Building something as large as a 737 wing takes an even bigger machine. Boeing’s Panel Assembly Line (PAL) is the 60 ton, 20 feet tall, friendly robot that always lends a rather large hand.
image credit: wired
Fabricating complete fuselage barrels or huge wings out of this material is simply not possible by hand. Only robots can lay up the strips of carbon fiber with enough speed and precision.
This is one of the most visible signs of a push by Boeing to increasingly automate the assembly of Boeing’s largest twin-engine jetliner, which is now 90 percent built by hand.
Again, just three people will operate a pair of these spar manufacturing cells, says Boeing. The spars will then be inspected by robots that use an ultrasonic probe to check for invisible flaws in the material.