American GFM installs new laser projection system

Assembly Guidance has received a launch order for five seats of Multitasking KitGuide from American GFM for a large composite aircraft production program.

Assembly Guidance (Chelmsford, Mass., USA) announced on Jan. 27 that it has received a launch order for five seats of Multitasking KitGuide from American GFM (Chesapeake, Va., USA) for a large composite aircraft production program that is increasing its rate. Using LASERGUIDE projectors to indicate the unloading sequence of plies on the cutter table, the new Multitasking KitGuide projects kitting sequences for two parts simultaneously, thus doubling the unloading rate.

“The multitasking feature enables our equipment to meet the increased rate demands of our production program,” reports Frank Elliott, advanced initiatives coordinator for GFM and American GFM organizations.

Originally introduced in 1995, KitGuide indicates the sequence for unloading a cutter by projecting a line of laser light showing the location of each ply in a logical sequence for a kit. The system reads any native nesting data and eliminates the inefficient requirement for cutter operators to read ply maps or sort from labels. The new Multitasking KitGuide is available in standalone or integrated configurations. When integrated with the AGFM cutter controller, the KitGuide automatically begins indicating ply locations for two parts as soon as cutting is complete. No operator activity is required to start the Multitasking KitGuide with the correct cutter files or configuration.

KitGuide’s simultaneous guidance of two cutter operators also enables a single kit to be unloaded from both sides of the table simultaneously, eliminating the need to get to plies that are out of reach from one side of the table. The plies from each side are combined offline, freeing the table to resume cutting. Each operator also has the option to wear a wireless printer that generates a detailed label to be placed on each ply as it is unloaded from the table.

Delivery and installation of Multitasking KitGuides at AGFM will occur in the second  quarter of 2010. As aircraft production ramps up, AGFM is installing another cutter for the program to meet current production needs.