High precision tooling and ‘zero defects’ enhance aviation safety

Flawless aerospace components are the result of assembly by high precision tools and Atlas Copco tools are increasingly used in demanding aircraft manufacturing applications worldwide. In China, Hafei Airbus has been using advanced Atlas Copco drilling equipment for hole making in composite materials since 2010 and the company reports that the tools continue to give high performance after many years of high-intensity use.

January 11, 2018

In recent years, along with the development of China’s aerospace industry, domestic aircraft manufacturers and aviation companies have ventured beyond China’s borders actively seeking cooperation with prestigious international aviation enterprises in order to establish a “new ecology” within the industry.

Advanced composite manufacturing
zero defects airbus china

An example of this type of international cooperation is the establishment of Harbin Hafei Airbus Composite Manufacturing Center Company Limited (Hafei Airbus), which was co-founded in 2009 by the Airbus Group and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).

Using advanced composite material manufacturing technologies, Hafei Airbus mainly focuses on producing components for the global best-selling Airbus A320 series and Airbus A350XWB wide-body airliners. The company is also part of the R&D, prototyping and mass production of current and future Airbus projects.

Manufacturing safety critical components

Important components of an airplane’s horizontal tail, the elevators are “control surfaces” used to control the ascent and descent of the aircraft and, as such, their function is critical. On the elevator assembly lines of Hafei Airbus, various types of grinders and power drills from Atlas Copco are in use. The cooperation between Atlas Copco and Hafei Airbus dates back to 2010. Today, in addition to the A350 project, more than 300 Atlas Copco material removal tools are being used in the A320 and other projects. These include pneumatic power drills, grinders, frangible collar assembly tools, and ADU’s (Advanced Drilling Units) for positive feed drilling, which produce very high hole quality.

“The Atlas Copco tools we are using are well designed and comfortable and stable to operate,” says a representative from the A350 elevator assembly team at Hafei Airbus. “The tools continue to perform very well after long-term, high-intensity use, which is reassuring for our assembly line operators.”

‘Zero defects’ policy

A subsidiary of AVIC, Hafei continuously upholds its “zero defects" core manufacturing concept and is committed to the goal of “Perfection in every detail”. As the global aviation industry leader, the Airbus Group has extremely strict requirements on process technology and standardization of component production.

After its establishment, Hafei Airbus introduced a range of technological processes from the Airbus Group to satisfy Airbus’ technical requirements in all aspects. In the selection of tool suppliers, the most valued merits for Hafei Airbus are stable quality, professional technical support and aftersales service capability.

Error-free hole making

These requirements fit perfectly with Atlas Copco’s highly professional products and services for aircraft manufacturers as well as with the company’s extensive experience in aircraft assembly. Flawless aerospace components are the result of assembly by high precision tools, and safe and stable aviation is partly thanks to efficient, error-free drilling and precise grinding operations.

“Tools from Atlas Copco enhance the efficiency and accuracy of our processes, which further stabilizes our product quality, avoids product defects caused by tools, and lowers the downtime ratio”

Hafei Airbus A350 project member

Advanced tools for aerospace
zero defects airbus china

The Atlas Copco Industrial Technique China team will continue its commitment to developing customers in the aviation industry. Jeffrey Wu, Business Line Manager, General Industry division from Customer Center China said: “To meet the needs of local customers Atlas Copco has the benefit of international cooperation as well as advanced manufacturing solutions for aerospace applications. With these advantages, we will promote the sustainable development of the Chinese aviation industry, and make Atlas Copco ‘First in mind-First in choice®’ for our customers in the industry.”

Written by Ashley Song