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Technical Paper

Turret Head Fastening Machine

1995-09-01
952174
The Turret Head Fastening System is an enhancement of current three position “C-frame” wing riveting machines. It was designed and built by Boeing as a fully instrumented research machine in 1991 for the 777 Airplane, and as a potential retrofit package for conventional drill, rivet, shave wing assembly machines. It was designed to automatically install rivets and bolts and perform the required hole preparation prior to fastener installation. In its current form, it will clamp a panel; and then as the fastener requires, drill, coldwork, ream, countersink the hole; inspect the hole; apply sealant when required; install threaded fasteners or rivets; torque the nut, swage the collar or upset the rivet as required; shave the rivet to ensure flushness; and finally unclamp the part - all within the current working envelope of a drill, rivet shave machine. Currently, switching from rivets to bolts requires a 5 minute tool change.
Technical Paper

Automated Floor Drilling Equipment for the Next Generation 737

1997-09-30
972809
Boeing needed a process to replace hand drilling for floor panel holes and galley and lavatory mounting locator holes in the floor grid of the completed 737 fuselage. Electroimpact developed a process, and the 737 AFDE machine, that is a substantial improvement over existing technology. It provides full CNC control, quick reconfiguration of hole patterns, fast drilling of up to 3000 holes in one 8-hour shift, drills both titanium and aluminum and works inside the fuselage.
Journal Article

Optimization Methods for Portable Automation Equipment Utilizing Motion Tracking Technology

2011-10-18
2011-01-2668
The use of portable automated equipment has increased in recent years with the introduction of flex track, crawling robots, and other innovative machine configurations. Portable automation technologies such as these lower infrastructure costs by minimizing factory floor space requirements and foundation expenses. Portable automation permits a higher density of automated equipment to be used adjacent to aircraft during assembly. This equipment also allows concurrent work in close proximity to automated processes, promotes flexibility for changes in rate, build plan, and floor space requirements throughout the life of an airplane program. This flexibility presents challenges that were not encountered with traditional fixed machine drilling centers. The work zone surrounding portable machines is relatively small, requiring additional setup time to relocate and position machines near the airframe.
Journal Article

Fabrication of Titanium Aerospace Hardware using Elevated Temperature Forming Processes

2010-09-28
2010-01-1834
Titanium is a difficult material to fabricate into complex configurations. There is several elevated temperature forming processes available to produce titanium components for aerospace applications. The processes to be discussed are Superplastic Forming (SPF), hot forming and creep forming. SPF uses a tool that contains the required configuration and seals around the periphery so inert gas pressure can be used to form the material. Of the processes to be discussed, this is the one that can produce the most complex shapes containing the tightest radii. A variation of the process combines an SPF operation with diffusion bonding (SPF/DB) of two or more pieces of titanium together to produce integrally stiffened structure containing very few fasteners. Another process for shaping titanium is hot forming. In this process, matched metal tools, offset by the thickness of the starting material, are used to form the part contour at elevated temperature.
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