Rudder Pedal Insertion Manipulator Aircraft Manufacturing Assembly Handling


Commercial aircraft manufacturer responsible for 787 subassemblies has the requirement of installing the rudder pedal subassembly into the crew station floor. During this process, the floor is in a vertical orientation with the insertion location at a 10' elevation. During the installation process, the 85# rudder pedal assemblies need to be raised and rotated about the x and y axes simultaneously without bumping or touching any part of the surrounding structure. A further constraint is that the ruder pedal subassembly manufacturer will only allow two points of contact on their part for the lifting and manipulation process.


A servo drive, PLC controlled lifter with "float mode" was fitted to an all-mechanical 6-axis manipulator device. The asymmetric geometry and anchor point locations required the tool to utilize a gyro-style link design; when the servo drive lifter is placed in float mode, the operators have complete freedom of movement in all axis, giving the effect of levitating the assembly, allowing them to manipulate it effortlessly with the necessary rotations and movements in order to maneuver it in place.