26 January 2014

How a single pedestrian operator can move heavy components in the A350 XWB manufacturing and assembly process?

Wing assembly plant in Broughton is responsible for manufacturing the wings on nearly all Airbus aircraft, from the company’s popular A320 to the A350 XWB.

The complex manufacturing and assembly process involved in building a wing requires the fast, safe and effective transportation of components and tooling around the factory.
MasterMover has supplied models from its MasterTug range as a solution for moving everything from stringers through to complete wings for the A320. As demands on the Broughton operation have grown, so has the role for the MasterTug. Today, the tugs can be found not only moving wing parts but also moving support equipment, including mobile working platforms, production tooling, kitting trolleys and test equipment.

Designed and manufactured by MasterMover using the principle of weight transfer, electric tugs enable a single pedestrian operator to move heavy components (from 4Tn to 15Tn) with relatively small equipment by generating tractive force from the load itself. As components can be moved in a safe and controlled manner without the need for forklifts or cranes, Airbus is able to organize its assembly layout to suit its specific working practices.

The expansion of MasterMover’s involvement at Airbus Broughton has been a continuous process from A320 wing assembly moving-line to A350 assembly line, as Hugh Freer, sales director at MasterMover explained:   “As one department begins to use the MasterTug, their neighbors decide it will also be ideal for their purposes, and so on. The initial proposition proves itself very quickly.”

Based on the article “Airbus is using pedestrian electric tugs from MasterMover as an integral part of its wing assembly plant in Broughton “ published in Aerospace Manufacturing

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