Airbus - Bremen
Case Study Airbus - Bremen

New heights in measurement precision

It hardly needs saying that measurement inaccuracies during aircraft construction can have enormous negative consequences. That is why the issues of quality assurance and measurement technology assume such paramount importance in the fields of aviation and space travel.  And that is also why Airbus uses no fewer than seven Leica Geosystems Laser Trackers in its Bremen factory. By using the tracker in combination with the new Leica T-Probe, the Bremen-based team has been able to achieve considerable savings in terms of both cost and time.

Airbus Engineering and Manufacturing are centrally managed, but rely on fully integrated cross-functional and trans-national team working practices, which bring together the capabilities and technical knowledge of 16 different locations in Germany, France, Spain and Great Britain. Every location produces complete aircraft sections, which are subsequently transported for final assembly purposes to Toulouse or Hamburg respectively. In addition to individual components for the German parts of the aircraft, team members at the Bremen factory produce all the necessary landing flaps for Airbus in the structural assembly process. They also prepare the wing assemblies for the A330 and A340 aircraft types. These are very demanding tasks, which demand extremely high levels of precision. To ensure these levels are attained in practice, the Bremen team employs seven Laser Trackers from Leica Geosystems.

Erwin Hoffmann is the leader of the ninemember measurement technology department, whose tasks include examination of large-capacity components, dismantling and removal of production tools, monitoring of examination systems and calibration of all examination systems on-site. He says: “We received our first Tracker in January 1999. Because of the types of problems we were confronted with at the time, in connection with production of the EF200 – the Eurofighter – we needed to acquire either a larger stationary measurement system or a more flexible system. We therefore carried out a comprehensive benchmarking exercise, the result of which was that the Leica Geosystems Laser Tracker emerged clearly as the best measurement system for us, on the grounds of both speed and cost efficiency. Today, we have three LTD500 Leica Laser Trackers and a further four of the current state-of-the-art Leica Geosystems Laser Tracker model, the LTD800, in use at Bremen. . . . .

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