Bjorlingson, N. and Rengstedt, M., "Advanced Battery Tools for Ergonomics and Quality Assurance in Aircraft Assembly," SAE Int. J. Aerosp. 5(1):62-67, 2012, doi:10.4271/2012-01-1881.
The use of advanced battery tools substantially improves both ergonomics and quality in aircraft assembly. The Atlas Copco STB family of tools has built-in transducers, which allows the tool to meet the high demands for tightening accuracy requested by the aircraft industry. STB offers a variety of radio communication protocols including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to allow torque data to be transmitted to a control unit that stores it for analysis. To trace stored torque data back to the application i.e. traceability, has turned out to be the desired process for critical fasteners in e.g. wing junction. The handheld STB tool can also be setup to operate without a control unit, in case there is no need to transmit and store torque data. For structural fasteners which are widely used all around the aircraft, this way of operating provides added value over a pneumatic clutch tool because of the improved accuracy in tightening as well as cost savings for energy and improved ergonomics. The system allows the operator to choose from several programs either stored in the tool if operated in stand alone mode or available from the control unit if tool is connected. This allows the same tool to be used on different applications requesting different torque settings. Regardless of choice, the STB offers new possibilities to improve assembly quality on both frangible collars and torque nuts. This paper will discuss the implementation of advanced battery tools at some of the largest aircraft assembly plants around and how it has improved the process and reduced assembly errors.