KUKA Systems Corporation North America receives initial F-35 aircraft integrated assembly line order

KUKA Systems Corporation North America (KUKA) has received an order from Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) to implement the initial F-35 center fuselage Integrated Assembly Line (IAL) scope of work

18 May 2009

When completed in 2014, the IAL will represent an investment by Northrop Grumman of more than $100 million dollars. This system will improve product throughput, reduce manufacturing process times and improve quality.  

The IAL incorporates a number of automated systems and transport methods, which represents an advancement in the manufacturing technologies previously applied throughout the aerospace industry. These automated systems and transport methods will allow Northrop Grumman to realize a production rate of one aircraft per day. 

The IAL systems and tooling were previously developed by KUKA and resulted in a completely integrated assembly line encompassing 78 tool positions and more than 200,000 square feet of floor space.

The completion of the IAL will be the success of many man years of cooperation to design, build, integrate and install an aircraft assembly line as a system rather than a conglomeration of separate and independent tool systems.

KUKA concentrates on advanced solutions for industrial production processes. Since the company was founded over 100 years ago, it has stood for innovation in mechanical and systems engineering; it is one of the world's leading suppliers in the field of robot technology as well as in plant and systems engineering providing overall manufacturing solutions. With their ideas, concepts and solutions for the automation of industrial production processes, more than 6,000 employees generated sales revenues of around EUR 1.27 billion in 2008.

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