Modeling and digital tool development of a new similarity metric for aerospace production

Y. Jin, R. Abella, E. Ares, M.F. Troncoso, J. Briggs, M. Price, R. Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


With the advancement of reconfigurable tooling and manufacturing systems, aerospace enterprises are looking for mixed production solutions to gain leading competitive edge. An accurate similarity metric will be necessary and crucial for making sound mix-production decisions. Although most literatures studied similarity coefficients for grouping part families in cellular manufacturing systems, they are not applicable to aircraft assemblies which involve large amount of manual work dealing with large heavy components and assemblies. This paper proposes a new similarity metric that incorporates both component level similarity and system level similarity of aircraft assemblies. The similarity in components level is modeled based on part-operation and operation-operation incidence matrices. The similarity in assembly level is modeled by similarity system theory associated with a newly proposed operation quota-based weighting method. A digital manufacturing tool has been developed for the automated implementation of the new models. Both the models and the tool have been validated by six pairs of real-life panel assembly examples. Results showed that the new similarity index gives clear indication to the degree of commonality in panel assemblies, and a quick and accurate similarity result can be generated by the digital tool.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)777-795
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Issue number1
Early online date30 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Similarity
  • aircraft assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Software
  • Mechanical Engineering


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