Automated Split Sleeve Cold Expansion
This paper describes a compact, integrated end effector developed by Fatigue Technology Inc. of Seattle Washington for the purpose of split sleeve cold expanding fastener holes in an automated environment. The end effector is designed for use in flexible robotic cells, but can be adapted to work in fixed automated assembly devices. The unit carries fifty sleeves in a quick change magazine. The entire unit is 30.5 cm in diameter, 45.5 cm in length and weighs approximately 40 kg. A programmable logic controller controls all mechanical functions, and communicates with the robot work cell. Operator interaction is provided by a touch screen terminal that monitors robot and end effector operations and fault conditions. Data used for statistical process control can be monitored from the various sensors on the unit. The device is capable of cold expanding holes in aluminum, titanium and steel with diameters ranging from 4.5 mm to 12 mm, and stack thicknesses ranging from 1.5 mm to 50 mm.