(19)
(11)EP 3 511 252 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
16.12.2020 Bulletin 2020/51

(21)Application number: 18151227.8

(22)Date of filing:  11.01.2018
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B64F 5/10  (2017.01)
G05B 19/418  (2006.01)

(54)

PRODUCTION SYSTEM FOR THE AUTOMATED ASSEMBLY OF VEHICLE COMPONENTS AND METHOD FOR CONTROLLING A PRODUCTION SYSTEM

PRODUKTIONSSYSTEM ZUR AUTOMATISCHEN MONTAGE VON FAHRZEUGKOMPONENTEN UND VERFAHREN ZUR STEUERUNG EINES PRODUKTIONSSYSTEMS

SYSTÈME DE FABRICATION POUR LE MONTAGE AUTOMATISÉ DE COMPOSANTS DE VÉHICULE ET PROCÉDÉ POUR COMMANDER UN SYSTÈME DE PRODUCTION


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(43)Date of publication of application:
17.07.2019 Bulletin 2019/29

(73)Proprietor: Airbus Operations GmbH
21129 Hamburg (DE)

(72)Inventors:
  • SCHILDT, Rainer
    21129 Hamburg (DE)
  • JÜDES, Wolfgang
    21129 Hamburg (DE)
  • NEUHAUS, Frank
    21129 Hamburg (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 3 249 482
US-A1- 2015 344 154
EP-A2- 2 424 780
  
  • KIM SCHWAKE ET AL: "Robot-based System for Handling of Aircraft Shell Parts", PROCEDIA CIRP, vol. 23, 1 January 2014 (2014-01-01), pages 104-109, XP055476928, NL ISSN: 2212-8271, DOI: 10.1016/j.procir.2014.10.081
 
Remarks:
The file contains technical information submitted after the application was filed and not included in this specification
 
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description


[0001] The present invention pertains to a production system for the automated assembly of vehicle components and a method for controlling such a production system. The present invention particularly pertains to a production system for the automated assembly of structural components of an aircraft or spacecraft and a method for controlling such a production system.

[0002] Although generally applicable to the assembly of any kind of vehicle or vehicle component, in particular large components of landborne, airborne, or waterborne vehicles, the present invention and the problem on which it is based will be explained in greater detail with reference to the fuselage assembly of commercial passenger aircraft.

[0003] The fuselage shell of a modern aircraft consists of metal or composite material, e.g. carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP), formed as a rigid framework of stiffening elements that is covered by a skin. The framework normally comprises a series of frames bent into a circumferential direction according to the shape of the fuselage cross section and a plurality of longitudinal stringers or longerons that are joined to the frames. A typical fuselage shell is divided in the longitudinal direction into shell sections, each of which may individually be assembled from smaller shell portions. For example, a fuselage aft section of a fuselage shell may be assembled by circumferentially adjoining two side shell portions (including window openings), a lower shell portion and an upper shell portion to form a circumferential shell, and by closing off this circumferential shell in the aft direction with a single smaller tapering tail section.

[0004] The assembly of such shell sections or other large structural components, as for example passenger floors, cargo floors, etc., out of smaller shell portions is usually managed by positioning the individual aircraft components relative to each other within an iterative process using a plurality of positioner units that grip and move the aircraft components. To this end, the positioner units may be supported by an automated positioning system, which in turn may include a measurement system, e.g. a laser tracking system. However, the final control in this iterative process is commonly still in the hand of a human operator. For example, the human operator may have to intervene in the automatic positioning process in case one component leaves predefined system boundaries of the positioning system. Such system boundaries may for example be defined by the acceptable limits on the reaction forces on the aircraft components in the mounting points of the positioner units indicating the allowable residual stresses in the aircraft components. The assembly system may provide information on the reaction forces and the current positions of the aircraft components. Based on this information the operator may initiate, e.g. after an automatic stop due to exceedance of a reaction force limit, another positioning attempt following an alternative trajectory. As a consequence, there is a need for further automatizing the whole positioning process (cf., for example, US 2016/0074926 A1, US 2015/0344154 A1 and US 2014/0157588 A1).

[0005] Document Schwake et al., "Robot-based System for Handling of Aircraft Shell Parts," Procedia CIRP, vol. 23, p. 104-109, 2014 describes a cost-effective approach for handling pliable aircraft shell parts. The objective is the preparation for assembly to larger sections. In contrast to a conventional gripper the developed tool is characterized by the ability to manipulate the work piece with help of active components to compensate deviations from the desired shape of the shell part. Similarly to most of the other branches in the aircraft industry more flexibility of tooling and production system is required. The approach emphasis high flexibility, fast interchangeability and high availability of components as well as easy reconfigurability. The resulting demonstrator of the developed principle provides the proof of concept and is based on a standard six axis industrial robot as well as standard components off the shelf.

[0006] Against this background, it is one object of the present invention to find solutions for improving the automated assembly of large vehicle components.

[0007] This object is achieved by a production system having the features of claim 1 and a method for controlling a production system having the features of claim 10. Preferred embodiments are defined in the dependent claims.

[0008] The invention will be explained in greater detail with reference to exemplary embodiments depicted in the drawings as appended.

[0009] The accompanying drawings are included to provide a further understanding of the present invention and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. The drawings illustrate the embodiments of the present invention and together with the description serve to explain the principles of the invention. Other embodiments of the present invention and many of the intended advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciated as they become better understood by reference to the following detailed description. The elements of the drawings are not necessarily to scale relative to each other. In the figures, like reference numerals denote like or functionally like components, unless indicated otherwise.

Fig. 1a, 1b schematically show perspective views of the assembly of a fuselage section of an exemplary aircraft (exploded view in Fig. 1a and assembled view in Fig. 1b).

Fig. 2 shows a flow diagram of a method for controlling a production system for the automated assembly of vehicle components according an embodiment of the invention.

Fig. 3 schematically depicts a production system for the automated assembly of vehicle components according to an embodiment of the invention as it is used in Fig. 2.

Figs. 4a, 4b schematically show production systems for the automated assembly of vehicle components according to further embodiments of the invention.



[0010] Figures 1a and 1b schematically show perspective views of the assembly of a fuselage section of an exemplary aircraft 100, e.g. a commercial passenger aircraft. Specifically, Fig. 1a depicts a fuselage aft section of a fuselage shell of the aircraft 100 in exploded view. The fuselage aft section is assembled from a multitude of smaller vehicle components 1, e.g. made of metal, metal alloy, and/or composite material like CFRP or similar, comprising two side shell portions (including window and door openings), a lower shell portion, an upper shell portion, a passenger floor, and a tapering tail section. The shell portions are circumferentially adjoined around the passenger floor to form a circumferential shell, which is then closed off in the aft direction with the tapering tail section. The assembly of these vehicle components 1 is shown in Fig. 1b. The assembly process may be executed by methods and production systems according to embodiments of the invention as they will be described in the following. It will be clear to the person of skill however that the method and production system according to the invention may be used to assemble and manufacture many other types of vehicles or vehicle components that differ in shape or configuration from the depicted examples. For illustration purposes only, Figs. 1-4 address the assembly of a passenger aircraft fuselage aft section. In principle, the embodiments of the method and the production system, as they will be described in the following, may be used not only for the assembly of passenger aircraft or sections of passenger aircraft, but also in general applications within the transport industry, e.g. in landborne, waterborne or airborne vehicles. However, the embodiments of the invention described herein are particularly advantageous for the assembly of large vehicle components 1, in particular structural components of aircraft 100.

[0011] Fig. 2 shows a flow diagram of a method M for controlling a production system 50 for the automated assembly of vehicle components 1 according an embodiment of the invention. Fig. 3 depicts a production system 50, as it is used in the method M of Fig. 2, for the automated assembly of vehicle components 1 according to an embodiment of the invention. The method M comprises under M1 gripping each vehicle component 1 with respectively associated positioner units 2 at mounting points 7. For this purpose, each positioner unit 2 is equipped with one or several gripper arms or similar, with which the positioner unit 2 attaches to the vehicle component 1 at a certain mounting point 7 such that the vehicle component 1 may be processed further. A vehicle component 1 may be gripped by one single positioner unit 2 or by several positioner units 2. In the exemplary depiction in Fig. 3, two vehicle components 1 are shown, each of which represents a fuselage side portion of a passenger aircraft, e.g. as the one shown in Figs. 1a, 1b. Each side portion is gripped by two positioner units 2 arranged along the component's longitudinal axis, so that the positioner units 2 are mechanically coupled via the side portion to be positioned. However, the person of skill will readily acknowledge that many other variations of the arrangement depicted in Fig. 3 are included in the present invention. For example, each vehicle component 1 may equally well be gripped by one single positioner unit 2 or more than two positioner units 2. Each positioner unit 2 may be provided with one or several gripping means, e.g. gripped arms or similar, and may thus grip and/or hold the vehicle components 1 at several mounting points 7 at the same time.

[0012] Still referring to Figs. 2 and 3, the method M further comprises under M2 moving each vehicle component 1 with the respectively associated positioner units 2 into an assembly position 3. To this end, the positioner units 2 may, for example, be mounted on rails that allow to move them into a specific direction. Furthermore, the gripping means of the positioner units 2 may be configured to move into different spatial directions to change the position as well as the orientation, the inclinations, etc., of the vehicle component 1. Like this, the vehicle components 1 may be moved from one assembly position 3 into another assembly position 3', which may be for example a nominal assembly position 3'.

[0013] As a further step, the method M comprises under M3 determining the assembly position 3 of each vehicle component 1 with a position-measurement system 4. The position-measurement system 4 may be, for example, a laser tracker or similar tracking interferometer, a photogrammetry system or any other measurement system suited for the use case at hand, i.e. in this case the assembly of large aircraft components. The method M further comprises under M4 determining reaction forces and/or moments of each gripped vehicle component 1 with force sensors 5 at the mounting points 7 in the assembly position 3. The force sensors 5 may mounted on the positioner units 2 next to the mounting points 7 and may be coupled to the grippers or gripper arms. The force sensors 5 may comprise piezoelectric, hydraulic, pneumatic, or mechanical load cells or other suitable means that are able to provide a signal whose magnitude is proportional to the force or moment being measured. The load cells provide information about forces and/or moments at the mounting points 7 of the vehicle components 1 at the positioner units 2. The respective reaction force and moment data can then be used to correct the position and/or trajectory of one or several vehicle components within the spatial dimensions. The force and moment data may be used locally for each associated positioner unit 2 and/or globally by taking into account the respective data of adjacent positioner units 2 or, for example, all other positioner units 2.

[0014] Still referring to Figs. 2 and 3, the method M further comprises under M5 determining status data 12 of each vehicle component 1 with status sensors 10 provided at each vehicle component 1. Each status sensor 10 is configured to determine status data 12 of the respective vehicle component 1. The status data 12 may comprise at least one of load data, stress data, strain data, structural health data, proximity data and environmental data and the like. The status sensors 10 may comprise at least one of load cells, stress gauges, strain gauges, structural health monitoring sensors, proximity sensors and environmental sensors and the like. For example, one or several status sensors 10 may be configured as environmental sensors, e.g. a temperature or humidity sensor, to monitor and secure that the environmental conditions fulfill all possible requirements. In another example, one or several of the status sensors 10 may be configured as proximity sensors to optimize handling during the assembly process and to avoid collisions with other vehicle components 1 and/or other components of the production system 50 . One or several of the status sensors 10 may further be configured as structural health monitoring sensors, e.g. in the form of acceleration sensors integrated into the vehicle components 1 for detecting impacts or other damages. One or several of the status sensors 10 may further be configured as load cells, strain or stress gauges or the like to provide information about loads, strains or stress or general forces and/or moments at or within the vehicle components 1, e.g. in particular at the mounting points 7 at the positioner units 2. Due to these provisions, each vehicle component 1 may notify about impacts that have happened during service, acute load overloads and/or critical stresses or strains. The status data 12 assessed by the status sensors 10 may be communicated in real time in order to improve the production process.

[0015] Each vehicle component 1 comprises a data storage 11 in communication with the status sensors 10. The data storage 11 is configured to store the status data 12 as well as identification and configuration data 13 of the respective vehicle component 1. Each vehicle component 1 is configured with a certain level of information processing capabilities besides a certain bandwidth of data communication capabilities, that is the vehicle components 1 are configured with networking capabilities. The vehicle components 1 thus not only can carry relevant information for the production process, but furthermore can assess and communicate status data 12 that might be helpful for the production. The data storage 11 may be provided in the form of a readable and/or writeable active data storage, like for example active or passive RFID-chips, SMART-tags, solid state memory's or similar means. The data storage 11 thus may serve as a self-updating data sheet comprising information about the configuration and current physical conditions of the vehicle component 1 as well as the assembly progress status and so on. These data may then be used in real time by the production system 50 to improve and speed-up the whole production process. Alternatively or additionally, the data storage 11 may also be provided outside of the vehicle components 1. In that case, the vehicle components 1 may be provided with means to link the vehicle components 1 to the data storage 11.

[0016] In that sense the vehicle components 1 themselves are integrated as 'active components' in the production system 50 in a similar vein as the positioner units 2. The positioner units 2, the position-measurement system 4, the force sensors 5, the vehicle components 1, and so on, form a physical production system 9. The physical production system 9 is embedded into and controlled by a computer-based control system 30. Correspondingly, the method M further comprises under M6 communicating data between the computer-based control system 30 and the vehicle components 1 (including the status sensors 10 and data storages 11), the positioner units 2, the position-measurement system 4, and the force sensors 5. The data exchange itself is illustrated in Fig. 3 by arrows connecting the individual components of the physical production system 9 with the computer-based control system 30. The connection itself may be wireless or cable-based or may rely on any other suitable network and data-exchange technology. The physical production system 9 and the computer-based control system 30 together form a production system 50 in the form of a cyber-physical production system, i.e. a system composed of physical entities, which are controlled and monitored by a computer-based system on basis of computer algorithms. More specifically, the computer-based control system 30 includes a software-based multi-agent system 20 with multiple software agents that interact with corresponding entities in the physical environment. The multi-agent system 20 serves as a digital representation of the physical production system 9. In particular, the multi-agent system 20 of this embodiment includes software positioner agents 22, each of which is actively linked to an associated positioner unit 2. The positioner agents 22 and the positioner units 2 are actively linked in the sense that the computer-based control system 30 may actively control the positioner units 2 via the positioner agents 22 and the positioner units 2 in turn may interact with the computer-based control system 30. For this purpose, the positioner units 2 may have a certain level of information processing capabilities besides a certain bandwidth of data communication capabilities. The multi-agent system 20 further comprises vehicle-component agents 21 that together form the production model 24 of the vehicle (also represented as an agent within the multi-agent system 20), each vehicle component 1 being actively linked to an associated vehicle-component agent 21. A specific vehicle component 1 may be identified by means of the identification and configuration data 13 stored in its data storage 11. These data may include for example a unique ID number or the like. With this unique ID number, relevant product and configuration data 13 may be assigned to this particular vehicle component 1, which then defines the associated vehicle-component agent 21 used in the digital representation of the multi-agent system 20. For this purpose, the computer-based control system 30 may be connected to a respective database 8 or the like. The vehicle component 1 is hence actively linked to the associated vehicle-component agent 21 in the sense that the vehicle component 1 can be actively controlled by the computer-based control system 30, e.g. status sensors 10 can be read out or controlled and the respective status data 12 can be communicated. In addition, the vehicle component 1 may be controlled or moved by the computer-based control system 30 indirectly via the positioner units 2, which are connected to the respective positioner agents 22.

[0017] Moreover, the method M comprises under M7 controlling the positioner units 2 with the computer-based control system 30 based on the determined status data 12, the determined assembly positions 3 and the determined reactions forces and moments of the vehicle components 1. More specifically, each positioner unit 2 may be controlled according to a deviation of the determined assembly position 3 of the respective vehicle component 1 from a nominal assembly position 3' of the respective vehicle component 1. Furthermore, several or all positioner units 2 may be collectively controlled to minimize and/or otherwise optimize the deviations of the determined assembly positions 3 of the vehicle components 1 from the nominal assembly positions 3' of the vehicle components 1. In particular, the deviations may be minimized and/or optimized under consideration of the determined status data 12 and the determined reaction forces and/or moments at the mounting points 7 of the vehicle components 1. For this the computer-based control system 30 may include or be connected to a simulation model 6, e.g. based on neural networks 23 that may, for example, represent the behavior of each positioner unit 2 and vehicle component 1.

[0018] An exemplary automated assembly system, not falling within the scope of the claims, is based amongst others on the following features: automated assembly optimization through networking between vehicle components 1 and positioner units 2 within a production system 50; realization of networking between vehicle components 1 and positioner units 2 through a digitized representation of the physical production system 9 in the form of a multi-agent system 20; implementing the vehicle components 1 as active components in the assembly system; and assembly optimization via a machine learning process or simulation model, in particular a neural network 23. In conventional assembly or production systems, the decisions for manipulating the positioning process are to a large extend still handled by a human operator. The example follows the approach to let the system "learn" from former positing activities by creating a self-learning behavioral model of individual positioning system components. This behavioral model of the system components can be used for future positioning activities to make the right manipulations automatically. Advance computer algorithms can be utilized within the digital representation of the physical production system 9. Furthermore, the production system 50 will organize a negotiation between the agents in order to find optimized ways for adjusting the shape and position of each individual vehicle component 1 according to preferred parameters or given requirements, e.g. by minimizing deviations from nominal positions while keeping loads, stresses and strains below an upper limit or while optimizing the whole production process for a set of various parameters in order to find the 'best' way for saving and reducing lead time, minimizing built-in stresses, avoiding cracks and local overloads or other assembly problems. The components of the production system 50 may further interact with "smart tools", like for example assembly robots for painting, drilling or the like, such that these are included actively in a self-optimizing multi-agent based control system, wherein the smart tools consider relevant feedback from the vehicle components 1 and the embedded sensors. In this vein many other processes may be transferred and optimized by an appropriate algorithm, like for example manufacturing processes (autoclave cycle, non-destructive testing etc.), assembly processes (drilling, riveting etc.), surface treatment processes (activation, painting etc.), handling processes (internal or external transport etc.), logistic processes

[0019] Various modifications and variants of the present invention will be clear to the person of skill. Two examples are given in Figs. 4a and 4b, which schematically show production systems 50 for the automated assembly of vehicle components 1 according to further embodiments of the invention. Fig. 4a shows a single assembly system with one physical production system 9 including vehicle components 1, a position-measurement system 4 and positioner units 2, which are controlled by a computer-based control system 30. The vehicle components 1, the position-measurement system 4 and the positioner units 2 interact with each other and with the computer-based control system 30. Based on dedicated machine learning algorithms run on the computer-based control system 30, the production system 50 may learn about the assembly process and optimize the positioning process based on this. Fig. 4b depicts an extended example of this. Here, two physical production systems 9 (e.g. each of them configured as the one in Fig. 4a) are connected with each other and are controlled jointly via the computer-based control system 30. In principle, the individual components of both physical production systems 9 may exchange data directly with each other. Thus, both assembly stations may learn together or individually about the assembly process and optimize the positioning process accordingly.

[0020] In the foregoing detailed description, various features are grouped together in one or more examples or examples with the purpose of streamlining the disclosure. It is to be understood that the above description is intended to be illustrative, and not restrictive. Many other examples will be apparent to one skilled in the art upon reviewing the above specification.

[0021] The embodiments were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical applications, to thereby enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the invention and various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. Many other examples will be apparent to one skilled in the art upon reviewing the above specification.

List of reference signs



[0022] 
1
vehicle component
2
positioner unit
3
assembly position
3'
nominal assembly position
4
position-measurement system
5
force sensor
6
simulation model
7
mounting point
8
database
9
physical production system
10
status sensor
11
data storage
12
status data
13
identification and configuration data
20
multi-agent system
21
vehicle-component agent
22
positioner agent
23
neural network
24
production model
30
computer-based control system
50
production system
100
aircraft
M
method
M1
method step
M2
method step
M3
method step
M4
method step
M5
method step
M6
method step
M7
method step



Claims

1. Production system (50) for the automated assembly of vehicle components (1), in particular for the automated assembly of structural components of an aircraft or spacecraft (100), the production system (50) comprising:

vehicle components (1) being provided with status sensors (10), each status sensor (10) being configured to determine status data (12) of the respective vehicle component (1);

positioner units (2) being configured to grip the respectively associated vehicle component (1) at mounting points (7) and move the respectively associated vehicle component (1) into an assembly position (3);

a position-measurement system (4) being configured to determine the assembly position (3) of each vehicle component (1);

force sensors (5) being configured to determine at least one of reaction forces and moments of each gripped vehicle component (1) at the mounting points (7) in the assembly position (3); and

a computer-based control system (30) being in data communication with the status sensors (10) of the vehicle components (1), the positioner units (2), the position-measurement system (4) and the force sensors (5), and being configured to control the positioner units (2) based on the determined status data (12), the determined assembly positions (3) and the determined reaction forces and moments of the vehicle components (1).


 
2. Production system (50) according to claim 1, wherein the computer based control-system (30) comprises a multi-agent system (20) including positioner agents (22), the computer based-control system (30) being configured to actively control each positioner unit (2) via an associated positioner agent (22).
 
3. Production system (50) according to claim 2, wherein the multi-agent system (20) further comprises vehicle-component agents (21), the computer based-control system (30) being configured to actively control each vehicle component (1) via an associated vehicle-component agent (21).
 
4. Production system (50) according one of the preceding claims, wherein each vehicle component (1) is in data communication with a data storage (11), the data storage (11) being configured to store the status data (12) and identification and configuration data (13) of the respective vehicle-component (1).
 
5. Production system (50) according to claim 4, wherein the data storage (11) is implemented in the respective vehicle component (1).
 
6. Production system (50) according one of the preceding claims, wherein the status data (12) comprise at least one of load data, stress data, strain data, structural health data, proximity data and environmental data.
 
7. Production system (50) according one of the preceding claims, wherein the status sensors (10) comprise at least one of load cells, stress gauges, strain gauges, structural health monitoring sensors, proximity sensors and environmental sensors.
 
8. Production system (50) according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the force sensors (5) comprise load cells being mounted to the positioner units (2).
 
9. Production system (50) according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the position-measurement system (4) comprises a laser tracker.
 
10. Method (M) for controlling a production system (50) for the automated assembly of vehicle components (1), in particular for the automated assembly of structural components of an aircraft or spacecraft (100), the method (M) comprising:

gripping (M1) each vehicle component (1) with respectively associated positioner units (2) at mounting points (7);

moving (M2) each vehicle component (1) with the respectively associated positioner units (2) into an assembly position (3);

determining (M3) the assembly position (3) of each vehicle component (1) with a position-measurement system (4);

determining (M4) at least one of reaction forces and moments of each gripped vehicle component (1) with force sensors (5) at the mounting points (7) in the assembly position (3);

determining (M5) status data (12) of each vehicle component (1) with status sensors (10) provided at each vehicle component (1);

communicating (M6) data between a computer-based control system (30) and the status sensors (10) of the vehicle components (1), the positioner units (2), the position-measurement system (4) and the force sensors (5); and

controlling (M7) the positioner units (2) with the computer-based control system (30) based on the determined status data (12), the determined assembly positions (3) and the determined reactions forces and moments of the vehicle components (1).


 
11. Method (M) according to claim 10, wherein each positioner unit (2) is actively controlled by the computer based control-system (30) via an associated positioner agent (22) within a multi-agent system (20) of the computer based control-system (30).
 
12. Method (M) according to claim 11, wherein each vehicle component (1) is actively controlled by the computer based control-system (30) via an associated vehicle-component agent (21) within the multi-agent system (20).
 
13. Method (M) according to one of the claims 10 to 12, wherein the positioner units (2) are collectively controlled to minimize deviations of the determined assembly positions (3) of the vehicle components (1) from nominal assembly positions (3') of the vehicle components (1).
 
14. Method (M) according to claim 13, wherein the deviations are minimized under consideration of the determined status data (12) of the vehicle components (1) and the determined reaction forces and moments at the mounting points (7) of the vehicle components (1).
 
15. Method (M) according to claim 13 or 14, wherein the deviations are minimized based on a neural network (23) representing the behavior of the vehicle components (1) and the positioner units (2).
 


Ansprüche

1. Produktionssystem (50) für die automatisierte Montage von Fahrzeugkomponenten (1), insbesondere für die automatisierte Montage von Strukturkomponenten eines Luft- oder Raumfahrzeugs (100),
wobei das Produktionssystem (50) umfasst:

Fahrzeugkomponenten (1), die mit Statussensoren (10) versehen sind, wobei jeder Statussensor (10) so konfiguriert ist, dass er Zustandsdaten (12) der jeweiligen Fahrzeugkomponente (1) bestimmt;

Positioniereinheiten (2), die so konfiguriert sind, dass sie die jeweils zugeordnete Fahrzeugkomponente (1) an Montagepunkten (7) greifen und die jeweils zugeordnete Fahrzeugkomponente (1) in eine Montageposition (3) bewegen;
wobei ein Positionmesssystem (4) konfiguriert ist, um die Montageposition (3) jeder Fahrzeugkomponente (1) zu bestimmen;

Kraftsensoren (5), die so konfiguriert sind, dass sie Reaktionskräfte und/oder - momente jedes gegriffenen Fahrzeugbauteils (1) an den Montagepunkten (7) in der Montageposition (3) bestimmen; und

ein rechnergestütztes Steuersystem (30), das mit den Zustandssensoren (10) der Fahrzeugkomponenten (1), den Positioniereinheiten (2), dem Positionmeßsystem (4) und den Kraftsensoren (5) in Datenkommunikation steht und dazu ausgelegt ist, die Positioniereinheiten (2) auf der Grundlage der ermittelten Zustandsdaten (12), der ermittelten Montagepositionen (3) und der ermittelten Reaktionskräfte und -momente der Fahrzeugkomponenten (1) zu steuern.


 
2. Produktionssystem (50) nach Anspruch 1,
wobei das computergestützte Steuersystem (30) ein Multiagentensystem (20) mit Positionieragenten (22) umfasst, wobei das computergestützte Steuersystem (30) so konfiguriert ist, dass es jede Positioniereinheit (2) über einen zugehörigen Positionieragenten (22) aktiv steuert.
 
3. Produktionssystem (50) nach Anspruch 2, wobei das Multi-Agenten-System (20) ferner Fahrzeugkomponenten-Agenten (21) umfasst, wobei das computergestützte Steuersystem (30) so konfiguriert ist, dass es jede Fahrzeugkomponente (1) über einen zugeordneten Fahrzeugkomponenten-Agenten (21) aktiv steuert.
 
4. Produktionssystem (50) gemäß einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche,
wobei jede Fahrzeugkomponente (1) in Datenkommunikation mit einem Datenspeicher (11) steht, wobei der Datenspeicher (11) konfiguriert ist, um die Statusdaten (12) und Identifizierungs- und Konfigurationsdaten (13) der jeweiligen Fahrzeugkomponente (1) zu speichern.
 
5. Produktionssystem (50) nach Anspruch 4,
wobei die Datenspeicherung (11) in der jeweiligen Fahrzeugkomponente (1) implementiert ist.
 
6. Produktionssystem (50) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche,
wobei die Zustandsdaten (12) mindestens eines der folgenden umfassen: Belastungsdaten, Beanspruchungsdaten, Dehnungsdaten, strukturelle Gesundheitsdaten, Näherungsdaten und Umweltdaten.
 
7. Produktionssystem (50) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche,
wobei die Statussensoren (10) mindestens einen von Kraftmesszellen, Spannungsmessern, Dehnungsmessern, Sensoren zur Überwachung des strukturellen Zustands, Näherungssensoren und Umgebungssensoren umfassen.
 
8. Produktionssystem (50) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche,
wobei die Kraftsensoren (5) Wägezellen umfassen, die an den Positioniereinheiten (2) montiert sind.
 
9. Produktionssystem (50) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche,
wobei das Positionmeßsystem (4) einen Lasertracker umfaßt.
 
10. Verfahren (M) zur Steuerung eines Produktionssystems (50) für die automatisierte Montage von Fahrzeugkomponenten (1), insbesondere für die automatisierte Montage von Strukturkomponenten eines Luft- oder Raumfahrzeugs (100),
wobei das Verfahren (M) umfasst:

Greifen (M1) jedes Fahrzeugbauteils (1) mit jeweils zugehörigen Positioniereinheiten (2) an Montagepunkten (7);

Bewegen (M2) jedes Fahrzeugbauteils (1) mit den jeweils zugeordneten Positioniereinheiten (2) in eine Montageposition (3);

Bestimmen (M3) der Montageposition (3) jedes Fahrzeugbauteils (1) mit einem Positionmeßsystem (4);

Bestimmen (M4) mindestens einer der Reaktionskräfte und -momente jedes gegriffenen Fahrzeugbauteils (1) mit Kraftsensoren (5) an den Montagepunkten (7) in der Montageposition (3);

Bestimmen (M5) von Zustandsdaten (12) jeder Fahrzeugkomponente (1) mit Statussensoren (10), die an jeder Fahrzeugkomponente (1) vorgesehen sind;

Kommunizieren (M6) von Daten zwischen einem computergestützten Steuersystem (30) und den Statussensoren (10) der Fahrzeugkomponenten (1), den Positioniereinheiten (2), dem Positionmeßsystem (4) und den Kraftsensoren (5); und

Steuerung (M7) der Stellungsreglereinheiten (2) mit dem rechnergestützten Steuerungssystem (30) auf der Grundlage der ermittelten Zustandsdaten (12), der ermittelten Montagepositionen (3) und der ermittelten Reaktionskräfte und -momente der Fahrzeugkomponenten (1).


 
11. Verfahren (M) nach Anspruch 10,
wobei jede Positioniereinheit (2) aktiv durch das computergestützte Steuersystem (30) über ein zugehöriges Positioniermittel (22) innerhalb eines Multiagentensystems (20) des computergestützten Steuersystems (30) gesteuert wird.
 
12. Verfahren (M) nach Anspruch 11,
wobei jede Fahrzeugkomponente (1) durch das computergestützte Steuersystem (30) über einen zugeordneten Fahrzeugkomponenten-Agenten (21) innerhalb des Multi-Agenten-Systems (20) aktiv gesteuert wird.
 
13. Verfahren (M) nach einem der Ansprüche 10 bis 12,
wobei die Positioniereinheiten (2) kollektiv gesteuert werden, um Abweichungen der bestimmten Montagepositionen (3) der Fahrzeugkomponenten (1) von nominalen Montagepositionen (3') der Fahrzeugkomponenten (1) zu minimieren.
 
14. Verfahren (M) nach Anspruch 13,
wobei die Abweichungen unter Berücksichtigung der ermittelten Zustandsdaten (12) der Fahrzeugkomponenten (1) und der ermittelten Reaktionskräfte und -momente an den Befestigungspunkten (7) der Fahrzeugkomponenten (1) minimiert werden.
 
15. Verfahren (M) nach Anspruch 13 oder 14,
bei dem die Abweichungen auf der Grundlage eines neuronalen Netzes (23), das das Verhalten der Fahrzeugkomponenten (1) und der Positioniereinheiten (2) darstellt, minimiert werden.
 


Revendications

1. Système de production (50) pour l'assemblage automatisé d'éléments de véhicules (1), en particulier pour l'assemblage automatisé d'éléments de structure d'un aéronef ou d'un vaisseau spatial (100),
le système de production (50) comprenant :

les composants de véhicule (1) étant munis de capteurs d'état (10), chaque capteur d'état (10) étant configuré pour déterminer les données d'état (12) du composant de véhicule (1) considéré ;

les unités de positionnement (2) sont configurées pour saisir l'élément de véhicule (1) respectivement associé aux points de montage (7) et pour déplacer l'élément de véhicule (1) respectivement associé dans une position de montage (3) ;

un système de mesure de position (4) configuré pour déterminer la position de montage (3) de chaque élément de véhicule (1) ;

des capteurs de force (5) étant configurés pour déterminer au moins une des forces et des moments de réaction de chaque élément de véhicule (1) saisi aux points de montage (7) dans la position de montage (3) ; et

un système de commande informatisé (30) qui est en communication de données avec les capteurs d'état (10) des composants du véhicule (1), les unités de positionnement (2), le système de mesure de la position (4) et les capteurs de force (5), et

qui est conçu pour commander les unités de positionnement (2) sur la base des données d'état déterminées (12), des positions de montage déterminées (3) et des forces et moments de réaction déterminés des composants du véhicule (1).


 
2. Système de production (50) selon la revendication 1,
dans lequel le système de commande informatisé (30) comprend un système multi-agent (20) comprenant des agents de positionnement (22), le système de commande informatisé (30) étant configuré pour commander de manière active chaque unité de positionnement (2) via un agent de positionnement associé (22).
 
3. Système de production (50) selon la revendication 2,
dans lequel le système multi-agent (20) comprend en outre des agents de composants de véhicule (21), le système de commande informatisé (30) étant configuré pour commander activement chaque composant de véhicule (1) via un agent de composant de véhicule associé (21).
 
4. Système de production (50) selon l'une des revendications précédentes,
dans lequel chaque composant de véhicule (1) est en communication de données avec une mémoire de données (11), la mémoire de données (11) étant configurée pour stocker les données d'état (12) et les données d'identification et de configuration (13) du composant de véhicule (1) respectif.
 
5. Système de production (50) selon la revendication 4,
dans lequel la mémoire de données (11) est mise en oeuvre dans le composant de véhicule respectif (1).
 
6. Système de production (50) selon l'une des revendications précédentes,
dans lequel les données d'état (12) comprennent au moins l'une des données de charge, de contrainte, de déformation, de santé structurelle, de proximité et d'environnement.
 
7. Système de production (50) selon l'une des revendications précédentes,
dans lequel les capteurs d'état (10) comprennent au moins l'un des éléments suivants : cellules de charge, jauges de contrainte, jauges de déformation, capteurs de surveillance de la santé structurelle, capteurs de proximité et capteurs environnementaux.
 
8. Système de production (50) selon l'une des revendications précédentes,
dans lequel les capteurs de force (5) comprennent des cellules de charge qui sont montées sur les unités de positionnement (2).
 
9. Système de production (50) selon l'une des revendications précédentes,
dans lequel le système de mesure de position (4) comprend un laser de poursuite.
 
10. Procédé (M) de commande d'un système de production (50) pour l'assemblage automatisé d'éléments de véhicule (1), en particulier pour l'assemblage automatisé d'éléments de structure d'un aéronef ou d'un engin spatial (100),
le procédé (M) comprenant:

la préhension (M1) de chaque composant de véhicule (1) avec des unités de positionnement (2) respectivement associées aux points de montage (7) ;

déplacer (M2) chaque composant de véhicule (1) avec les unités de positionnement (2) respectivement associées dans une position d'assemblage (3) ;

déterminer (M3) la position de montage (3) de chaque élément de véhicule (1) à l'aide d'un système de mesure de position (4) ;

déterminer (M4) au moins une des forces et des moments de réaction de chaque élément de véhicule (1) saisi avec des capteurs de force (5) aux points de montage (7) dans la position de montage (3) ;

la détermination (M5) des données d'état (12) de chaque élément du véhicule (1) avec des capteurs d'état (10) prévus sur chaque élément du véhicule (1) ;

la communication (M6) de données entre un système de commande informatisé (30) et les capteurs d'état (10) des composants du véhicule (1), les unités de positionnement (2), le système de mesure de la position (4) et les capteurs de force (5) ; et

contrôler (M7) les unités de positionnement (2) avec le système de contrôle informatisé (30) sur la base des données d'état déterminées (12), des positions de montage déterminées (3) et des forces et moments de réaction déterminés des composants du véhicule (1).


 
11. Procédé (M) selon la revendication 10,
dans laquelle chaque unité de positionnement (2) est activement commandée par le système de commande informatisé (30) via un agent de positionnement associé (22) dans un système multi-agent (20) du système de commande informatisé (30).
 
12. Procédé (M) selon la revendication 11,
dans lequel chaque composant de véhicule (1) est activement commandé par le système de commande informatisé (30) par l'intermédiaire d'un agent de composant de véhicule associé (21) dans le système multi-agent (20).
 
13. Procédé (M) selon l'une des revendications 10 à 12,
dans lequel les unités de positionnement (2) sont commandées collectivement pour minimiser les écarts des positions de montage déterminées (3) des composants du véhicule (1) par rapport aux positions de montage nominales (3') des composants du véhicule (1).
 
14. Procédé (M) selon la revendication 13,
dans lequel les écarts sont minimisés en tenant compte des données d'état déterminées (12) des composants du véhicule (1) et des forces et moments de réaction déterminés aux points de montage (7) des composants du véhicule (1).
 
15. Procédé (M) selon la revendication 13 ou 14,
dans laquelle les écarts sont mini-misés sur la base d'un réseau neuronal (23) représentant le comportement des composants du véhicule (1) et des unités de positionnement (2).
 




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REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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Patent documents cited in the description




Non-patent literature cited in the description