XAC Fuselage Riveter

Comac ARJ21

Building on the success and innovation of the E7000 fuselage riveter built for Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), Electroimpact has developed a second E7000 machine for Xi’an Aircraft Corporation. This machine is designed to automatically drill and install rivets and interference bolts in various panels of the ARJ21 fuselage. This second generation gantry-style fuselage riveting machine offers the same key advantages as the TAI version while utilizing a picture-frame part holder with flexible header boards used to maintain proper shape.

This innovative tooling solution is designed to accommodate panel sizes between 3.5m to 10m long, with a variety of different straight and tapered curvatures. The tooling is re-configured manually which reduces its overall complexity, and uses removable indexing plates that can be adapted to accommodate new panel types. This type of tooling is ideal for value conscious applications where it is necessary to process a large range of different panels using a single machine. The E7000 built for XAC is able to tool 17 different styles of pre-tacked panels without removing any form boards. It uses 4 form boards that are permanently mounted to the picture frame by linear rails, allowing them to index anywhere along the 10m long frame. These form boards hold several small removable aluminum index plates. Each index plate locates an adjustable surface index that slides on a linear rail to adjust for different panel sizes and curvatures.

For ease of loading and unloading panels, the picture frame can be brought near to floor level and rotated to 90 degrees. Part fastening access is +/- 50 ˚ in A and +/- 10˚ in B with up to 10 m of X-travel.

An open process head design and a cantilevered fixed platform provide easy maintenance access to the process tools, chip vacuum, and fastener injectors. Also, the coupon stand is positioned in front of the operator station for convenience during testing and calibration routines. Automatic tool changers for the drills as well as the upper anvils have been integrated in the upper process head to minimize the need for operator intervention during part programs. The pneumatically controlled pressure foot accurately sets the work plane height but retracts 12 mm during part positioning.

The lower process head uses a powerful, all electric servo-motor to provide precise squeeze control for fasteners up to ¼” diameter. An integrated clamp cylinder with stack thickness measurement system determines the correct fastener to insert and dynamically measures the squeeze load.

For this E7000 fuselage riveter, Electroimpact spent extensive time developing a Siemens CNC machine and kinematics program, effectively allowing us to provide future customers with the option of either Fanuc or Siemens control.

Videos

Overview of the E7000 Riveting Machine