US Patent No. 10,335,865

METHODS FOR PROCESSING A CONFINED AREA OF A WORKPIECE


Patent No. 10,335,865
Issue Date July 02, 2019
Title Methods For Processing A Confined Area Of A Workpiece
Inventorship Lisa Cardon, Auburn, WA (US)
Daniel Long, Auburn, WA (US)
Franklin B. French, Auburn, WA (US)
Assignee The Boeing Company, Chicago, IL (US)

Claim of US Patent No. 10,335,865

1. A method for processing a drilling location in a confined area of a workpiece that has a first side and a second side, located opposite the first side, along a drilling axis using an end effector, the method comprising steps of:positioning the end effector relative to the drilling location of the workpiece, and wherein the end effector comprises:
a base;
a translation platform, coupled to and moveable relative to the base;
a pressure foot, coupled to the translation platform and movable relative to the base;
a spindle, coupled to the translation platform and movable relative to the pressure foot;
a drill bracket, coupled to the spindle;
a flat angle drill, coupled to the drill bracket and operatively coupled with the spindle;
a clamp, coupled to and movable relative to the pressure foot;
a clamp drive mechanism, operatively coupled with the pressure foot and the clamp; and
a counterbalance mechanism, operatively coupled with the base and the translation platform;
coupling a bushing to a hexagonal retainer of the flat angle drill wherein the bushing comprises a cylindrical outer surface and a hexagonal inner surface configured to receive the hexagonal retainer;
rotationally positioning the drilling axis of the flat angle drill in a selected clocked orientation relative to a rotational axis of the spindle;
clamping the bushing between a first arcuate clamping surface of a first bracket member of the drill bracket and a second arcuate clamping surface of a second bracket member of the drill bracket at the selected clocked orientation, wherein the first bracket member and the second bracket member are coupled to each other and to the spindle;
counterbalancing a weight sum of the translation platform, the pressure foot, the spindle, the drill bracket, the flat angle drill, the clamp, and the clamp drive mechanism using the counterbalance mechanism;
moving the clamp relative to the pressure foot along the drilling axis into contact with the first side of the workpiece using the clamp drive mechanism;
moving the pressure foot relative to the clamp and relative to the base along the drilling axis into contact with the second side of the workpiece using the clamp drive mechanism;
clamping the workpiece between the clamp and the pressure foot; and
drilling the workpiece with the flat angle drill.