hexagonmetrology.us for more information about Hexagon Metrology Inc. and its trusted brands.
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