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Case Study No. 1011 -- Electroimpact Wing Panel Machine
General Production Equipment
Founded in June of 1986 primarily as a supplier of machine tools to Boeing, Electroimpact has positioned itself as the premier supplier of automated equipment to the worldwide aircraft industry and the largest integrator of aircraft assembly lines in the world.
Electroimpact makes very specialized automated equipment. One such piece of equipment is this Wing Panel Machine which fully fastens airplane wings from start to finish at an astonishing rate of speed. It utilizes servo controls and electromagnetic riveting (EMR) technology to install 12 slug rivets per minute, and 8 lock bolts and collars per minute. Process tools on this equipment shuttle into position at speeds up to 2m/sec to drill, rivet, seal, and fasten wing panels into place. A lot of parts moving simultaneously at high rates of speed means frequent and consistent lubrication is necessary to ensure smooth and uninterrupted operation. Manual lubrication was quite an undertaking to ask of the end user with so many points. Electroimpact first considered using larger Lincoln-type systems but the equipment moves along 3 axis, making it very difficult (if not impossible) to run lines to all service points from one central location.
Electroimpact decided to employ EPS-24VDC PLC-controlled lubricators to lubricate the more than 50 lube points on this piece of equipment. The (relatively) small profile of the MEMOLUB and its mounting versatility made the system ideal for installing in limited/confined areas along the equipment. A mixture of 12-point, 8-point, and 4-point systems are used to service the slides, racks (on rack-and-pinion system), rollers, and worm gears on this massive piece of equipment.
Our MEMOLUB systems have made their way into the facilities of Airbus, Boeing, Spirit Aerospace, Vought, Northrop-Grumman, Israeli Aircraft Industries, and Xiâ€™an Aircraft of China among others by way of these highly specialized pieces of equipment. Some, like Boeing, had already been longtime customers of ours so they were familiar with the operation and maintenance of the systems. This project only served to open their eyes to more application possibilities.
Electro-Impact is an engineer-driven company and like many other customers of ours, required engineer drawings of our products to incorporate into their own machine designs. PLI has been able to deliver both 2D CAD and 3D STEP files to meet our customerâ€™s needs.