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Technical Paper

Vision System Non Contact Measurement of Pintail Type Fasteners

2010-09-28
2010-01-1870
Accurately measuring the length of a pintail type fastener is limited by the process of forming the fastener. When the pintail is formed its overall length is not dimensionally controlled. To accurately measure the grip of the bolt a vision system is utilized that finds the notch between the tail and bolt shank. The grip, diameter, and angle of the bolt prior to insertion are then measured. This method proves to be more accurate than measuring the bolt mechanically and provides a number of other advantages including; decreased measurement time, improved accuracy, FOD detection, and angle of the bolt in the fingers prior to insertion.
Technical Paper

Vibration Assisted Drilling of Aerospace Materials

2016-09-27
2016-01-2136
Insufficient chip extraction often leads to disruptions of automated drilling processes and will have a negative impact on the surface qualities. One opportunity to avoid chip accumulation is based on a kinematically enforced chip breakage caused by sinusoidal axial oscillations of the drilling tool. Recent investigations have shown that the quality of chip extraction is, amongst others, considerably depending on the chip shape and mass which are defined by the cutting parameters feed, amplitude and frequency. So far only mechanical systems in the form of tool holders have been available on the market, which are restricted to a fixed frequency (oscillation frequency is coupled to the spindle speed). In the present study a spindle with magnetic bearings was used which allows to adjust the oscillation frequency independent of the spindle speed and therefore enables all opportunities to affect the generated chip shapes.
Video

Vertical Picture-Frame Wing Jig Structure Design with an Eye to Foundation Loading

2012-03-14
The foundation of many production aircraft assembly facilities is a more dynamic and unpredictable quantity than we would sometimes care to admit. Any tooling structures constructed on these floors, no matter how thoroughly analyzed or well understood, are at the mercy of settling and shifting concrete, which can cause very lengthy and costly periodic re-certification and adjustment procedures. It is with this in mind, then, that we explore the design possibilities for one such structure to be built in Belfast, North Ireland for the assembly of the Shorts C-Series aircraft wings. We evaluate the peak floor pressure, weight, gravity deflection, drilling deflection, and thermal deflection of four promising structures and discover that carefully designed pivot points and tension members can offer significant benefits in some areas.
Technical Paper

Versatile NC Part Programs for Automated Fastening Systems in Pulsed Assembly Lines

2011-10-18
2011-01-2771
Pulsed assembly lines are providing an enormous potential to the aviation industry, especially in terms of reduced lead times, optimized asset utilization and an increased ratio of value adding processes. As it comes near to flow manufacturing the realization of a pulsed assembly line leads to special requirements to the use of NC programs for automated drilling and fastening processes, especially as a result of the unique part positions upon each pulse and concerning the balancing of the work onto several serialized fastening machines. The key to those challenges are versatile NC part programs that eliminate the need for any additionally written NC programs by self-adapting onto the concrete situation within the working areas of the production line.
Journal Article

Utilization of a Vision System to Automate Mobile Machine Tools

2014-09-16
2014-01-2271
In an attempt to be more flexible and cost effective, Aerospace Manufacturers have increasingly chosen to adapt a manufacturing style which borrows heavily from the Automotive industry. To facilitate this change in methodologies a system for locating robots has been developed which utilizes cameras for both locating and guidance of a mobile platform for a robot with drilling and fastening end effector.
Technical Paper

Use of Synchronized Parallel Grippers in Fastener Injection Systems

2015-09-15
2015-01-2515
A new style of rivet injector is in production use on a variety of fastening machines used by major aircraft manufacturers. In this injector the opposing sides of the rivet guide blocks are attached to the arms of a parallel gripper. We have implemented the parallel gripper in both vertical axis and horizontal axis riveting applications. It is equally effective in both orientations. We have implemented the parallel gripper rivet injector on headed rivets, threaded bolts, ribbed swage bolts and unheaded (slug) rivets.
Technical Paper

Unique Material Handling and Automated Metrology Systems Provides Backbone of Accurate Final Assembly Line for Business Jet

2016-09-27
2016-01-2104
Figure 1 Global 7000 Business Jet. Photo credit: Robert Backus. The customer’s assembly philosophy demanded a fully integrated flexible pulse line for their Final Assembly Line (FAL) to assemble their new business jets. Major challenges included devising a new material handling system, developing capable positioners and achieving accurate joins while accommodating two different aircraft variants (requiring a “flexible” system). An additional requirement was that the system be easily relocated to allow for future growth and reorganization. Crane based material handling presents certain collision and handover risks, and also present a logistics challenge as cranes can become overworked. Automated guided vehicles can be used to move large parts such as wings, but the resulting sweep path becomes a major operational limitation. The customer did not like the trade-offs for either of these approaches.
Journal Article

System for Recirculation of Mobile Tooling

2015-09-15
2015-01-2494
Aircraft assembly systems which require tooling or machinery to pulse or move between multiple positions within a factory can be positioned with high repeatability without high performance foundations or sweeping out large areas of floorspace. An example shows a system of large left and right-hand frames which are positioned at 3 sequential manufacturing steps and then recirculated to the start of production via a central return aisle. The frames are 41 ton actual weight and are 72′ long, similar to a rail car. The system achieves rectangular motion for the recirculation path. The supporting and moving system incorporates low-cost rail in a floor with minimal preparation and simple to use controls. The system is also easily reconfigured if the manufacturing system needs to be altered to meet rate or flow requirements.
Technical Paper

Software Complex for Riveting Process Simulation

2011-10-18
2011-01-2772
The presented paper describes the software complex developed in St. Petersburg Polytechnical University for AIRBUS aimed at simulation of aircraft assembly process. Previous version of this complex was described in [1].
Technical Paper

Slug Rivet Machine Installs 16 Rivets Per Minute Drill-Rivet-Shave

2009-11-10
2009-01-3155
Electroimpact has designed the E6000, the next generation riveting machine, with a focus on reduced weight and speed. It will initially be used on ARJ21 wing panels in Xi'an, China, but it is able to fasten a variety of panels including A320 and 737. The E6000's fastening cycle is capable of forming and shaving 16 rivets per minute. Head alignment is maintained by two independent four axis heads using a combination of controls and kinematics. Process tool speed has been improved via high lead screws, high speed Fanuc motors, and a shorter head stone drop. An innovative EI operator interface enhances end user experience.
Journal Article

Skills Synergy Leading to RTM Flow Simulation Success Story

2011-10-18
2011-01-2629
Industrial requirements imply optimizing the development cycle, reducing manufacturing costs and reaching marketable product maturity as fast as possible. The design stage often involves multiple sites and various partners. In this context, the use of computer simulation becomes absolutely necessary to meet industrial needs. Nevertheless, this activity can be effective only if it is integrated correctly in the industrial organization. In the aeronautical and space systems industry, mechanical specifications often require the use of composites reinforced by continuous carbon fibers. The goal of this article is to describe how, on a time frame of nearly twenty years, a series of scientific and technical tasks were carried out in partnership in order to develop, validate and implement Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) flow simulation and cure analysis for high performance composites. The research stage started at the university in 1991.
Technical Paper

Simulation of Aircraft Assembly via ASRP Software

2019-09-16
2019-01-1887
ASRP (Assembly Simulation of Riveting Process) software is a special tool for assembly process modelling for large scale airframe parts. On the base of variation simulation, ASRP provides a convenient way to analyze, verify and optimize the arrangement of temporary fasteners. During the assembly of airframe certain criteria on residual gap between parts must be fulfilled. The numerical approach implemented in ASRP allows to evaluate the quality of contact on every stage of assembly process and solve verification and optimization problems for temporary fastener patterns. The paper is devoted to description of several specialized approaches that combine statistical analysis of measured data and numerical simulation using high-performance computing for optimization of fastener patterns, calculation of forces in fasteners needed to close initial gaps, and identification of hazardous areas in junction regions via ASRP software.
Technical Paper

Sharklet Brings New Technology to Electroimpact E4000 LVER Machine

2012-09-10
2012-01-1853
Electroimpact's E4000 LVER riveting machine entered service in 1998 assembling A320/A321 upper wing panels at the Airbus wing manufacturing facility in Broughton, Wales. Airbus's recent introduction of the Sharklet modification to the wings of the A320 family of aircraft necessitated a number of changes to the machine and fixture to accommodate the revised wing geometry. Electroimpact and Airbus also worked together to identify a wide range of machine improvements and updates. A short list of the changes made to the machine includes a new CNC, new motors, scales, spindles, and new technologies such as laser tracers and normality sensors. The end result is a faster, more accurate machine with state-of-the-art controls ready to support Airbus's A320/321 wing panel assembly for the next 15 years.
Technical Paper

Selection of the Most Promising Alternative Fuels for Aircraft Development: ALFA-BIRD Proposal

2011-10-18
2011-01-2791
Air traffic has been steadily increasing for the last years. Moreover, fuel availability at a reasonable cost seems more and more uncertain. Climate change implies that greenhouse gases emissions should be reduced. In this context, the search for new alternative fuels for aircraft seems to be a promising solution. Nevertheless, aeronautic represents a very specific transportation mode, due to its usage (short range, middle range, long range with the same fuel, worldwide distribution of the fuel…) and its compulsory security constraints. In the first part of the European project ALFA-BIRD (Alternative Fuels and Biofuels for Aircraft development - FP7), a selection of the best candidates to become the fuels for the future of aircraft has been done. The selection process was very complex, due to multiple criteria (physical properties, economical issued, environmental issues…).
Technical Paper

Rivetless Nutplate Developments for Aerospace Applications

2011-10-18
2011-01-2756
Within this paper, the AIRBUS approach on the development of rivetless nutplates as an alternative to riveted anchor nuts is described. Within the frame of a wider analysis, it was identified that currently used riveted anchor nut elements does have disadvantages with negative impact on an optimized cost-efficient and lead-time driven design and manufacturing environment. Rivetless nutplate systems provide some features that are potentially capable to mitigate some of the identified disadvantages of riveted elements. The paper covers the key requirements and objectives that were put in place in order to identify the most beneficial solution(s). It furthermore contains detailed information on the rivetless nutplate systems selected by AIRBUS and the justification for the selection that was made.
Technical Paper

Riveting Thin A320 Stacks

2014-09-16
2014-01-2264
The E7000 riveting machine installs NAS1097KE5-5.5 rivets into A320 Section 18 fuselage side panels. For the thinnest stacks where the panel skin is under 2mm (2024) and the stringer is under 2mm (7075), the normal process of riveting will cause deformation of the panel or dimpling. The authors found a solution to this problem by forming the rivet with the upper pressure foot extended, and it has been tested and approved for production.
Journal Article

Rivet and Bolt Injector with Bomb Bay Ejection Doors

2013-09-17
2013-01-2151
Electroimpact's newest riveting machine features a track-style injector with Bomb Bay Ejection Doors. The Bomb Bay Ejection Doors are a robust way to eject fasteners from track style injector. Track style injectors are commonly used by Electroimpact and others in the industry. Using the Bomb Bay Doors for fastener ejection consists of opening the tracks allowing very solid clearing of an injector when ejecting a fastener translating to a more reliable fastener delivery system. Examples of when fastener ejection is needed are when a fastener is sent backwards, when there are two in the tube, or when a machine operator stops or resets the machine during a fastening cycle. This method allows fasteners to be cleared in nearly every situation when ejecting a fastener is required. Additional feature of Electroimpact's new injection system is integrated anvil tool change.
Technical Paper

Refurbishment of 767 ASAT Drill-Rivet-Lockbolt Machines

2010-09-28
2010-01-1844
Boeing has relied upon the 767 ASAT (ASAT1) since 1983 to fasten the chords, stiffeners and rib posts to the web of the four 767 wing spars. The machine was originally commissioned with a Terra five axis CNC control. The Terra company went out of business and the controls were replaced with a custom DOS application in 1990. These are now hard to support so Boeing solicited proposals. Electroimpact proposed to retrofit with a Fanuc 31I CNC, and in addition, to replace all associated sensors, cables and feedback systems. This work is now complete on two of the four machines. Both left front and right front are in production with the new CNC control.
Technical Paper

Reducing Energy Use in Aircraft Component Manufacture - Applying Best Practice in Sustainable Manufacturing

2011-10-18
2011-01-2739
Rising energy costs and increased regulation in recent years have caused industrialists to investigate how to apply ‘energy efficiency’ to their manufacturing operations. As well as reducing operating costs, the benefits of a ‘green’ image as a market differentiator are beginning to be realised. The literature describes the successful implementation of a variety of approaches to energy reduction, with particular focus on energy intensive industries (such as foundries) and on improvements to building services (such as lighting). However, a systematic approach to applying sustainable practices to the manufacturing processes involved in the production of high value products, such as aircraft, is noticeably absent. This paper describes how a number of sustainable manufacturing approaches have been combined, enhanced and applied to the shop floor of a manufacturing facility in the UK responsible for the production of large component assemblies for the aerospace industry.
Technical Paper

Portable 2 Axis Milling Machine for CFRP

2012-09-10
2012-01-1879
As part of a Composite Wing Manufacture Program, Electroimpact was asked to design and develop a small portable milling machine for machining CFRP. The machine needed to be light so it could be lifted by two operators, robust to the production environment, and stiff enough to allow it to cut a 15 mm deep 3/8\mi slot through composite material (CFRP), in one pass, with no delamination. The machine also needed to be capable of performing a 30 mm deep finishing cut, in one pass, with 3 μm or better surface finish. Specialist Polycrystalline Diamond (PDC) roughing cutters were developed for the cutting process to reduce cutting loads and vibration while maximizing cutter life. The machine also needed to be capable of cutting along a 2 axis path. Electroimpact successfully introduced the machine in to the production environment in October 2011, within a 12 month development window.
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