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Technical Paper

A Flexible Development System for Automated Aircraft Assembly

1996-10-01
961878
McDonnell Douglas Aircraft in St. Louis, MO manufacturers various transport and fighter military aircraft such as the C-17 and the F/A-18. With shrinking military budgets and increased competition, market forces demand high quality parts at lower cost and shorter lead times. Currently, a large number of different fastener types which include both solid rivets and interference bolts are used to fasten these assemblies. The majority of these fasteners are installed by hand or by using manually operated C-Frame riveters. MDA engineers recognized that in order to reach their goals they would be required to rethink all phases of the assembly system, which includes fastener selection, part fixturing and fastener installation methods. Phase 1 of this program is to identify and to develop fastener installation processes which will provide the required flexibility. The EMR fastening process provides this flexibility.
Technical Paper

Implementation of the HH550 Electromagnetic Riveter and Multi-Axis Manlift for Wing Panel Pickup

1996-10-01
961883
A new wing panel riveting cell capable of replacing tack fasteners and performing small repair jobs has been developed. Using two mobile scissor lift platforms with electromagnetic riveters mounted on each, the operators can access every portion of the wing panel without the use of ladders or platforms. This method minimizes fatigue, allows workers to carry all tools and supplies with them, meets current safety standards and minimizes coldworking of the components.
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.
Technical Paper

Low Voltage Electromagnetic Lockbolt Installation

1992-10-01
922406
British Aerospace, Airbus Ltd., Chester, UK manufactures the main wing box assembly for all current Airbus programs. Titanium interference fasteners are used in large numbers throughout these aircraft structures. On the lower wing skin of the A320 alone there are approximately 11,000 of this fastener type. Currently, the majority of these fasteners are manually installed using pneumatic or hydraulic tooling. British Aerospace engineers recognized the significant potential which automation offers to reduce these current labor intensive installation methods. Electroimpact proposed extending Low Voltage Electromagnetic Riveter (LVER) technology to the automatic installation of these interference fasteners as well as rivets. Close liaison between Airbus and Electroimpact engineers resulted in the development of an automated LVER based lockbolt installation system, which is currently undergoing evaluation.
Technical Paper

Process Development for Use of AERAC

1991-11-01
912650
Two Automated Electromagnetic Riveting Assembly Cells (AERAC) were manufactured for Textron Aerostructures by Electroimpact, Inc. The AERAC installs the final rivets in the A330/A340 upper wing panel in the floor assembly jig. At Textron for each wing the corresponding floor assembly jigs for each wing are lined up end to end. An operating procedure in which the formboards are removed in bays allows efficient operation of an in the jig riveter such as the AERAC. Specialized machine codes developed for the AERAC allows quick fully programmed stringer to stringer jumps of the stringer side offset tooling. The AERAC is programmed entirely from a CATIA drawing of the part. Of the 5 axes of rivet data available only two are retained for use by the AERAC.
Technical Paper

Integration and Qualification of the HH500 Hand Operated Electromagnetic Riveting System on the 747 Section 11

1993-09-01
931760
Hand installation of 3/8", 5/16" and 1/4" diameter fatigue head style fasteners is required on some areas of 747 section 11 (center wing). The 3/8" diameter fasteners can require between 45-60 seconds to upset using conventional pneumatic riveting guns. As part of Boeing’s continuing effort to reduce cycle time and improve the factory working environment, a Boeing Quality Circle Team proposed using LVER technology as an alternative to conventional pneumatic percussion riveting hammers The hand operated HH500 system was developed in response to this request. The HH500 single shot upset reduces installation time as well as the noise levels and vibration experienced by the operators. The design of this system and the integration onto the factory floor are presented. The LVER forming rate is significantly higher than that of conventional pneumatic and hydraulic processes.
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lightweight HH503 Handheld Riveter

2002-10-01
2002-01-2631
The handheld (HH) electromagnetic riveter (EMR) has been proven to be an effective means of installing rivets up to 3/8″ diameter. However, early versions were heavy and cumbersome to use. A new generation of handheld riveting systems has been developed with substantially reduced weight and improved ergonomics by incorporating a spring-damper recoil reduction system. Additional improvements include a simpler and more robust control system and a 0-1000V voltage range to improve efficiency.
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.
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