A technician measures the gaps between frames and ducts on the F-35 center fuselage produced on Northrop Grumman’s integrated assembly line at Palmdale, California.

The National Association of Manufacturers has presented Northrop Grumman Corp. with Manufacturing Leadership Awards, to recognize the following technologies:

Assembly metadata integration project – extracts quality data from automated systems on the company’s F-35 integrated assembly line; advanced analytics mine data and automate manual efforts to identify discrepancies, generate reports, evaluate and document quality data, and define and direct corrective action.
Analytics-enabled complex assemblies (ACA) capability– leverages analytics to assemble complex airplane parts of diverse materials; machines complex parts on different machines, drills precision hole-bores; reduces complexity, cost, facility requirements, and risk; improves throughput, design-change sensitivity; used on manned/autonomous aircraft systems including U.S. Navy MQ-4C Triton, U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk.

Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and 3D analytics 
– improve airframe manufacturing processes; combine airframe manufacturing data with artificial intelligence/machine learning, AR, VR to capture human variability, work content that reduces rework, disruption, downtime.
(Left to right): Stefan Berroth, Product Manager, Recaro Aircraft Seating; Peter Hardie, Aviation Consultant and jury member; Jochen Lohrmann, head of innovation and advanced development, Recaro Aircraft Seating.

Recaro seats win design awards

Recaro Aircraft Seating won a Crystal Cabin Award for its “sleeping comfort in the sky” holistic approach to long-haul, economy class seating. The manufacturer created comfort elements in the headrest, seat bottom, and a flip cushion that enable better body posture, reduce pressure points, and make it easier to change sleeping positions. A jury of experts awarded the prize at the Aircraft Interiors Expo, in Hamburg, Germany.

Recaro also received a Red Dot 2019 Product Design Award for its BL3710 economy class seat that combines lightweight, ergonomic design with comfort.

Among the features: a 6-way adjustable headrest with integrated neck support to enhance passenger comfort and a meal-table that can be unfolded even when the tablet holder is in use.

An international jury selects Red Dot winners for exceptional design. This year, they evaluated 5,500 entries.

It’s the company’s second Red Dot Design Award. In 2012, Recaro’s BL3520 economy class seat was voted best of the best.

7D Kinematic Metrology acquires Nikon Metrology tracking business

Cambridge, Canada-based 7D Kinematic Metrology Inc. acquired Nikon Metrology’s iGPS dynamic tracking business. iGPS sensors can track movement of an unlimited number of devices such as large assembly parts, tools, and automated guided vehicles (AGVs), even within large facilities. The technology enables advanced manufacturing and assembly of large-scale products such as aircraft or aerospace components.

Nikon Corporate VP Tadashi Nakayama says the sale reflects Nikon’s decision “to focus on optical and X-ray inspection and non-contact metrology.”

7D Kinematic Metrology is part of Amrikart Ultraprecision group, specialists in real-time assisted assembly solutions.