Rise of the machines postponed: Boeing relies on humans again after robots fail its 777X jet fuselage assembly
Added 11-14-19 07:37:03am EST - “Robots will outperform humans, we're told ?" but Boeing engineers aren't that convinced. After years of struggle with a robotic system that flubbed the assembly of its giant 777X jet, they've gone back to human labor again.” - Rt.com
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America’s biggest aerospace corporation has finally dumped the robots that were used to assemble two main fuselage sections on the Boeing 777 and 777X long-haul airliners, according to Bloomberg.
Awkwardly called FAUB, or Fuselage Automated Upright Build, the system was introduced with great fanfare four years ago, advertised as an example of Boeing’s innovative spirit. It featured robots working in unison to drill holes precisely and put together the outer frame of the widebody jets.
But the top-notch robots – made by a company based in Germany – lacked the famous German accuracy and quality. They couldn’t synchronize drilling holes and inserting fasteners, which contributed to a snowballing of catch-up work that had to be finished by humans.
Back in 2016, the Seattle Times reported that problems were amassing at Boeing’s final assembly line. “FAUB is a horrible failure,” one Boeing worker admitted at the time. “They keep forcing these unfinished, damaged airplanes on us.”
Another veteran mechanic said each section was coming out of FAUB with hundreds of incomplete jobs. “It’s a nightmare,” he said.
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