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A New Robotic Vibration-Drilling Process

Journal Article
ISSN: 1946-3979, e-ISSN: 1946-3987
Published September 16, 2014 by SAE International in United States
A New Robotic Vibration-Drilling Process
Citation: Laporte, S., Gueydon, E., Auffret, A., and De Castelbajac, C., "A New Robotic Vibration-Drilling Process," SAE Int. J. Mater. Manf. 8(1):56-62, 2015,
Language: English


In today's aircraft assembly process several new features make drilling operations very challenging according to production requirements. Parts are made of thin or thick multi-material stacks with a large scope to cover and complex assembly sequences. In addition, the current ramp-up in aircraft programs involves to improve productivity while keeping process quality and reliability.
In this context robotic solution meets perfectly all these requirements as it is flexible, reconfigurable, fast and agile. Among the possible end-effectors, the Barrel Multi-Function End Effector (BMFEE) appears to be the most flexible solution to allow many different process configurations.
The latest developments have been focused on the drilling equipment of this BMFEE. In fact the drilling process efficiency can be constantly improved especially in terms of reliability, quality and productivity. Therefore vibration-assisted drilling system has been integrated into the BMFEE drilling module. This innovative drilling process allows breaking up the metallic chips in such a way that jamming is avoided. Thus peck-drilling cycles are avoided and the global process offers more reliability and productivity while fulfilling quality requirements.
This article presents the work of this integration. Benefits of this new robotic vibration-drilling process are shown on the basis of an industrial example.