Automatic Riveting Cell for Commercial Airplane Floor Grid Assembly 941837

With the introduction of the A330/A340 widebody program into the Airbus manufacturing procress during the summer of 1990, it was found necessary to evaluate the situation regarding the production of the Airbus Wide-Body floor grids. Due to the various options or type deviations, the number of different floor structures reached almost 38.
To build individual production jigs or fixtures for all of these floor grids would have taken toll on a large amount of factory floor space. The decision was made to establish and build a “Floor Grid Structure Assembly Cell”.
This cell mainly comprises of
  • 6 transportable multi-tooling fixtures for the various floor grids in the Airbus Wide-Body sections 13, 14, 16, 17 and 18.
  • A magazine for the storage of the above mentioned fixtures.
  • An overhead crane for fixture transportation in both semi and full automatic modes.
  • Manual manufacturing stations number I and III.
  • Robotic Drill/Riveting Station II.
  • Control Center.
The manufacturing in station I and III is done manually, whereas in station II -the riveting station - the operations are totally automatic. The main feature of this station II is a 5 axis travelling column robot with its various automatically changeable end effectors. These end effectors are Cherry Buck riveting machines as well as drilling machines. The riveting machines are weighing in up to 350 kgs, they drill, inject sealant, install and close the rivets in an automatic sequence. The positioner traverses 11 meters in X and 5,1 meters in Y carrying the end effectors within a stipulated tolerance.
The following paper will deal with this very successful production cell, emphasizing the automatic drill/riveting station II. It will not cover the necessary material/component logistics or the data transfer down loading.


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