AFPAC - Accurate Fuselage Panel Assembly Cell
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.