787 Fuselage Fastening Machine
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.
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.
The cell was qualified for production December 2007 and has been used on every production barrel to date. Over 10000 fasteners have been installed in production barrels as of June 2007. Cycle times were recorded in production as being 11.25-11.5 seconds per cycle of typical and spacing. Floor to floor rates expected around 3 fasteners per minute. The floor to floor rate includes barrel loading, rotations and resynching. An ATC allows for offline setting of the drill countersink since drill wear on CFRP can be so high.