NEWS Robotic Automation Is Key to 777X Production Transition

A new set of drilling and riveting machines recently transferred to Boeing’s massive plant in Everett, Washington, from a high-bay space the company rented in nearby Anacortes marked the latest milestone in its continuing effort to automate 777 production. Called the FAUB (fuselage automated upright build), the machinery employs automated guided robots designed by KUKA Robotics. It drills and fills some 60,000 fasteners that attach the panels that comprise the 777’s forward and aft body sections. Today, Boeing mechanics positioned on both sides of the fuselage perform the task by hand, a repetitive and tiring job that places a lot of stress on their shoulders and hands.

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