Automated Floor Drilling Equipment

Boeing 737

The Automated Floor Drilling Equipment (AFDE) for the Boeing 737 is fully CNC controlled machine which works inside the completed fuselage and uses the standard entry and exit doors and windows for fuselage access.

The Electroimpact designed and manufactured servo-feed/servo spindle drills for the 737 AFDE were optimized for the 737 AFDE application, including a long nose to allow drilling closely next to upstanding floor structures. The drills are 4" wide and 50 lbs. complete including feed and ISO 30 tool holder with 100mm extension. They deliver 30 in-lbs. at 7000 RPM and 60 in-lbs. at 500 RPM continuous duty with no external cooling for one of the highest power to weight or power to size ratios of any unit on the market. Maximum continuous thrust is 250 lbs. Total runout of the drill 1" past the collet of the 100mm extension tool holder is less than 0.0005". The units drill up to 0.277" diameter holes in titanium and aluminum.

To minimize total drill time all four drills on the AFDE can be drilling at the same time, each with it's own independent drilling parameters including feed rate and chip load. Drilling parameters are controlled with a unique mode of part programming designed to provide Boeing with maximum flexibility and simple, compact part programs. Boeing has rationalized the hole locations in the floor grid to make maximum use of the spindles at each X station. The result is that in actual drilling the AFDE drills about 1200 holes per hour, including mandatory operator interventions.