Browse Publications Technical Papers 1999-01-3444

Fastener Delivery System 1999-01-3444

The Fastener Delivery System (FDS) provides a new and unique method to automatically feed fasteners. The FDS is a compact automated system that conveys fasteners on demand to a user-supplied end effecter. The system may consist of up to six basic elements: a drum, a drum positioning system, a fastener lifting assembly, an escapement head, a jib crane, and a computer control system.Systems are currently in use at Boeing’s Advanced Manufacturing Center in St. Louis, Missouri for the automated assembly of the F/A-18E Super Hornet. Each system can store over 8000 fasteners of 400 different varieties. Rivets, slave bolts, and threaded fasteners are conveyed on demand in non-sequential order with no changeover. Fastener dimensions range from head diameters of 4mm to 22mm and lengths from 6mm to 58mm.The fasteners are stored in tubes, which are arranged in a high-density, radial pattern in precision machined covered drums. The drums act as “mini-warehouses”. Drums are interchangeable and uniquely identified with a barcode. The inventory of the drum is tracked in a relational database.The fasteners are propelled using a fastener configurable, low air pressure stream. Fasteners travel on demand from the drum through the escapement shuttle and to the end effecter in a few seconds.The FDS can be used in a wide variety of manufacturing applications in aerospace, automotive and marine systems. It is an alternative to vibratory and centrifugal bowl feeders where on-demand, high-reliability feeding of multiple fasteners is required. The FDS can be fixedmounted or arranged for portable use.


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