E4320 Wing Panel Machines

Airbus A320

Electroimpact’s latest LVER machine for the Airbus facility in Broughton, Wales is the second machine on the A320 production line, hence the designation “Single-Aisle #2” or “SA2.” The first A320 LVER has been producing top surface wing panels for ten years. The SA2 system is a “stand-alone” work cell consisting of one machine and two wing panel fixtures. Early in the project we determined (with Airbus’ concurrence) that this one-off machine would be a development platform combining:

  • Technologies transferred from non-LVER Electroimpact machines, such as cartridge spindles and the latest CNC systems
  • Enhancements to the two-tower machine design, including more rigid bearing and yoke structures
  • New concepts in process tool design including the riveting guns, bolt inserter, sealant dispensing, and fastener feed systems

The E4320 system fully fastens wing panel assemblies. Panel skins and stringers are loaded separately into the assembly fixture where they are accurately located and clamped; no tack-fastening is required. The fastening machine utilizes servo controls and electromagnetic riveting (EMR) technology to install 12 slug rivets per minute, and 8 lock bolts and collars per minute. Other features include hole diameter probing, application of sealant to bolt holes, a vacuum system for swarf collection, and process data collection and recording.

Process tools shuttle into position at speeds up to 2m/sec behind the pressure foot on the E4320's skin side clamping head. Two servo-controlled 20,000 RPM spindles are used for drilling and rivet head shaving, or to drill holes of different sizes. Dedicated EMR tools install slug rivets and lock bolts without transmitting high recoil forces into the machine structure.