Bombardier’s Belfast, Northern Ireland plant is preparing to start production of a robotic cell developed with the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to speed up automatic riveting.

Holding fuselage skin panels vertically, instead of horizontally, two robots rivet the skin and stringers, which are initially stuck into position using an adhesive strip and a pick-and-place robot.

The cell has a smaller footprint than larger automatic riveting machines. “It will have an output rate of at least nine men. It should be at least as good as the existing machines and it is better for workflow,” says methods engineering manager Ian Coulter. The aim is to have a single production line to make multiple models of aircraft.

Source: Flight International