Aerospace Assembly–Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) for Wing Assembly

Fori provided six high capacity Aerospace AGVs for the automated transport of tooling for stringer assembly, supporting the wing assembly.


  • Guidance Technology: Magnetic bar, inertial with pencil magnets, natural feature, laser contour
  • Capacity: 40,000 lbs./54,545 kg.
  • Safety: Safety scanners and bumpers, Siemens safety PLC, system interlocks
  • Controls: Siemens open architecture, vehicle management system
  • Results: Improved flexibility, decreased crane usage
  • Solutions: Vehicle synchronization, auto-leveling, vehicle management system

The six high capacity AGVs, capable of auto-leveling and synchronized transport of tooling up to 40,000 pounds have been designed to accommodate projected wing production. The AGV system is required to be synchronized during the lift of the tooling and product, as well as synchronization of the three AGVs during transport. The system includes an auto-leveling feature that dynamically levels the tooling during travel to ensure a level plane is maintained during transport between stations. The Fori AGVs will be the primary method of transporting the tooling and product through the assembly process.  Traditional assembly systems rely heavily on overhead crane utilization, whereas the AGV based solution eliminates the reliance on cranes.

Boeing - CWC - Stringer AGV - 4

The AGVs were developed to support the customer’s lean automated manufacturing methodology. The goal of the project was to automate the entire material handling process for the assembly of the stringers (specifically the load and unload of the autoclaves used for curing the composite wing stringers). The loading of the autoclave is completed utilizing a natural feature guidance system. Then the AGV uses the walls of the loaded autoclave for the guidance in and out, while still maintaining +/- 5mm accuracy.

The design intent was to build a vehicle that was modular and interchangeable. The AGV system is required to transport many tools of different lengths and weights. The AGV system needs to be able to accommodate synchronization of up to three AGVs during the lift and transport from assembly stations.

Boeing - CWC - Stringer AGV - 1

Each of the AGVs is outfitted with two servo based lifters and a laser alignment system which provides measurement feedback to the onboard PLC for the dynamic leveling of the tooling during transport. The system must maintain levelness within +/- 1/8” from each end of the tool.

A Fori Vehicle Management System (VMS) has been provided to monitor system I/O, communication between the AGVs, tooling and automated assembly stations. Scheduling of moves also occurs at the Fori VMS.

For more information about Fori Automation’s Aerospace AGV products, please visit our website.


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