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Orbital Drilling Machine for One Way Assembly in Hard Materials

In Aeronautic industry, when we launch a new industrialization for an aircraft sub assembly we always have the same questions in mind for drilling operations, especially when focusing on lean manufacturing. How can we avoid dismantling and deburring parts after drilling operation? Can a drilling centre perform all the tasks needed to deliver a hole ready to install final fastener? How can we decrease down-time of the drilling centre? Can a drilling centre be integrated in a pulse assembly line? How can we improve environmental efficiency of a drilling centre? It is based on these main drivers that AIRBUS has developed, with SPIE and SOS, a new generation of drilling centre dedicated for hard materials such as titanium, and high thicknesses. The first application was for the assembly of the primary structure of A350 engine pylons. The main solution that was implemented meeting several objectives was the development of orbital drilling technology in hard metal stacks. Indeed, like in other materials (CFRP, Aluminum) this drilling process provides a lot of advantages. For example: Thrust force reduction; no burrs generated between parts; compatible with minimum quantity lubricant. Success of this project, and the opportunity to built primary structure in one way assembly, will allow us to reduce assembly lead time of A350 pylon by 7% and avoid the need to employ four workers in non value added tasks (Dismantling end deburring parts). This paper presents all work carried out on this project, and its integration in the A350 Pylon assembly line.

Damien Van Damme, Airbus

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