MasterMover Sees Aerospace Industry Demand For Load Moving Tugs Soar
MasterMover has announced growing success as a supplier to the global aerospace industry, thanks to the ability of electric tugs to improve factory efficiency. Many leading aircraft manufacturers and suppliers including Airbus are using load moving tugs to move heavy, complex and highly valuable components in a flow line process saving vast sums of money on automated assembly lines.
Components such as stringers, complete wings and fuselage sections can be moved quickly, efficiently and safely using electric tugs. Tugs have also proved valuable for moving support equipment including mobile working platforms, production tooling, kitting trolleys and test equipment.
Load moving tugs offer aerospace manufacturers a solution for achieving fluid assembly line processes even in high-value, low-volume production. This supports the lean manufacturing targets of many businesses wishing to adopt best practice.
As well as creating production flows, tugs are commonly used individually to move trolleys and bogies and even several at once when linked together. However, longer or very awkward loads require greater control and manoeuvrability. A tug at either end of a longer load makes it easy for it to be moved not only in a straight line but sideways and to be rotated on its axis also avoiding obstacles including fixed machinery, tight corners and doorways.
“It is often uneconomic within aerospace to install expensive automation equipment,” confirms Hugh Freer, MasterMover Sales Director. “In such circumstances, electric tugs really do provide a cost-effective method of moving an entire product from stage one of the assembly process through to final inspection as well as delivering the components to the process.”
Safety is an additional benefit of using electric tugs. “Without specialist handling equipment, factory workers can be forced to manually handle equipment risking their own health as well as damage to extremely expensive components.”
At Airbus' Broughton plant, varying sizes of MasterTug are used for moving leading and trailing edge wing section assemblies. The tugs support tasks such as the movement of parts from ‘goods-in’ to the production line, transporting sub-assemblies through the machining process and handling turnover jigs used to rotate components freely and safely.
Since an initial investment around 20 machines have now been implemented and play an important part in the assembly of aircraft wings. Airbus has seen that the inclusion of electric tugs has contributed to a cost effective, highly reliable flow line production method.
For more information about how load moving tugs can significantly improve efficiency and safety in the aerospace industry, please contact us today.
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