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Technical Paper

777X Control Surface Assembly Using Advanced Robotic Automation

2017-09-19
2017-01-2092
Fabrication and assembly of the majority of control surfaces for Boeing’s 777X airplane is completed at the Boeing Defense, Space and Security (BDS) site in St. Louis, Missouri. The former 777 airplane has been revamped to compete with affordability goals and contentious markets requiring cost-effective production technologies with high maturity and reliability. With tens of thousands of fasteners per shipset, the tasks of drilling, countersinking, hole inspection, and temporary fastener installation are automated. Additionally and wherever possible, blueprint fasteners are automatically installed. Initial production is supported by four (4) Electroimpact robotic systems embedded into a pulse-line production system requiring strategic processing and safeguarding solutions to manage several key layout, build and product flow constraints.
Journal Article

Integrated Ball-Screw Based Upset Process for Index Head Rivets Used in Wing Panel Assembly

2015-09-15
2015-01-2491
A new high speed forming process for fatigue rated index head rivets used in wing panel assembly using ball-screw based servo squeeze actuation has been developed. The new process is achieved using a combination of force and position control and is capable of forming to 40,000 lbs at rates of up to 200,000 lbs/second whilst holding the part location to within +/− 10 thousandths of an inch. Multi-axis riveting machines often have positioning axes that are also used for fastener upset. It is often the case that while a CNC is used for positioning control, another secondary controller is used to perform the fastener upset. In the new process, it has been possible to combine the control of the upset process with the machine CNC, thus eliminating any separate controllers. The fastener upset force profile is controlled throughout the forming of the rivet by using a closed loop force control system that has a load cell mounted directly behind the stringer side forming tool.
Technical Paper

Automated Model Evaluation and Verification of Aircraft Components

2010-11-02
2010-01-1806
The trend of moving towards model-based design and analysis of new and upgraded aircraft platforms requires integrated component and subsystem models. To support integrated system trades and design studies, these models must satisfy modeling and performance guidelines regarding interfaces, implementation, verification, and validation. As part of the Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL) Integrated Vehicle and Energy Technology (INVENT) Program, standardized modeling and performance guidelines have been established and documented in the Modeling Requirement and Implementation Plan (MRIP). Although these guidelines address interfaces and suggested implementation approaches, system integration challenges remain with respect to computational stability and predicted performance over the entire operating region for a given component. This paper discusses standardized model evaluation tools aimed to address these challenges at a component/subsystem level prior to system integration.
Technical Paper

Efficient Assembly Integration and Test (EAIT) Moves Theory to Practice at a System Level to Effect Lean Outcomes on the Shop Floor

2009-11-10
2009-01-3169
This paper will describe the Efficient Assembly Integration and Test (EAIT) system level project operated as a partnership among Boeing business units, universities, and suppliers. The focus is on the successful implementation and sharing of technology solutions to develop a model based, multi-product pulsed line factory of the future. The EAIT philosophy presented in this paper focuses on a collaborative environment that is tightly woven with the Lean Initiatives at Boeing's satellite development center. The prototype is comprised of a platform that includes a wireless instrumentation system, rapid bonding materials and virtual test of guidance hardware there are examples of collaborative development in collaboration with suppliers. Wireless tools and information systems are also being developed across the Boeing Company. Virtual reality development will include university partners in the US and India.
Technical Paper

Integrated Electrical System Testing and Modeling for Risk Mitigation

2008-11-11
2008-01-2897
International Space Station (ISS) Payload Engineering Integration (PEI) organization adopted the advanced computation and simulation technology to develop integrated electrical system models based on the test data of various sub-units. This system model was used end-to-end to mitigate system risk for the integrated Space Shuttle Pre-launch and Landing configurations. The Space Shuttle carries the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), a pressurize transportation carrier, and the Laboratory Freezer for ISS, a freezer rack for storage and transport of science experiments from/to the ISS, is carried inside the MPLM. An end-to-end electrical system model for Space Shuttle Pre-Launch and Landing configurations, including the MPLM and Freezer, provided vital information for integrated electrical testing and to assess Mission success. The Pre-Launch and Landing configurations have different power supplies and cables to provide the power for the MPLM and the Freezer.
Technical Paper

Universal Splice Machine

2007-09-17
2007-01-3782
There is an increasing demand in the aerospace industry for automated machinery that is portable, flexible and light. This paper will focus on a joint project between BROETJE-Automation and Boeing called the Universal Splice Machine (USM). The USM is a portable, flexible and lightweight automated drilling and fastening machine for longitudinal splices. The USM is the first machine of its kind that has the ability not only to drill holes without the need to deburr, (burrless drilling) but also to insert fasteners. The Multi Function End Effector (MFEE) runs on a rail system that is mounted directly on the fuselage using a vacuum cup system. Clamp up is achieved through the use of an advanced electromagnet. A control cart follows along next to the fuselage and includes an Automated Fastener Feeding System. This paper will show how this new advancement has the capabilities to fill gaps in aircraft production that automation has never reached before.
Technical Paper

International Space Station (ISS) Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Desiccant/Adsorbent Bed (DAB) Orbital Replacement Unit (ORU) Redesign

2007-07-09
2007-01-3181
The Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) is a part of the International Space Station (ISS) Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS) system. The CDRA provides carbon dioxide (CO2) removal from the ISS on-orbit modules. Currently, the CDRA is the secondary removal system on the ISS, with the primary system being the Russian Vozdukh. Within the CDRA are two Desiccant/Adsorbent Beds (DAB), which perform the carbon dioxide removal function. The DAB adsorbent containment approach required improvements with respect to adsorbent containment. These improvements were implemented through a redesign program and have been implemented on units on the ground and returning from orbit. This paper presents a DAB design modification implementation description, a hardware performance comparison between the unmodified and modified DAB configurations, and a description of the modified DAB hardware implementation into the on-orbit CDRA.
Technical Paper

Development of Metal-Matrix Nano-Composite Materials for Advanced Aerospace Fastener Technology

2006-09-12
2006-01-3154
This paper presents the results of development efforts relating to an advanced material processing technique, namely cryogenic milling, and its application to the processing of Al-7.5wt%Mg-0.2wt%N-20vol%SiC and Al 8wt%Ti-2wt%Ni nano-composite materials suitable for use in aerospace fastener applications. The effects of cryogenic milling in the material production are investigated via microstructural analysis. The advantages of cryogenic milling in the material production are presented with powder morphology and handling characteristics, and microstructural and nanostructural aspects. The resulting, very homogeneous material is discussed along with resulting mechanical properties, which are obtained through tension tests.
Technical Paper

Microbial Characterization of Internal Active Thermal Control System (IATCS) Hardware Surfaces after Five Years of Operation in the International Space Station

2006-07-17
2006-01-2157
A flex hose assembly containing aqueous coolant from the International Space Station (ISS) Internal Active Thermal Control System (IATCS) consisting of a 2 foot section of Teflon hose and quick disconnects (QDs) and a Special Performance Checkout Unit (SPCU) heat exchanger containing separate channels of IATCS coolant and iodinated water used to cool spacesuits and Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs) were returned for destructive analyses on Shuttle return to flight mission STS-114. The original aqueous IATCS coolant used in Node 1, the Laboratory Module, and the Airlock consisted of water, borate (pH buffer), phosphate (corrosion control), and silver sulfate (microbiological control) at a pH of 9.5 ± 0.5.
Technical Paper

ISS Internal Active Thermal Control System (IATCS) Coolant Remediation Project - 2006 Update

2006-07-17
2006-01-2161
The IATCS coolant has experienced a number of anomalies in the time since the US Lab was first activated on Flight 5A in February 2001. These have included: 1) a decrease in coolant pH, 2) increases in inorganic carbon, 3) a reduction in phosphate concentration, 4) an increase in dissolved nickel and precipitation of nickel salts, and 5) increases in microbial concentration. These anomalies represent some risk to the system, have been implicated in some hardware failures and are suspect in others. The ISS program has conducted extensive investigations of the causes and effects of these anomalies and has developed a comprehensive program to remediate the coolant chemistry of the on-orbit system as well as provide a robust and compatible coolant solution for the hardware yet to be delivered.
Technical Paper

International Space Station Nitrogen System Performance

2006-07-17
2006-01-2091
The Nitrogen System aboard the International Space Station (Station) continues to maintain Station total pressure and support several ongoing scientific and medical tasks. This paper addresses elevated leakage in the Nitrogen System, behavior during events such as nitrogen usage in other parts of the Station, and describes behavioral changes of the nitrogen Regulator/Relief Valve (regulator) since the activation of the Nitrogen System in 2001.
Technical Paper

Electromagnetic Forming of Various Aircraft Components

2005-10-03
2005-01-3307
Electromagnetic forming (EMF) technology has been used lately for the joining and assembly of axisymmetric parts in the aerospace and automotive industries. A few case studies of compressive-type joining processes applied on both aluminum and titanium or stainless tubes for aerospace applications are presented. In the first case study, tests were conducted using 2024-T3 drawn tubes joined with a steel end fitting to form a torque tube using different forming variables including: the fitting geometry, material formability and forming power (KJ). The power setting and the fitting geometry were optimized to improve the fatigue life, torque off, and the axial load capability of the torque tube joints to drive the leading and trailing edge high-lift devices.
Technical Paper

Machining-Induced Residual Stress and Distortion

2005-10-03
2005-01-3317
Distortion and buckling of aluminum aerospace components can be caused by machining-induced residual stress or by residual stress induced earlier in material processing. This stress is characterized through layer removal experiments and measurements of surface location. This stress is correlated to two machining process parameters, which can be changed, in order to control distortion and buckling of machined metallic components. Experiments are presented which compare distortion of thin machined parts to distortion of chemically milled parts in order to uncouple material bulk stress from machining-induced stress.
Technical Paper

Development of Non-Metallic Fastener Designs for Advanced Technology Structural Applications

2004-09-21
2004-01-2821
Fastening metallic structure for aerospace applications is relatively straightforward and has been done for some time. Dealing with advanced composites, though, requires a significantly different technological approach, especially primary structure. Although composite material utilization has increased enormously in civil and military aircraft in recent years, the application of composite materials to primary aircraft structure has not kept pace and is still greeted with some skepticism in the aerospace community. In particular, no major transport manufacturer has yet employed composite components for fuselage or wing primary structure. This appears to be changing rather rapidly with the introduction and the evolution of new airframes such as the 7E7 and Blended Wing Body (BWB) concepts.
Technical Paper

A Robust Method of Countersink Inspection Using Machine Vision

2004-09-21
2004-01-2820
An automated system drills the outer moldline holes on a military aircraft wing. Currently, the operator manually checks countersink diameter every ten holes as a process quality check. The manual method of countersink inspection (using a countersink gauge with a dial readout) is prone to errors both in measurement and transcription, and is time consuming since the operator must stop the automated equipment before measuring the hole. Machine vision provides a fast, non-contact method for measuring countersink diameter, however, data from machine vision systems is frequently corrupted by non-gaussian noise which causes traditional model fitting methods, such as least squares, to fail miserably. We present a solution for circle measurement using a statistically robust fitting technique that does an exceptional job of identifying the countersink even in the presence of large amounts of structured and non-structured noise such as tear-out, scratches, surface defects, salt-and-pepper, etc.
Technical Paper

Development of High-Strength, Aluminum-Alloy Nanocomposite Material for Advanced Aerospace Fastener Technology

2004-09-21
2004-01-2824
Every aircraft produced today contains hundreds of thousands of fastened joints. These joints and the fasteners that connect them are perhaps the most common source of failure in aircraft structure. Therefore, it is imperative that advancements in fastener materials and designs be given the utmost consideration and attention to achieve increased joint performance and integrity. This paper presents the results of development efforts relating to an advanced processing technique and its effect upon selected mechanical properties of certain metallic alloy materials that are deemed appropriate or important for potential fastener applications.
Technical Paper

Traceable Part Batching Performance Modeling: A Simulation Case Study

2004-09-21
2004-01-2822
This paper addresses a simulation modeling case study of a batching process. The batching process exists in a multi-server, multi-queue aircraft component manufacturing system where all parts and batches are serial numbered for traceability. Every lot of parts requires a unique set of serial numbers and the sequence of batches is required to follow the airplane master production schedule. The study goal was to identify and provide solutions to shorten arrival time differences among parts going to the same batch in a system of more than 100 shared processes. Queue lengths, resource utilization, bottlenecks, and various scenario comparisons were yielded from simulation modeling exercises.
Technical Paper

Portable Fastener Delivery and Installation System

2003-09-08
2003-01-2953
The Portable Fastener Delivery System or PFDS, has been developed at the Boeing St. Louis facility to streamline the manual fastener installation process. The PFDS delivers various fasteners, on demand, through a delivery tube to an installation tool used by the operator to install the fasteners in an aircraft assembly. This paper describes the PFDS in its current configuration, along with the associated Huck® International (now Alcoa Fastening Systems) installation tooling, as it is being implemented on the F/A-18E/F Nosebarrel Skinning application. As a “portable” system, the PFDS cart can be rolled to any location on the shop floor it might be needed. The system uses a removable storage cassette to cache many sizes and types of fasteners in the moderate quantities that might be required for a particular assembly task. The operator begins the installation sequence by calling for the particular fastener grip length needed using a wireless control pendant.
Technical Paper

Use of Electromagnetic and Vacuum Forces on Aircraft Assembly

2002-10-01
2002-01-2630
Decades ago our innovative grandfathers developed the first automated riveting machines based on hard automation using kinematics and tools attached to a C-frame. The C-frame serves multiple functions: First, it holds the upper and lower tools in fixed positions relative to each other; second, it translates upper active tooling forces to the lower tool; and third, it embraces the part placed between the upper and lower tool. C-frames and newly developed yoke, ring and gantry machines, used for low level (first, second) fuselage and wing assembly are growing in size to exorbitant proportions to satisfy requirements of larger and larger structures. High costs are dictated by massive kinematics and complex controls that provide stability, precision, and process speed. All this is mainly needed because we have to carry mechanical forces around the part, from upper to lower tool along the C-frame, gantry, yoke, bridge, etc.
Technical Paper

Assessment of Lithium Hydroxide Conservation Via International Space Station Control of Orbiter Carbon Dioxide

2002-07-15
2002-01-2271
In order to conserve mass and volume, it was proposed that the International Space Station (ISS) control the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Space Shuttle Orbiter while the Orbiter is docked to the ISS. If successful, this would greatly reduce the number of lithium hydroxide (LiOH) canisters required for each ISS-related Orbiter mission. Because of the impact on the Orbiter Environmental Control and Life Support Subsystem (ECLSS), as well as on the Orbiter flight manifest, a Space Shuttle Program (SSP) analysis was necessary. STS-108 (ISS UF1) pre-flight analysis using the Personal Computer Thermal Analyzer Program (PCTAP) predicted that the ISS would be able to control the level of CO2 in the Orbiter (and throughout the stack) under nominal conditions with no supplemental LiOH required. This analysis assumed that the Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) located in the U.S.
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