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Airbus launches new automated A320 structure assembly line in Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg, Germany - The European commercial aircraft manufacturer Airbus has introduced its new automated fuselage structure assembly line in Hamburg that was exclusively launched for A320 Family jets.

The highly automated system showcases a big improvement in Airbus’ industrial production system.

The line has 20 robots, and features a new logistics concept, automated positioning by laser measurement and a digital data acquisition system.

At the first assembly section, Airbus is using a modular, lightweight automated system, called “Flextrack”, with eight robots drilling and counter-sinking 1,100 to 2,400 holes per longitudinal joint.

In the next production step, 12 robots are positioned on seven axes to connect the center and aft fuselage sections with the tail to create one main component. The robots there are drilling, counter-sinking, sealing and inserting 3,000 rivets per orbital joint.

In addition the use of robots, Airbus is also implementing new methods and technologies to optimize production, improve ergonomics and shorten lead times.

By embracing some of the latest technologies and processes, Airbus has begun its journey to set new standards in A320 Family production. This new fuselage structure assembly line is an essential enabler for the A320 Family ramp-up. Increasing the level of automation and robotics enables faster, more efficient manufacturing while keeping our prime focus on quality,

said Michael Schoellhorn, Airbus Chief Operating Officer.

At the Hamburg structure assembly facility, The fuselage shells are combined as single sections, and then are connected to aircraft fuselages at the manufacturer's final assembly lines located in France, Germany, China, and the United States.