In Germany, 5-axis NC riveting machines have been used for more than 10 years now for the assembly of fuselage shells in aircraft construction. The development of these machines has been constantly advanced but their basic structure has remained unchanged. A weak point analysis has shown that the performance of the machine is primarily limited by the positioning behaviour. Several possibilities have been investigated how a considerable increase in performance could be achieved by alternative construction types. On the basis of a stationary component, all theoretically feasible alternatives with regard to axis and machine frame configuration were examined and evaluated. In addition to known solutions, new construction types suggested themselves and, after a thorough examination, one of these was found to be feasible.