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Technical Paper

Development of a Multi Spindle Flexible Drilling System for Circumferential Splice Drilling Applications on the 777 Airplane

2008-09-16
2008-01-2298
Flex Track Drilling systems are being used increasingly in aerospace applications providing low cost, highly efficient automated drilling systems. Certain applications like circumferential splice drilling on large size airplane fuselages require multi spindle flex track systems working in tandem to meet production efficiency requirements. This paper discusses the development of a multi spindle flex track drilling system for a circumferential splice drilling on the 777 airplane. The multi spindle system developed uses a variety of flex track carriages attached to the flexible vacuum tracks to allow for offset or wide inside drilling. Segmented machine programmes allow these multiple machines to be deployed on the same circumferential splice on the airplane providing the multi spindle system. Interfacing of the multiple spindles is achieved by a custom OEM interface using a single screen thereby ensuring simplicity of operation.
Technical Paper

Automated Removal of Temporary Fasteners on Wing Panels

2000-09-19
2000-01-3031
Current practice for assembly of wing skins to wing stringers utilizes temporary aluminum lock bolts prior to squeeze riveting. Removing and replacing these fasteners is time consuming and hazardous. We have automated the wing riveters to perform this replacement process. This paper discusses the four areas of development that were carried out to accomplish this: tack fastener installation, machine vision system development, drill development and new tooling. Testing results and new findings will be discussed.
Technical Paper

Analysis & Modeling Reduce Development Risks For Improving Integration of Large Aircraft Components

2002-09-30
2002-01-2640
Historically the manufacturing of aircraft fuselages with capacities of 100+ passengers requires large panels and assemblies to be integrated through processes of manipulating them into proper alignment to one another, and then fastening the panels and assemblies together. The manipulating and alignment processes typically incorporate large handling devices and cranes to move the large panels and monolithic tools or measurement alignment systems to precisely align the aircraft components. After the individual panels and assemblies are properly aligned, they can be fastened together. Normally, the fastening process is performed manually with the aid of fastener location templates. There are problems with these processes. They require high capital investments for tooling and facilities; up to two shifts (16 hours) to complete the loading, indexing, and fastening operations; and depend on a highly skilled and knowledgeable work force to minimize discrepancies.
Journal Article

Average Probability Calculation Methods for System Safety Analysis

2015-09-15
2015-01-2436
Fault-tolerance in commercial aircraft applications is typically achieved by redundancy. In such redundant systems the primary component is checked before the start of a flight to see if it operates correctly. The aircraft will not take off unless the primary is functioning. Airplane manufacturers must certify the airplane systems to be safe for flight. One means of safety certification is by safety analysis which shows that the probability of failure in a typical flight is bounded. The probability bound requirement for a system is based on the criticality of system failure. Usually backup components are checked at intervals that span multiple flights. The first backup may be checked more frequently than the second or higher levels. This leads to flights where the system may have latent faults in the backup components. The probability of failure in such cases varies from flight to flight due to the different exposure times for components in the system.
Journal Article

Panel Assembly Line (PAL) for High Production Rates

2015-09-15
2015-01-2492
Developing the most advanced wing panel assembly line for very high production rates required an innovative and integrated solution, relying on the latest technologies in the industry. Looking back at over five decades of commercial aircraft assembly, a clear and singular vision of a fully integrated solution was defined for the new panel production line. The execution was to be focused on co-developing the automation, tooling, material handling and facilities while limiting the number of parties involved. Using the latest technologies in all these areas also required a development plan, which included pre-qualification at all stages of the system development. Planning this large scale project included goals not only for the final solution but for the development and implementation stages as well. The results: Design/build philosophy reduced project time and the number of teams involved. This allowed for easier communication and extended development time well into the project.
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