The multiple axis flexible CNC riveting cell consists of three major systems: a multi-axis part positioner, a multiple head drill and rivet machine and a multi-bowl rivet feed system. The CNC positioner has six axis of control; the five common axis of X, Y, Z, Alpha, and Beta plus tool position on the lower ram. The four function rivet head contains a drill spindle, a sealant applicator, a rivet insertion station and a camera unit. The unique lower ram will allow the machine to fasten high curvature parts as well as flat panels with minimal changes. The fastener feed system utilizes a bank of vibratory bowls that feed fasteners through a single feed tube. The fasteners are allowed to tumble and then are aligned prior to insertion into the anvil fingers. Countersunk fasteners as small as -4-3 will be fed by the system. The system will be used by Raytheon Aircraft Corporation to produce body panels and wing parts for the JPATS Program (Joint Procurement Aircraft Training System).
The technical paper discusses the theory of operation of each of the sub systems and the overall machine control, along with the part fixturing, part tooling and part programming aspects of the system.