Premium AEROTEC launches a new door frame assembly line at its Varel site

All passengers on Airbus planes go through Premium AEROTEC aircraft door frames to access the cabin. The aviation supplier is investing in a state-of-the-art assembly area for the Varel site to ensure more efficient manufacturing of these complex components. This is comprised of two parallel and automated assembly lines with pioneering digital elements. Premium AEROTEC will thus boost its flexibility in terms of product diversity and hone its competitive edge.

In the new door frame assembly line (Door Surround Center, DSC), Premium AEROTEC transforms the previous stationary assembly of door frames into a state-of-the-art cyclic production process. In the future, Airbus A321neo ACF, A330neo and A350 XWB door frames will be assembled on these two production lines. Both lines introduce a higher level of automation to door frame assembly due to the integration of drilling robots and measuring robots. This will make a significant contribution to ensuring that the company retains its market position.

“The new door frame assembly is a milestone for our company in more ways than one”, said Dr Thomas Ehm, the Chairman of the Executive Board at Premium AEROTEC. “Modern and efficient assembly capabilities are a crucial factor for the market success of our products. Furthermore, we have managed to integrate digitalization into our day-to-day practice here. This ensures that processes are more streamlined and makes it easier for our employees to access the information needed.”

The two lines will enable a high degree of variation for the product: This means that a total of twelve different door frames, in metal or in carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), can be manufactured for the A350 XWB and A330neo on the joint assembly line. The transfer line for the A321neo ACF enables two different door surrounds to be assembled. The individual parts required for assembly will be made available at each assembly station at precisely the right time.

This new assembly line means that Premium AEROTEC is boosting its application of Industry 4.0 elements. Among other elements, an ultra-modern manufacturing execution system is used, which connects all of the stations of the DSC with each other. Employees can access all data which are relevant to production directly via a touch panel on the workbench – the dream of paperless production thus becomes reality with the DSC. Assembly equipment and complete assembled door frames are moved around the hall on an automated guided vehicle (AGV).

Furthermore, Premium AEROTEC celebrates a real world premier with the implementation of digital glasses (AeroGlasses) in industrial aircraft construction. The smart glasses feed the test criteria onto the lens in front of the tester’s eyes during the quality inspection. The tester then gives feedback on the individual points to be tested by voice command. This feedback is then sent back into the system, along with pictures of the component when necessary. The pictures are also taken using the glasses and can be sent to the digital file for the component without any other steps being taken.

Premium AEROTEC generated revenues of 2 billion euros in 2016. The company’s core business lies in the development and production of metal and carbon fibre composite aircraft structures. The company has manufacturing sites in Augsburg, Bremen, Nordenham and Varel in Germany, as well as in Braşov in Romania. For further information see: