LOw COst Manufacturing and Assembly of Composite and Hybrid Structures (LOCOMACHS)
Research Project, 2012 – 2016

The continued use of composite materials in the aerospace industry has been addressed in several past research projects which have focused on new design solutions and composite manufacturing processes. However an area which has been given much less attention up until now is how to achieve a time and cost effective lean assembly production system. The current airframe assembly process of composites, metals and hybrid structures is affected by an important number of non-added value operations, which strongly cause disruptions and prevents fast ramp-up and high production rates.

LOCOMACHS will focus on significantly reducing or totally eliminating the most time-consuming and hence expensive non-added value operations, e.g. temporary assembly to check gaps, shimming, dismantling and tool handling. The project will improve the design conditions which today strongly dictate the way part manufacture and assembly is performed. Important step changes will be made by dramatically improving the use of tolerance and geometrical variation management. The project will integrate existing technologies with missing breakthrough technologies developed and matured within LOCOMACHS.

To support the industrialisation of future assembly production lines, key innovations such as intelligent drilling, high speed non-contact hole inspection, compact automation and active flexible tooling will be demonstrated. The design and assembly process improvements and breakthrough technologies will be validated on two physical partial wing box demonstrators, a virtual fuselage section demonstrator and additionally a virtual demonstrator showing a complete wing structure in the context of the next generation lean production flow.

This Level 2 proposal is being submitted in the 5th Call FP7-AAT-2012-RTD-1 against the activity area AAT.2012.4.4-1 Integrated approach and demonstration to lean manufacturing of metal, composite and hybrid aircraft / engine structures by a Consortium led by Saab AB.

Project leader: Rikard Söderberg

Wingquist Laboratory
Geometry Assurance & Robust Design


Rikard Söderberg (contact)

Product and Production Development

Ilker Erdem

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Lars Lindkvist

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Product Development

Kristina Wärmefjord

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Product Development


Airbus Group

Leiden, Netherlands

Airbus Group

Leiden, Netherlands

Alenia Aermacchi

Venegono Superiore Va, Italy


Paris, France

BCT Steuerungs- und DV-Systeme

Dortmund, Germany

Bombardier Transportation Sweden

Göteborg, Sweden

Cobham Advanced Composites

Wimborne, United Kingdom

Creo Dynamics

Linkoping, Sweden

Dassault Aviation

Paris, France

Delfoi Sweden

Molndal, Sweden

Ecole Normale Superieure (ENS)

Paris Cedex 05, France

European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), France

Paris, France

German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Köln, Germany

GKN Aerospace Services

East Cowes, United Kingdom

GKN Aerospace Sweden

Trollhättan, Sweden

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)

Lod, Israel

Linköping University

Linköping, Sweden

Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC)

Coventry, United Kingdom

National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR)

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Stockholm, Sweden


Stockholm, Sweden


Angleur, Belgium

Short Brothers

Belfast, United Kingdom


Gosselies, Belgium


Besancon, France


Derio, Spain

Tecnatom SA

San Sebastian De Los Reyes - Madrid, Spain

The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA)

Gif-sur-Yvette, France

Turkish Aerospace Industries

Ankara, Turkey

University of Salerno

Fisciano (Sa), Italy


European Commission (EC)

Project ID: EC/FP7/314003
Funding Chalmers participation during 2012–2016

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure

Sustainable development

Driving Forces


Areas of Advance


More information

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