Aerospace, aircraft and aeronautics manufacturers deal with many unique manufacturing challenges. Based off of some of Valley Box's customers stories we've compiled a list of 4 new tooling ideas for aero-products that you might not have thought of.
1. Ergonomic Tooling Positioners
Exceptional worker health and safety is vital to company morale, lowers accident rates, and in turn, workers comp rates. Ergonomic equipment is designed for specific tasks and environments in such a way as to improve health and safety.
Simply put, ergonomics is about fitting the task and equipment to the user. In a manufacturing plant or an assembly line ergonomic safety equipment is often custom designed to fit the specific needs of that company.
In the video above the positioner is designed to eliminate a process that previously required 3 employees to position landing gear into the aircraft by hand, a time consuming process that put a lot of physical strain on the employees.
Keep in mind if your workers have to lift, tilt or rotate your products during assembly, consider ergonomic tooling positioners with a built-in assistance because adding pumps, hydraulics and other such electric components can take the strain off workers.
2. In-House Build Stand
A little housekeeping can go a long way. If tools and materials are constantly cluttering the floors and other work areas, it’s time to consider a build stand. Build stands are often a combination of products integrated into one system. They are utilized throughout the entire assembly line, eliminating time consuming part transfers while organizing loose parts and tools needed to complete assembly (without the clutter).
The part pictured above helped an Aircraft Manufacturer streamline the sub-assembly of their landing gear by allowing all the parts to travel with the landing gear through the assembly line. By having the parts organized with the single piece of equipment at the beginning of the assembly phase they saw an increase in quality, a decrease in clutter and improved ergonomics for employees who no longer were required to pick up parts off the floor.
3. Stackable Sub-Assembly Tooling Fixture
One of the biggest challenges manufacturers face today is finding a suitable facility and a space design to fit your unique assembly line. The reason having the right space is so important is simple— inappropriate and insufficient amount of space usually leads to a significant reduction in line throughput, and even accidents. Slowed production and safety risks can be serious threat to your businesses bottom line, not to mention your reputation.
Fortunately, storing parts vertically can utilize unused vertical air space, while helping keep parts and other equipment from cluttering valuable floor space. Doing this saves space in your assembly line, which will ultimately keep processes running smoothly, your workers safe, and the money flowing.
4. Multi-Part Tooling Fixture
Multi-tool systems facilitate more than one function. By combining two or more functions into one tool you'll eliminate the need to store a vast array of equipment.
The fixture pictured above is a good example in that prior to installing tires to landing gear, this Aeronautics Company needed a device that would integrate three steps into one. The three-step process involved removing a tire from the rim, mounting the new tire, and sealing the bead. The customer was most concerned about the fixture accepting multiple sized airplane tires and they needed to be suitable for safe employee operation.
Check out this infographic that illustrates how this fixture works!