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Technical Paper

Using Hardware Variability Control (HVC) Data for Process Improvements in an Automated/CNC Environment

1997-06-03
972206
This paper addresses the use of Hardware Variability Control (HVC) data to make process improvements in the assembly of the Next Generation 737 wing spars. The wing spars are the main structural component of the wing, and the two spars also make up two sides of each wing fuel tank. The wing spars are assembled using the Automated Spar Assembly Tool 3 (ASAT3). This paper covers the development of the ASAT3 HVC measurement plan, discusses the data collection methodology used, addresses process improvements made to the spar using the HVC data, and discusses next steps to improve the HVC plan.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Capacitance Sensing Probes for Hole and Countersink Diameter Measurements on Airplane Wing Panels

1998-09-15
982139
Capacitance sensing probes have been in use for a number of years in the airframe assembly industry for characterizing diameters in straight and tapered fastener holes. A new type of capacitance probe was recently developed that simultaneously characterizes the countersink and shank diameters in holes drilled for index head rivets. The probe design and a unique methodology for a systems approach to qualifying a multi-probe inspection facility are presented in this paper.
Technical Paper

777 Automated Spar Assembly Tool - Second Generation

1995-09-01
952172
The Automated Spar Assembly Tool (ASAT II) at the Everett, Washington, 777 Boeing manufacturing facility could be the largest automated fastening cell in the commercial aircraft industry. Based on the success of the ASAT I, Boeing's 767 spar assembly tool, the 285-foot long ASAT II cell was needed to accurately position and fasten the major spar components (chords and web), then locate and fasten over 100 components (ribposts and stiffeners) to assemble the 777 forward and rear wing spars. From its inception in 1990 to the first drilled hole in January 1993 and through two years of spar production, the more advanced ASAT II has proven to be a greater success than even its 767 ASAT I predecessor. This massive automated fastening system consistently provides accurate hole preparation, inspection, and installation of three fastener types ranging from 3/16 inches to 7/16 inches in diameter.
Technical Paper

Laser Referenced Cargo Floor Installation on the 777

1996-10-01
965537
During the commercial aircraft assembly process, many interrelated installations require alignment to a common reference centerline or location to a common reference plane. A rotational laser can be used to establish a vertical, horizontal, or other desired plane orientation to serve as a common installation reference for multiple assemblies. The cargo floor installation in the lower lobe of the 777 forward section requires that three physically separate cargo floor sections be aligned to a common centerline and lie in the same horizontal plane. Two rotational lasers are used in conjunction with laser positioning equipment, digital laser targets, and conventional tooling hardware to meet the installation criteria and provide a reliable, repeatable process.
Technical Paper

Aluminum-Lithium (Alloy 2090) Fastening Evaluation for Commercial Aircraft Applications

1994-10-01
941844
During design of the 777 Airplane, light gage, near net section 2090-T86 extrusions were considered to reduce aircraft weight. The need to evaluate effects of fastener installation on 2090-T86 was indicated by a previous study documenting problems due to low short transverse tensile strength. Tests by Boeing installing fasteners into holes using interference fits showed 2090-T86 was more susceptible to damage from fastening than previously reported. Damage consisted of cracks normal to the short transverse direction around the periphery of the fastener hole. This report documents the test program conducted at Boeing.
Technical Paper

Application of Dimensional Management on 747 Fuselage

1997-10-13
975605
In today's competitive aircraft industry environment, new design, manufacturing, and assembly methods must be developed to lower costs and provide a more consistent product. One of the methods being implemented is Dimensional Management. Dimensional Management allows the evaluation of an entire manufacturing process and distribution of tolerances within that manufacturing process. Boeing has been working with Northrop-Grumman and several other suppliers to create a digital definition of the existing 747 fuselage design. This is part of an effort to implement a new manufacturing method known as Determinant Assembly. Dimensional Management plays a key role in implementing Determinant Assembly as well as incorporating into the engineering definition acceptance criteria that is better defined.
Technical Paper

GD& T for Flexible Contoured Structures

1997-10-01
975604
The aerospace industry uses flexible complex contoured structure in aircraft. To take advantage of advancements in engineering design, assembly methods, and inspection tools, the dimensional requirements for this kind of structure can be specified using Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) per ASME Y14.5M-1994, “Dimensioning and Tolerancing.” The 1994 revision of this standard includes some new features which can be used to specify the dimensional requirements for flexible complex contoured structure, but there are no examples on how GD&T can or should be applied. This paper gives some examples how GD&T can be applied on flexible complex contoured structure and how this usage specifies the dimensional requirements for such parts.
Technical Paper

AFPAC - Accurate Fuselage Panel Assembly Cell

1992-10-01
922411
The Accurate Fuselage Panel Assembly Cell (AFPAC) is a semi-automated process that was developed for accurately assembling fuselage panels on the Boeing 757 model line. This method of assembly (prior to automatic fastening) uses a new generation, accurate CNC machine tool in conjunction with reconfigurable part fixturing techniques and specialized end-of-arm tools (end effectors). These end effectors drill coordination holes in detail parts and the skin, and trim the periphery of the skin. Machine control data (MCD) for positioning the machine tool and other subsystems are developed directly from the engineering digital definition (CATIA datasets). Reconfigurable part holding and feeding mechanisms are used to allow for product changes and reduce the overall cost of the workcell. This paper describes the AFPAC assembly system and how it compares with the traditional concept of fuselage panel assembly.
Technical Paper

Boric/Sulfuric Acid Anodize-Alternative to Chromic Acid Anodize

1992-04-01
920944
At the 1990 Annual Aerospace/Airline Plating and Metal Finishing Forum, The Boeing Commercial Airplane Group presented information on boric acid/sulfuric acid anodizing (BSAA) as a replacement for chromic acid anodizing (CAA) to meet environmental regulations. This paper presents an update on the BSAA process and the status of production implementation. Background information will be reviewed including environmental issues and modifications of CAA to meet current EPA regulations. The results of BSAA process optimization, corrosion protection performance and compatibility with aircraft finishing will be given. Production implementation experience such as process control and facility requirements, including the status of BSAA for MIL-A-8625, Type IC (Anodizing, Non-chromic Acid, Meeting Type I Requirements) usage will be reviewed.
Technical Paper

Certification of Automatic Hydraulic-Squeeze Fastening Equipment

1999-10-06
1999-01-3440
With the increasing shift toward automation with respect to fastener installation, the need has evolved for clearer definition of the process capability of new fastener installation automation systems. In light of Engineering design requirements, and to address the process capability issue, Boeing has developed and implemented D6- 56617, a machine certification process for automated fastening of fuselage structure. This philosophy was a new approach in the following ways: 1. Previously, engineering oversight of automated fastening systems was limited to wing structure applications. 2. The process requires that process capabilities and performance of the automated machinery itself be established by test. 3. The process requires that detailed Process Control Documents be developed and followed. 4. The process links the statistical test data to the day to-day operating parameters of the machine.
Technical Paper

High Speed Carbide Drilling in Aluminum

2000-09-19
2000-01-3020
Implementation of a high speed drill motor with solid carbide drill bits, along with careful attention to all details of the process, has resulted in an extraordinary increase in drill bit life, as well as improvements in cycle time and hole quality. During the implementation of a new wing panel riveting machine for use on the 737NG and 757 models a major goal was to significantly improve the drilling process. The phase out of Freon™ as a coolant/lubricant on existing machines forced changes to the drilling process, which resulted in a significant reduction in drill life, from an average of approximately 1,500 holes per drill to 305 holes. The new process on the new machine has increased the average drill life 11,375% to over 35,000 holes, decreased the drill cycle time by 80%, and improved hole quality.
Technical Paper

Assembly of Interior Composite Panels Utilizing Bonded Interlocking Joints

1997-06-03
972233
Most commercial aircraft interior panels are constructed of honeycomb cored composite sandwich panels. The panels are conventionally joined using metal brackets fastened with screws. Over the past decade, most major interior fabricators have been in transition to a method of joinery using bonded interlocking joints. This method has recently been adopted by Boeing, and is known here as Tab and Slot Joinery. These interlocking joints are defined and illustrated. The history of the development effort is outlined. Design considerations are developed. Test programs are described, including a designed experiment and a special case fatigue test. Advantages of this new joinery method over the conventional are shown.
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