Low-Cost Tooling for Repeatable Hand-Trim of Composite Interior Panels

Thumbnail Image
Henderson, Jerry
Kamani Tiako, Hermann
Strange, Gustavo
Welwood, Ben
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
With the existing manual trim procedure of the composite panel for interiors of airplanes, EMTEQ has encountered quality issues in maintaining thickness uniformity during the trimming process of the composite panels. EMTEQ would like to improve the whole trimming process for the panel. The current process requires an operator to trim the panel manually using a die grinder with a combination of carbide bits, cut off wheels and drum sanding bits. There is a scribe line machined into the mold, which is transferred to the finished panel during the manufacturing process. The operator then uses this line as a guide in the manual cutting operation. Design engineering group eight was given the task of designing a low cost tool for the composite interior panel trimming process for EMTEQ. In order to come up with a low-cost tooling that satisfied the requirements of EMTEQ, the engineering design team had a concept development phase that resulted in a final concept that is broken into two major components. The design team deemed that the final design would be subdivided into two sections: •Trim Process •Panel Restraint Method The concepts developed in the concept analysis, were weighted against each other using a screening and scoring, quality function deployment. These methods were weighted against criteria modeled after the Customer Needs. The resulting final design concept for the trimming process for a composite panel is a vacuum table which is used for the panel restraint method of the process. The incorporation of a slide guide to the vacuum table, and a tool guide attached to a manual drill will finalize the entire process. The panel will be held down using the vacuum table, trimmed with a drill with a tool guide and manipulated by the operator. The drill will be kept in constant contact to the slide guide except when rounding corners. The design group considers the trimming process will improve on accuracy, repeatability, and also minimize the cost of the process should this new process be implemented.