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Technical Paper

Offset Fastening Flex Track

2012-09-10
2012-01-1850
Flex Track Drilling systems have been successfully implemented into several production environments and scenarios over the past couple of years. They continue to see a high demand where traditional machine tool implementations might be prohibitive due to cost or existing jig structures. This demand for innovation has led to a unique Flex Track design termed an Offset Flex Track that not only works between the vacuum rails, but can work beyond the envelope of the rails. This allows the machine to be used in situations such as the leading edge of wings where the vacuum rails cannot straddle the work envelope. The next evolution of this Offset machine is the introduction of final fastener installation onto the head using an onboard rivet gun. In addition, the camera used to locate datum points on the fuselage is now integrated into the nose piece, eliminating the need for a tool change to a spindle mounted camera.
Technical Paper

Stick Fastener Feed System for Large Variety & Small Quantity

2008-09-16
2008-01-2320
Electroimpact has developed a new Fastener Feed System which provides an automated solution for fasteners previously hand fed via drop tubes. The hardware is simple, compact, and is supplied a fraction of the cost of hoppers or cartridges. It can be used as a primary feed system or it can be used as an auxiliary feed system when combined with feed systems designed for high quantities of fasteners. We have installed this system on the A380 Stage 0 LVER lower panel wing machines and feed 5 diameters, 10 grips each, for a total of 50 different fastener types. This system moves 547 total fasteners per ship set from manual feed to automatic feed, saving considerable build time.
Technical Paper

Robotic Drilling System for 737 Aileron

2007-09-17
2007-01-3821
Boeing's wholly owned subsidiary in Australia, Hawker de Havilland produces all ailerons for the Boeing 737 family of aircraft. Increasing production rates required to meet market demand drove the requirements for a new updated approach to assembly of these parts. Using lean principals, a pulsed flow line approach was developed. A component of this new line is the integration of a flexible robotic drilling/trimming system. The new robotic system is required to meet aggressive tack time targets with high levels of reliability. The selected system was built on a Kuka KR360-2 conventional articulated arm robot. A significant challenge of this project was the requirement for the process head to work efficiently on an aileron in an existing jig. As a result a new side-mounted drill and trim end effector was developed. Automated tool changers for both cutters and pressure foot assemblies eliminated the requirement for in- process manual intervention.
Technical Paper

Medium Wave Infrared Heater for High-Speed Fiber Placement

2007-09-17
2007-01-3842
Electroimpact, in cooperation with a large airframe manufacturer, has developed Automated Fiber Placement equipment capable of depositing material at speeds in excess of 2000 inches per minute. As the machine lays down each new ply of material, the area forward to machine motion is heated just in advance of pressing the tape against the substrate. A fast-reacting, high-power infrared emitter heats this area quickly and safely. The design of these heaters is the subject of this paper.
Technical Paper

High-Speed Fiber Placement on Large Complex Structures

2007-09-17
2007-01-3843
Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) equipment has been developed capable of laying fiber in excess of 2000 inches per minute on full-size, complex parts. Two such high-speed machines will be installed for production of a nose section for a large twin-aisle commercial aircraft fuselage at Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas along with a rotator for the fuselage mandrel. The problem of cutting and adding on the fly at these speeds requires thorough re-evaluation of all aspects of the technology, including the mechanical, controls, servos systems, and programming systems. Factors to be considered for high speed cut and add on the fly are discussed.
Technical Paper

Assembly Fixture for 787 Section 11, Heavy Composite Assembly

2007-09-17
2007-01-3869
The 787 Section 11 Assembly Cell is a combination fixed post and moving frame holding and indexing system, designed to determinately build the 787 Section 11 Wing box. The retractable overhead frame allows maximum clearance for safer and faster loading and unloading of component parts, as well as completed wingbody sections. Additionally, each index is also retractable allowing maximum fastener access inside the jig.
Technical Paper

Automated Riveting Cell for A320 Wing Panels with Improved Throughput and Reliability (SA2)

2007-09-17
2007-01-3915
A new Low-Voltage Electromagnetic Riveting (LVER) machine has entered service at the Airbus UK wing factory in Broughton, Wales, in an assembly workcell for A320 family wing panels. The machine is based on existing Electroimpact technology but incorporates numerous design modifications to process tools, fastener feed hardware, machine structure and the control system. In the first months of production these modifications have demonstrated clear improvements in fastener installation cycle times and machine reliability.
Technical Paper

Simply Supported Retractable Top Beam for Wing Major Assembly Jig

2006-09-12
2006-01-3127
A large free-standing structure is constructed to positively position the spar and related components in the major assembly jig of the wing for a military transport aircraft. The beam of this structure is mounted on mechanisms enabling the lateral retraction of the beam and tooling to provide full part loading access and extraction of a completed wing. The free-standing nature of this design also allows full integration of an automated drilling machine into the jig.
Technical Paper

True Offset Fastening

2006-09-12
2006-01-3170
An automated machine has been designed with true offset fastening to join shear-tie/frame assemblies to the fuselage of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The machine can access fasteners located close to structural components that are very deep. This is accomplished by offsetting the fastening axis from the axis of the head for true offset fastening. The head can be positioned next to the structural component and the offset fastening tooling ‘reaches’ out to the fastener location (Figure 1). By using a true offset, the fastening machine can access fasteners that would be otherwise inaccessible by traditional automated equipment. The machine can also be lighter and more accurate when compared to fastening machines with traditional tooling.
Technical Paper

Dual Electric Spindle Retrofit for Wing Riveters

2006-09-12
2006-01-3176
The Boeing Company (Renton Division) had a requirement for a 30,000 RPM spindle to provide improved surface finish when milling 2034 ice box rivets in hydraulic wing riveters. Electroimpact supplied an electrical spindle which fit into the same cylinder block as the hydraulic spindle. This was reported in SAE Paper #2000-01-3017. Boeing Renton has also now put Electroimpact 20,000 RPM electric drilling spindles into five wing riveting machines so now both spindles in the machine are Electroimpact electric spindles. The electric drill spindle features an HSK 40C holder. Both spindles are powered by the same spindle drive which is alternately connected to the drill and then the shave spindle.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of the EMR for Swaging Collars on Advanced Composite Laminates

2005-10-03
2005-01-3299
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be the most fuel-efficient airliner in the world when it enters service in 2008. To help achieve this, Boeing will utilize state-of-the-art carbon fiber for primary structures. Advanced manufacturing techniques and processes will be used in the assembly of large composite structures. Electroimpact has proposed a system utilizing the low recoil Low Voltage Electromagnetic Riveter (LVER) to drill and install bolts. A test program was initiated between Boeing Materials Process and Engineering (MP&E) and Electroimpact to validate the LVER process for swaging titanium collars on titanium pins in composite material. This paper details the results of these tests.
Technical Paper

A Two Tower Riveting Machine with a True Z Axis

2004-09-21
2004-01-2807
The A380 aircraft is the largest passenger aircraft ever built and an appropriate machine was required to accomplish the fastening of the wing plank to stringer and buttstrap joints. The lower wing panels are curved along the length and move 1.42m out of plane. All previous E4000 machines had clampup heads that would extend and retract whatever distance was required to contact the wing panel. To improve toolpoint alignment, Electroimpact added a Z-axis that moves the yoke in order to reduce the necessary travel envelope of the clamp table axes and to cause them to clamp in the same plane regardless of panel position along the Z-axis.
Technical Paper

HAWDE Five Axis Wing Surface Drilling Machine

2004-09-21
2004-01-2806
The Horizontal Automated Wing Drilling Equipment (HAWDE) machine is an enabling technology for automated drilling of large aircraft parts. HAWDE is a five axis drilling machine that operates over the upper and lower surfaces of eight wings, each more than 40 meters long and four stories tall. The machine accesses the entire A380 wing using a combination of elevators and a machine transporter that carries the machine from surface to surface. HAWDE drills holes in spars, butt splices, and rib feet in the wing box final assembly jigs for A380.
Technical Paper

Drill and Drive End Effector

2001-09-10
2001-01-2576
Electroimpact developed an end effector for Airbus UK, Ltd. for use on a Kuka KR350 robot provided by Airbus UK. The end effector is referred to as the DDEE (Drill and Drive End Effector), and incorporates four main functions. The end effector pushes up on a wing panel with programmable pressure, drills a hole with a servo-servo drill, inspects the hole with a servo ball-type hole gauge and then drives a pin-tail style lockbolt into the hole. The end effector is being used as part of a development and feasibility study for incorporating automation into the wing panel manufacture process.
Technical Paper

Method of Accurate Countersinking and Rivet Shaving

2001-09-10
2001-01-2569
Wing skin riveting and bolting requires the surface to be flush to +/–.025mm(.001″) to produce an acceptable finish. Using the method described in this paper, automated wing riveting technology and panel assembly techniques can achieve better shave height and countersink accuracies than have previously been possible in production.
Technical Paper

Lockbolt Qualification Testing for Wing Panel Assemblies

2000-09-19
2000-01-3023
This paper gives an outline of testing carried out in conjunction with Electroimpact to support the introduction of the A319/A320/A321 and A340-500/600 Panel Assembly Cells in Broughton, UK. Testing compared the percussion insert/EMR swaging of lockbolts with existing hydraulic installation methods. Tests included pre-load tension tests, ultimate tension load tests, tension fatigue tests, high-load lap shear fatigue tests, static lap shear tests, a pressure leak test, and metallurgical examination. Fastener configurations tested covered diameters from 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, and 7/16 of an inch. Joint materials conformed to ABM3-1031 (7150-T651 plate), stump-type lockbolts to ABS0550VHK (Huck LGPS4SCV), and collars to ASNA2025 (Huck 3SLC-C). Some pull-type lockbolts to ABS0548VHK (Huck LGPL4SCV) were also tested as noted.
Technical Paper

Automated Wing Panel Assembly for the A340-600

2000-09-19
2000-01-3015
The Airbus A340-600 wing panel manufacturing system, which entered production in 1999, represents a major milestone for automated aircraft assembly. The new A340-600 system builds upon the success of the E4000 based A320 wing panel assembly system, which was introduced into production three years ago. The new A340-600 system consists of two 440 ft. assembly lines. One produces upper wing skin panels and the second produces lower skin panels. Each line consists of three fully automated CNC controlled flexible fixtures placed end to end serviced by two E4100 CNC assemble machines. Each fixture accepts multiple wing panels and can be automatically changed between the different configurations. Stringers are located and held using clamps mounted to “popping posts”. These posts automatically drop out of the machine path into the floor to provide clearance for complete stringer to skin fastening.
Technical Paper

Electric 30,000 RPM Shave Spindle for C Frame Riveter and High Performance Compact Aerospace Drill

2000-09-19
2000-01-3017
Two spindles are discussed in this paper. The first spindle was installed on nine C-frame riveters on the 737/757 wing line at the Boeing Renton facility. Due to discontinuing the use of Freon coolant and cutting fluid, the C-frame riveters had difficulty shaving 2034 ice box rivets with the existing 6000 RPM hydraulic spindles. The solution was to install electric 30,000 RPM shave spindles inside the existing 76.2 mm (3 in.) diameter hydraulic cylinder envelope. The new spindle is capable of 4 Nm (35 in. lbs.) of torque at full speed and 110 kgf (250 lbs.) of thrust. Another design of interest is the Electroimpact Model 09 spindle which is used for 20,000 RPM drilling and shaving on wing riveting systems. The Model 09 spindle is a complete servo-servo drilling system all mounted on a common baseplate. The entire spindle and feed assembly is only 6.5″ wide.
Technical Paper

Rivet Gripper and Offset Collar Gripper for Wing Panel Riveting

1999-10-06
1999-01-3430
Robotic gripper technology has been integrated into CNC riveting machines. Handling fasteners efficiently is critical in automated wing panel riveting. Computer controlled rivet gripper and collar gripper technology has been developed that demonstrates high reliability and decreased fastener cycle times
Technical Paper

Wing Assembly System for British Aerospace Airbus for the A320

1998-09-15
982151
British Aerospace needed an automated wing riveting system for fastening the A320 wing sections. The E4000 Wing Riveting System was designed and installed at their Airbus factory in Chester, UK and is now in production. It uses a five axis solid yoke with workheads on each end of the yoke. It accurately installs both rivets and lockbolts over the entire wing panel, including offset areas.
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