Boeing asked Loson to design the equipment needed to produce the fuselage segments of the Boeing 787. The system must allow the composite panels of the fuselage sections to be held in shape, placed inside the curing oven, and allow easy removal of the entire segment.
BOEING 787 FUSELAGE PRODUCTION SPINDLE
The project raised several challenges, starting with size, as the fuselage section has a diameter of XX meters and a length of YY meters. It must also be able to withstand the high pressure and temperatures developed in the curing process without deforming.
It must allow easy access for lamination, and the entire mold must be implodable to ensure easy extraction of the finished product.
Finally, the mold has to have the reliability and durability needed to work on large production runs.
Loson designed a mechanized production system, in which the molding structure is moved by electromechanical actuators to close or open depending on the processing stage. To meet the basic requirements of nondeformability, Invar, a special nickel steel that has a near-zero coefficient of expansion in heat, was used.
Thought had to be given not only to tooling but also to the production chain, designing handling on trolleys in order to allow them to be moved in and out of the special autoclaves.