Bombardier, Belfast - Rotation Rig & Air-skate Trolley

SCX Special Projects created a bespoke rotation rig and integral air-skate trolley to enable the development of a new manufacturing process for the engine cowl moulds of executive jets, at Bombardier in Belfast.

The new process involves a clamping tool designed to compress the cowls before they are set in the oven. In order to assemble this tool however, Bombardier required a method of safely and securely rotating the top section of the tool to facilitate assembly as well as returning the fully assembled tool and cowl into the correct orientation for oven heating.

SCX Special Projects’ air-skate trolley enables the tool to be pushed with ease into a guide for accurate positioning inside the turning rig. The rig must first invert the upper section of the tool 180° to enable it to then receive the lower section and resin-coated cowl. The rig then safely inverts the entire assembly again and the air-skate trolley removes it for onward processing.

Air-skate trolley

The clamp is pneumatically driven, opening out to accept the tool and then closing with sufficient pressure to hold the tool in place for rotation.

Horizontal pneumatic shot bolts lock the lower section of the clamp in place, whilst two bolts at the top and one at the bottom hold the tool in position.

Air-skate trolley clamp

The clamps raise the tool using electric screw jacks to provide the ground clearance to facilitate rotation.

Electric motors rotate the rig from the centre whilst encoder control ensures the two sides stay aligned at all times.

Bombardier Belfast rotation rig

The air skate trolley operates on the same principle as a hovercraft, to allow a single operator to easily position the tool sections. A guide set into the floor with failsafe limit switches prevents the rig from operating until the tool is correctly positioned.

Because the floor is on a slight incline, a rope winch located to the rear of the rig assists in the controlled removal and insertion of the air-skate.

Bombardier Belfast rotation rig

Controls for Bombardier Belfast rotation rig

Rotation is pushbutton controlled, located outside of the rig area to ensure operator safety, whilst the screw jacks are pendant controlled to provide the operator with freedom to move to the optimum view of the operation.

Safety light curtains prevent any operation if any person enters the rig area, with a controlled reset to safely re-establish operation.

Bombardier Belfast rotation rig and air-skate trolley

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SCX Special Projects Ltd

Roman Ridge Road, Sheffield, S9 1GA, United Kingdom

t:  +44 (0)114 262 6199