Advanced Integration Technology (AIT, Plano, Texas, USA), an industrial automation company delivering fully integrated plant floor systems to the aerospace industry, has been selected by Spirit AeroSystems (Wichita, Kan., USA) to design, develop and build four transporter systems to be used at Spirit's greenfield plant in Kinston, N.C. At this facility, Spirit will manufacture the Section 15 center composite fuselage structure.
The objective of the AIT systems is to transport carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) molds and tooling that enable Section15's manufacture throughout various cells and staging areas in the facility. AIT accomplishes this goal with standalone and tandem transporters that have integrated automatic guidance systems that provide a safe, efficient and reliable means of conveying and positioning their loads throughout the building.
"To achieve Spirit's load and productivity requirements, we developed our Hydrostatic Load Balancing Technology to uniformly distribute and stabilize the payload," said AIT president Ed Chalupa. "Transporters
were needed that could literally enable the loads to float while efficiently moving through the manufacturing process and minimize the potential stress to the structures and tools."
With load capacities of 100,000 lb/45,359 kg (in tandem mode), the AIT transporter systems use two real-time vision cameras that follow a line on the factory floor. The control system uses the data generated by the camera to automatically calculate speed and steering corrections. The systems operate in either auto-guidance or manual mode, with a chassis design that allows articulation to adapt to any deviations in the factory floor. With multi-function wireless control, the Spirit team will have total control of the transportersí omni-directional movement
for ultimate flexibility.