O'Rourke, B. and Rounkles, R., "Automation for Unprecedented Production Rates," SAE Technical Paper 2012-01-1870, 2012, doi:10.4271/2012-01-1870.
Unprecedented rates in Boeing 737 aircraft production have driven a need for an increase in capacity in fuselage manufacturing and assembly. This paper will discuss the requirements by Spirit AeroSystems to add capacity, and the new and upgraded machinery provided by Broetje Automation in response to these requirements.Production areas found to require additional capacity included galley and entry door skin fastening, as well as frame fastening in upper and lower lobes. Three new Mobile Panel Assembly Cell (MPAC) machines were installed in rapid succession for efficient and flexible production of door panels. For frame fastening of upper and lower lobes, three existing machines were taken out of production one at a time for a comprehensive upgrade resulting in process speed increases of more than 40%.