Development of a Robotic End-Effector of Drilling and Fasteners Inserter for Aircraft Structures 2012-01-1858
This work presents the EFIP project (Efetuador de Furação e Inserção de Prendedores, Portuguese for “Effector of Drilling and Fasteners Inserter”), a robot end-effector design for implementing an automatic riveting process used in manufacturing aircraft fuselage components. The EFIP is mounted in an industrial anthropomorphic robot, with a seven-meter (7m) linear unit able to range over the entire side of an aircraft fuselage section. The end-effector has several modules that allows for a one-step-drilling process, including a special drill with chamfer; automatic rivet delivery; automatic rivet insertion; sealant applicator for each rivet; perpendicular drilling correction mechanism; clamp force control loop, and means for visual inspection. Each module can work independently or in integration with others, controlled by a graphical interface in a remote station. Other support devices complete the system, managing chip aspiration, tool cleaning and lubrication, liquid cooling of the spindle, and sub-systems to ensure safety. Integration of the end-effector and robot controllers are described in detail. Full functionality of the EFIP has been demonstrated in experiments testing its operational performance. The results have shown high stability in the drilling process, with the capability index (Cp) for the holes created nearing sigma 4.