The Centrix Fastening Solution

Centrix is the technological and market leader for aerospace assembly and fastener technology. We specialize in enabling the latest generation of aviation assembly processes. Our advanced engineering and manufacturing centers allow us to design and manufacture unique customer specified products. Our products accommodate both automated and hand installation, while balancing complex assembly process requirements and associated tooling. We also offer custom fastener installation products to provide turn key solutions.

Aerospace Manufacturing Needs

  • Airframe OEM’s have over $1.5 trillion in backlog.
  • Market share domination will be determined by the OEM with the greatest capacity (shortest lead times).
  • Production rates need to increase dramatically.
  • Floor space cannot scale with demand.

Aerospace dilemma: How to produce record numbers of commercial airplanes in record time without greatly increasing the size of the manufacturing foot print.

All OEMs are facing the prospect of increasing production rates while simultaneously implementing new materials such as CFRP. Any solution will need to address the following:

  • Predominantly reside within the confines of the existing manufacturing foot print.
  • Allow many more line items of work to be completed per person
  • Fundamentally alter the build philosophy of current aircraft assembly systems

The Problem

  • Historic manufacturing processes require a labor intensive approach. The assembly of aircraft requires that many elements of the structure are staged then assembled from both sides of the sturcture simultaneously using human resources (robots are not capable of such complexity). Additionally, historic manufacturing technology required that aircraft components, once assembled together, must be taken apart and undergo a secondary process to remove interlaminate burrs created from the match drilling of fastener holes, then be reassembled. Lastly, there are exceptional difficulties when considering enclosed areas such as wings and fuselages. Getting people in and out is very difficult and limits manufacturing options due to costs and safety concerns.

Key Obstacles

  • Robotics are viable IF they can be deployed from a single side of the structure.
  • Robotics have been missing a critical piece of technology that enables them to be operated from the same side of the structure.
  • No technology has existed that allows components to be assembled in a single process without the need to disassemble, deburr, then reassemble. This has been a long desired goal and is referred to as “one up assembly”.
  • Removing people from confined and dangerous enclosures.

 

The Solution: Centrix Technology

Key Robotic and “One Up Assembly” Enabling Technology

Features to enable interface with robotics plus miniaturized designs
Exceptionally high tensile and shear loading capabilities

  • High adjacent hole clamp enables “one up” assembly.

Enhanced clamping area prevents damage to clamp materials

  • Qualified for use in all major OEM programs
  • Qualified for use in all materials including Al, Ti, and CFRP.

Precision Alignment (Dowling).

  • Customized and accurate diameters – standard tolerance is +000/.001 inch.

 

Centrix Fasteners for Automation

Key Solutions Provided

  • Centrix enabling technology is completely deployed from the same or “single” side of an aerospace structure.
  • Centrix “one up” enabling technology eliminates the disassembly and deburr steps, thus reducing manufacturing time and increasing throughput.
  • Centrix single sided solution, combined with our miniaturization and robotic enabling features, represent a missing link in the technology chain. We enable robotic deployment for the first time.

Centrix products are unique in the industry and are important for the general advancement of OEM manufacturing processes.

Please consider the following: The old methods for assembling a wing required that giant jigs hold wing skins (panels) and structural flanged beams in place at the proper location and orientation while compressing both together. Then, the operators would hand drill holes through the panels and beams. The process of drilling holes also created burrs between the two components (panels and beams). The operators would then separate the beams from the panels in order to remove all of the burrs by hand – each and every hole. Then, the beams would be repositioned to the panels and permanent fasteners are installed. With Centrix products, several aspects of this process change:

  • The beams do not need to be located by complicated tooling and/or jigs. Modern CNC equipment can machine extremely accurate holes, commonly called coordination holes, in both panels and beams at the time of original machining. Our products, through their precision alignment capability, can align and hold the components together exactly as they are intended with our product being installed and removed from the same side with a great deal of repeatability.
  • Not only are the components aligned precisely as described, the high clamping forces our products generate hold the components together very tightly. So tightly, in fact, that when used in specific sequences and quantities, the burr between the components is reduced or eliminated such that the parts do not need to be disassembled, de-burred, then reassembled. Our products enable our customers to bypass a very expensive step and achieve something called one up assembly. The savings for the customer can be seen in decreased labor and increased production capacity. Lastly, we provide all of this in low profile and flush head configuration that enable automated production.

 

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