Technologies used: Motion control system for Boeing 787 assembly

Advanced Integration Technology (AIT) worked on a Boeing final 787 body join assembly project, applying Siemens high-level Sinamics drives platform and Simotion motion controller system, failsafe CPU, and distributed I/O, running over a Profinet industrial Ethernet network.


All actions in each section of the Final Body Join (FBJ) assembly line are controlled and monitored by Siemens Simotion motion controllers, Sinamics drives, failsafe CPU, safety devices, and distributed I/O, working either independently or in concert, as the production requires. Courtesy: Siemens IndustryAdvanced Integration Technology (AIT) worked on a Boeing final 787 body join assembly project. Technologies applied include a Siemens high-level Sinamics drives platform and Simotion motion controller system, failsafe CPU, and distributed I/O, running over a Profinet industrial Ethernet network. 

The motion control system uses a Simotion D motion controller, Siemens human machine interface (HMI) on a Microsoft Windows-based PC, a Simatic S7 PLC for safety, and multiple I/O modules, with a Profinet network.

The Siemens Simotion D motion controller controls all axis movements to accurately position and align parts. Because AIT delivers a turnkey and dedicated system, customers have no need for further internal customization of the controller hardware or HMI panels.

AIT designed the overall layout of the control architecture, programmed the Simotion system with the Simatic S7 PLC, distributed I/O, and integrated safety, plus provided support on the Boeing internal structure and lifecycle support requirements.

Schematic of the Final Body Join (FBJ) assembly line from AIT shows the independent but interconnected nature of the control platforms for each section, used for the Boeing 787. The Siemens Scalance wireless technology is used for system switching. Courtesy: Siemens IndustryFinal Body Join (FBJ) assembly line built by Advanced Integration Technology (AIT) for the Boeing 787. It is used to join the sections of the fuselage. Courtesy: Siemens IndustryAIT background

Advanced Integration Technology (AIT) is a 20-year-old supplier of turnkey industrial automation systems for the aerospace industry. The company’s strength centers on the design and build of complex, fully integrated manufacturing, tooling, and assembly systems for commercial and military aircraft produced by the world’s leading suppliers, including Boeing, Bombardier, EADS, British Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Spirit AeroSystems, Vought, and others. AIT operates five locations in the U.S., Canada, Sweden, and Spain to serve its growing customer base.

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager CFE Media, Control Engineering and Plant Engineering,

For more application details, read: Motion control system for Boeing 787 assembly, linked below.

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