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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

Stick Fastener Feed System for Large Variety & Small Quantity

2008-09-16
2008-01-2320
Electroimpact has developed a new Fastener Feed System which provides an automated solution for fasteners previously hand fed via drop tubes. The hardware is simple, compact, and is supplied a fraction of the cost of hoppers or cartridges. It can be used as a primary feed system or it can be used as an auxiliary feed system when combined with feed systems designed for high quantities of fasteners. We have installed this system on the A380 Stage 0 LVER lower panel wing machines and feed 5 diameters, 10 grips each, for a total of 50 different fastener types. This system moves 547 total fasteners per ship set from manual feed to automatic feed, saving considerable build time.
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

Offset Fastening Flex Track

2012-09-10
2012-01-1850
Flex Track Drilling systems have been successfully implemented into several production environments and scenarios over the past couple of years. They continue to see a high demand where traditional machine tool implementations might be prohibitive due to cost or existing jig structures. This demand for innovation has led to a unique Flex Track design termed an Offset Flex Track that not only works between the vacuum rails, but can work beyond the envelope of the rails. This allows the machine to be used in situations such as the leading edge of wings where the vacuum rails cannot straddle the work envelope. The next evolution of this Offset machine is the introduction of final fastener installation onto the head using an onboard rivet gun. In addition, the camera used to locate datum points on the fuselage is now integrated into the nose piece, eliminating the need for a tool change to a spindle mounted camera.
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.
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

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

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

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

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

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

Automatic Stringer Drilling System

1994-10-01
941832
Northrop Corporation manufactures body panels for the Boeing 747 aircraft. There are 1259 different stringer configurations used on the three 747 models with an average of 839 stringers per ship set. Until recently, all drain holes and skin coordination pilot holes were drilled manually using plastic application template tools (PATTS). Inventory costs were high and manual drilling errors led to excessive scrap and rework rates. Northrop engineers recognized that automating the stringer drilling process would produce higher quality parts at a lower cost. Northrop worked with Electroimpact, Inc. to develop the Automatic Stringer Drilling System (ASDS). The ASDS automatically clamps and drills all straight and contoured stringers used on the 747. Stringers are mounted on a rotating platform that provides +/- 90° of motion. Two servo-servo drills are mounted on a cantilevered arm with 25 feet of X-axis travel.
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

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

Automated Floor Drilling Equipment for the Next Generation 737

1997-09-30
972809
Boeing needed a process to replace hand drilling for floor panel holes and galley and lavatory mounting locator holes in the floor grid of the completed 737 fuselage. Electroimpact developed a process, and the 737 AFDE machine, that is a substantial improvement over existing technology. It provides full CNC control, quick reconfiguration of hole patterns, fast drilling of up to 3000 holes in one 8-hour shift, drills both titanium and aluminum and works inside the fuselage.
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.
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