Fasten E-Z --Portable Multi-Mode Drill & Fastener Installation Tool

Period of Performance: 06/19/2014 - 03/18/2015

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Systems and Materials Research Corporation
11525 Stonehollow Drive Suite A120
Austin, TX 78758
Principal Investigator

Research Topics

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Each fastener that is installed during the aircraft assembly requires a hole to be drilled, and those holes filled with either rivets or threaded fasteners. To add difficulty, most fasteners must have sealant applied to the hole, and interference fasteners must be inserted using an inserter hammer. Unfortunately, aircraft manufacture is not conducive to automation, so most of the hole drilling and fastener installing is by hand. The process involves a few different tools the drill, the inserter, and the nut driver - to complete the assembly. Significant time could be saved if the installer used one tool to perform all of the fastener installation steps. SMRC proposes Fasten E-Z, a tool for all fastener installation steps. By merging existing technologies into one tool, Fasten E-Z will dramatically reduce the time required to hand install fasteners. The approach SMRC will take in this project is to combine a drill tool with a fastener inserter and a nut installation tool. The concept is that the tool will drill the hole for the fastener in drill mode, and with a quick-change mechanism, the tool will transform into an insertion hammer and then a collar driver to complete the installation. BENEFIT: By merging existing fastener installation technologies into one tool, Fasten E-Z will dramatically reduce the time required to hand install fasteners. The approach SMRC will take in this project is to combine all of the necessary tool required to perform a fastener installation into one. By doing so, a technician can avoid the picking up and putting down of his many tools required to perform a fastener install. By avoiding all discontinuous movements, SMRC estimates that at least 25% of the time to install a fastener can be eliminated. Additional benefits would be reduced fatigue, and reduced repetitive motion injuries. Millions of dollars could be saved over the life of an aircraft s production. In addition, by automating some of the tasks of fastener installation, quality will also be improved.