A Phased Approach to Optimized Robotic Assembly for the 777X 2019-01-1375
Low rate initial production of the 777X flight control surfaces and wing edges has been underway at the Boeing St. Louis site since early 2017. Drilling, inspection, and temporary fastening tasks are performed by automated multi-function robotic systems supplied by Electroimpact. On the heels of the successful implementation of the initial four (4) systems, phases II and III are underway to meet increasing production demands with three (3) and four (4) new cells coming online, respectively. Assemblies are dedicated to particular cells for higher-rate production, while all systems are designed for commonality offering strategic backup capability. Safe operation and equipment density are optimized through the use of electronic safeguards. New time-saving process capabilities allow for once up drilling, inspection pre/post, fastening, and stem shaving. Multi-function end effectors with dual spindles permits drilling and reaming within a single clamp, and hybrid cutting fluid delivery enables a no-compromise approach to process optimization. New automated health checks and calibrations along with automatic exchange of cutting tools and measurement probes limits the need for operators and maintenance personnel to access the equipment. The integration of these innovative technologies provides a high level of process control while the timely deployment of additional phases maintains a lean production system.