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Bell 505 Automation at Final Assembly - Project Octopus

Cédric Roche, Bell Textron

October 10, 2020


Functional testing of aircraft systems at final assembly has typically been a manually intensive and time consuming process. With the introduction of sophisticated avionics displays, system checkouts require numerous button presses and significant movement of the technicians in and around the aircraft to verify functionality. To accelerate functional testing, the Bell 505 team set out to eliminate most of the tedious steps by developing an easy to use computer assisted tool called "Octopus". In the process, the 505 final assembly team was able to take a fresh look at manual procedures and harvest the experience of "how things have been done" to create a better way. Working closely with the employees involved in the chain of functional testing steps, the automated process was commissioned. The resulting "Octopus" reflects the knowledge and skills of the engineers responsible for creating the functional test procedure and the technician performing the test. Having placed strong emphasis on getting "every voice heard," the Octopus automatically runs through the procedural steps to verify each function of the aircraft avionics system. As a project, the Octopus was able to remove a bottleneck from final assembly and eliminate 20 labor hours in the process.

Bell 505 Automation at Final Assembly - Project Octopus

  • Presented at Forum 76 - Best Paper for this session
  • 6 pages
  • SKU # : F-0076-2020-16277
  • Manufacturing and Technology

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Bell 505 Automation at Final Assembly - Project Octopus

Authors / Details:
Cédric Roche, Bell Textron