Novel Methods of Maneuvering Large Tools for Composite Processing

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Mubarak, Mustafa
Anwar, Maheen
Comte, Matthew
Turnbull, James
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Boeing Canada Winnipeg (BCW) is currently facing an issue regarding their current process for maneuvering their large shaping tools used for assembling composite components. These composite parts are constructed using a hand layup method which involves manually laying sheets of carbon-fiber cloth, adhesive, and honeycomb panels on shaping tools. BCW's present strategy for moving the LMs and BAJs through their plant is troublesome, risky, and tedious. While operators can move the devices with a forklift, maintaining control over the tool while turning is difficult. Furthermore, since there is nothing affixing the tool to the forklift, it could potentially slip off, harming equipment and employees. When the tool is at the autoclave station, the need to remove and reinstall its casters utilizes significant time and assets. The result of these deficiencies is an unsafe work environment and a decrease in the efficiency of the plant. Upon initiation of this project, the client requested that the team come up with 2 top concepts, one being an original design (make solution) and the other being an off the shelf product (buy solution). These top two designs would then be compared using a make/buy analysis and the better of the two option would be further investigated. After researching possible solutions, the team generated and analyzed 10 original design concepts and 3 “off the shelf” concepts. The U-shaped scissor lift platform concept was chosen to be the top original design and a motorized pallet jack created by Combi-Lift was deemed to be the top “off the shelf” design. The team continued with the original design (make solution) and drafted a detailed cost report and implementation for that product. The final designed product, which Dream-Aero calls “The U-Cart”, consists of a steel frame, dual wheel casters, a motorized lifting mechanism, and forklift locking mechanism. The U-Cart will be driven by a forklift and will safely lift and maneuver BCW’s large shaping tools between different areas of the facility. The U-Carts tapered design will also allow for the cure cart to be easily lined up under the shaping tool, where the large tools will then be […]