One-Sided Assembly with Mobile Platforms 2005-01-3343
In the past, automating the assembly process required one robot with an operator on the other side of the panel, or a 2-sided robot working on both sides of the structure. In the first case, the operator can not achieve an efficient cycle time, and the second option is very complex and expensive. Applications with restricted access were typically not considered for automation, and primary structure has required the strength offered by two-piece fasteners.
ALEMA Automation has developed a new functionality on its barrel end effector to give it the capability to drill, apply sealant, feed and install a structural blind fastener. This permits full automation in one-sided assembly processes.
A new blind fastener developed by Monogram can replace solid two-piece fasteners, and offers the same performance in shear applications. This expands the opportunities for one-sided assembly automation. After a qualification of the fastener by Airbus, an initial application has been implemented in the Méaulte facility on A380 cockpit panels. This paper will review the background and results of successfully automating one-sided assembly.