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26.04.2018

Premium AEROTEC wins once again German Aviation Innovation Award for state-of-the-art assembly area

At the ILA airshow in Berlin, Premium AEROTEC has won the German Aviation Innovation Award for the second time in a row. In the “Industry 4.0” category Premium AEROTEC beat strong competition with its state-of-the-art assembly area at its Varel site. In 2017, the company had been awarded for 3D-printed components for the A350 XWB long-range aircraft.

In its recently opened 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 – supported by pioneering digital elements. In the future, Airbus A321 LR, 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.

„After our success in last year’s competition, this renewed honor cannot be overstated. It underlines our wide range of innovations“, said Dr. Jens Walla, Head of Operations and member of the Executive Board of Premium AEROTEC. „Last year, the focus was on our technological capabilities in development and production of 3D-printed components, now on a state-of-the-art assembly area which is unique in the world. This assembly area combines numerous digital elements and shows the future of Germany as an industrial nation.”

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).

A real world premier means 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.

Today’s honor is the highlight of a very successful competition for this year’s German Aviation Innovation Award: With another contribution, Premium AEROTEC, with its Partners EOS and Daimler, entered the final round in the category „Cross Innovation”. Since 2017 the three partner companies have been developing the next generation of additive manufacturing (AM) in their NextGenAM project. Via this cooperation, the companies are laying the foundations for the implementation of this technology in large-scale serial manufacturing.

Premium AEROTEC is a global player in the aerospace industry and generated revenues of 2 billion euros in 2017. The company’s core business lies in the development and production of metal and carbon fibre composite aircraft structures. The company has sites in Augsburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Nordenham and Varel in Germany, as well as in Braşov in Romania. For further information see: www.premium-aerotec.com.