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News Archive

The Brouchton North Factory and other 1 350 XWB support facilities

24. May 2010. | 09:21 09:24

Source: EMGportal

The construction of Airbus Broughton’s North Factory, where the wings for the A 350 XWB will be produced, is nearly complete.

The North Factory

The construction of Airbus Broughton’s North Factory, where the wings for the A 350 XWB will be produced, is nearly complete.

The facility is being constructed alongside the existing long-range aircraft wing equipping building at the Broughton site. Work will be completed during the fourth quarter of 2010, with construction costs and associated works representing an overall investment figure in excess of £100 million.

When complete, the building will measure 269 metres long, 205 metres wide, with the highest point reaaching 24 metres. The wing manufacturing facility will cover a total area of 5.2 hectares.

In compliance with Airbus’ commitments to eco-efficiency, the facility has been designed to achieve a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessement Method (BREEAM) rating. Methods used to reach this include high levels of insulation in the building, the use of renewable energy sources (e.g. solar heating, ground/air source heating, photovoltaic etc), as well as passive ventilation and rainwater harvesting. In addition, there will be rogorous management and elimination of waste during the construction process. In line with this, a Building Menagement System will be used to efficiently manage the building’s environment and energy consuption.

Demobox 2

Building A 350 XWB wings „right first time“ is critical to the programme’s delivery schedule, so Airbus has invested 50 million euros in a demonstrator wing-box to iron out any assembly issues and to ensure the first wing out of jig is mature.

Demobox 2 provides a variety of benefits and is the fastest route to A 350 serial production. While not classified as a prototype wing, DB2 is a key learning platform and the lessons learnt from it to date have gone back into engineering, the production system, operational management and safety.

Digital Mock-up Unit (DMU)

Virtual reality – or three dimensional immersive computer simulation – is allowing Airbus workers on the A 350 XWB program to „look inside” the wing and to appreciate what it will be like to work inside the wing box.

The digital mock-up (DMU) and its associated tooling are being used to train manufacturing engineers, operators, process planners and logistic people what it will be like to work on the A 350 XWB wing in various activities. To view the DMU in 3D, users must wear special 3D glasses.

This is a prime example of Airbus’ use of advanced manufacturing techniques, and allows the company to use virtual modeling vs. traditional manufacturing techniques.

The software is updated every 24-hours by the various teams designing the wings around the world, so users have the most current data in front of them as they train.


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