GKN has selected Germany’s Brötje Aerospace to supply an advanced moving line assembly system that will mate wing trailing edge and main landing gear parts onto Airbus A350XWB all-composite rear wing spars.
“Our A350XWB contracts are at the heart of our strategic move into the manufacture and supply of large, fully integrated sections of the aircraft wing,” said Phil Swash, CEO of GKN Aerostructures. “We are investing heavily to create a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing and assembly plant at our operation in Bristol [Filton], UK. It will become the global center of manufacturing excellence in advanced wing structures.”
Swash added that the Brötje system would form a key element of the new facility, “increasing the speed, efficiency and flexibility of the complex wing assembly process” through the use of automated guided vehicles to move structures through work stations dedicated to procedures such as five-axis machining, robotic drilling and laser scanning. The facility is due to produce the first development A350XWB wing structures in 2010.