KUKA Systems develops robotic riveting system for Boeing
Fuselage Automated Upright Build (FAUB) system to assemble Boeing's 777X wide-body fuselage.
When the Boeing 777X twin-aisle passenger jet goes into full production for its debut in 2020, each fuselage will be built using KUKA Systems Aerospace Group’s robotic pulse production line, known as the Fuselage Automated Upright Build (FAUB) system. According to the company, the system will assemble fuselages for the current 777 models and then become the baseline manufacturing process for the wide-body 777X.
The pulse line uses guided KUKA robots equipped with end effectors manufactured by another KUKA company, Alema Automation, to do the riveting currently performed by workers using handheld tools. The robots will work on the forward and aft sections, installing up to 60,000 fasteners per 777 fuselage.
For KUKA Systems, the project is one of the largest it has undertaken in the aerospace sector. The FAUB system, which was pre-assembled and integrated at KUKA Systems in Sterling Heights, MI, is undergoing the final phase of testing and production readiness in a Boeing facility in Anacortes, WA.