Stringer Insertion System Aircraft Manufacturing Assembly Handling


Composite aircraft stringers require a rigid handling system to transport the stringer and compactor assemblies from the forming station to the mandrel. The stringers are 40 ft. long, weigh 15 lbs. and are extremely flexible. The composite plies, once molded to the compactor, must be held rigidly in place onto the compactor throughout the handling process. Lastly, 40’ long bladders must accompany the stringers/compactors throughout the assembly and placement process.


A rigid lifting beam handling system is utilized for the manipulation of the stringer assemblies. Each beam incorporates a vacuum plenum with multiple ports/valves designed to mate to designated ports on the compactor providing a system for accurately holding composite plies in position. The beams utilize adjustable bracket locations to accommodate various stringer sizes and to accommodate the handling of multiple stringers simultaneously. In addition, linear guide rails are provided on each bracket in order to allow for transverse movement of the stringer assemblies while being supported by the lifting beam system. The stringer handling systems incorporate a radio control allowing the operators to move about the area as needed while handling the various components.