- SPECIAL REPORTS
Screwdriving and Riveting Assembly
EVERETT, WA—Boeing may deploy robots on its airplane assembly lines as early as next year. The company has been testing its Fuselage Automated Upright Build technology in secret over the past year and has found success drilling rivet holes on 777 fuselages. Boeing believes the FAUB will improve workplace safety and production speed.
Oakland University is located a few minutes away from Chrysler’s corporate headquarters in Auburn Hills, MI. So, it’s appropriate that the school is home to the Fastening and Joining Research Institute (FAJRI), the only facility of its kind in the world.
Screws aren’t the only fasteners that can be fed to fully or semiautomatic installation tools. Nuts, setscrews and other fasteners—both threaded and unthreaded—can be fed automatically, too.
SHELBY TOWNSHIP, MI—FEC Automation Systems, a supplier of fastening and pressing technology, has opened an office in Chelmsford, England, its first in Europe.
Assemblers in many different industries depend on all sorts of pneumatic, DC electric and battery powered tools for a wide variety of fastening applications. Unfortunately, the devices are also the source of countless ergonomic headaches for manufacturing engineers.
Small gas engines are the lifeblood of the outdoor power equipment industry. They run all sorts of commercial and consumer devices, ranging from lawnmowers and generators to power washers and portable welders.
MUNICH, Germany—Most screws are made of steel. But high temperatures or acidic environments take their toll on this otherwise stable material. The alternative is ceramic screws. Researchers can now accurately predict their stress resistance.
MUNICH, Germany—Researchers in Germany have developed a novel, snake-like robot capable of tightening bolts in even the most difficult-to-access cavities of an aircraft’s wing structure.
SOLIHULL, UK—The humble rivet. That’s what Demos Hoursoglou, Jaguar Land Rover’s body-in-white manufacturing manager here, puts near the top of his list of worries about assembling the aluminum body of the Range Rover. The 2014 Range Rover body uses 17 types of rivets, 3,722 per vehicle. If one jams in a gun or is inserted incorrectly, production stops.
These days, manufacturers of all stripes are taking a closer at their energy consumption as a potential source of cost savings—even manufacturers of the largest, most expensive products in the world.