Fuselage assembly jigs, via Hyde Group
Tritec specified, designed and installed the control system for the automation of the jigs for the Typhoon (Eurofighter) front fuselage assembly. The project was carried out at the BAe Systems Samlesbury production site as part of Hyde Group, a consortium of engineering companies.
Feasibility and Concept Design
The project involved meetings with the customer to offer several solutions and to agree a final operational specification. Tritec then produced a specification document for the project, which was signed off by the customer.
Process Control Design and Build
The jig was designed to hold and turn the fuselage in various set orientations, allowing the operators access to all areas. Jig metalwork and other hardware was supplied by other members of the Hyde group; Tritec supplied the control system for this.
The control system design incorporated a Mitsubishi PLC located in a cabinet. This interfaced to servo-motor drives, proximity and interlock switches, an infra-red safety curtain, external lamps and sounder, and a control panel featuring buttons to select rotational positions and indicator LEDs.
Allowing access to all parts of the fuselage while ensuring operator safety involved many technical challenges when designing the movable jig interlocks operating in hazardous environments. Four separate safety interlocks were incorporated into the control system design.
Installation and Commissioning
Tritec helped install and commission a total of ten control panels and movable jigs over a five month period.
Tritec also provided operations training for engineers using the system, and maintenance training for BAe Systems maintenance engineers. Full documentation was provided, including operations manuals, maintenance manuals and wiring diagrams.