Merluzzi, J. and Bahr, I., "Automatic Tool Change System for Stringer Side Rivet and Bolt Anvils on a D-Frame or C-Frame Fuselage Fastening Machine," SAE Technical Paper 2017-01-2080, 2017.
Manually changing stringer-side tooling on an automatic fastening machine is time consuming and can be susceptible to human error. Stringer-side tools can also be physically difficult to manage because of their weight, negatively impacting the experience and safety of the machine operator. A solution to these problems has recently been developed by Electroimpact for use with its new Fuselage Skin Splice Fastening Machine. The Automatic Tool Changer makes use of a mechanically passive gripper system capable of securely holding and maneuvering twelve tools weighing 40 pounds each inside of a space-saving enclosure. The Automatic Tool Changer is mounted directly to the stringer side fastening head, meaning the machine is capable of changing tools relatively quickly while maintaining its position on the aircraft panel with no machine operator involvement. Additionally, since the tools are all contained within an interlocked enclosure, this system reduces the required frequency of tool recalibration which also saves time and increases productivity. Other features of this system include machine crash protection, tool interface automatic blow off, and tool RFID.