Kawasaki Completes New Plant for the Boeing 777X

Feb. 13, 2017

777X Assembly Plant at Nagoya Works 1

Tokyo, February 13, 2017 — Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today its completion of a new plant at Nagoya Works 1 to produce fuselages for the 777X, Boeing’s cutting-edge, large passenger airplane. Kawasaki held a ceremony today to commemorate the plant's completion.

Construction of this new facility commenced in September 2015 on the grounds of the North Plant of Nagoya Works 1. Kawasaki is responsible for manufacturing the forward fuselage, center fuselage, main landing gear wheel well, aft pressure bulkhead, and cargo door sections of the 777X, and the new plant will be used for forward and center fuselage panel assembly. Today, full-out production equipment installation work was started with the aim of beginning actual production operations in June 2017.

The new plant further advances facility automation through the introduction of newly developed equipment utilizing the latest in image sensing technologies and control technologies, which were developed with the entire Company working as a unified team. The new equipment include Kawasaki-made robots capable of automatically detecting bore points and carrying out boring operations, auto riveters with an expanded operating range, and other such equipment. Moreover, the assembly lines will incorporate the Kawasaki Production System* to achieve high-quality, high-efficiency production operations. Kawasaki will also proceed with the improvement of facility infrastructure, including ICT, IoT (Internet of Things), and other technologies, with the goal of transforming it into a smart factory.

Kawasaki is taking part in the Boeing 777X project with the aim of achieving technologies that facilitate stable, reliable production of high-quality products over the long term, while also striving to expand its commercial aircraft business.

Overview of the New Plant

Address: 3-20-3, Kusunoki, Yatomi, Aichi Prefecture
Total building area: Approx. 13,000 m2 (length 202 m, width 53 m, height 18 m)
Main equipment:

1) Skin splice riveter (automatic riveter for panel joining)
An automated machine designed to join fuselage skins. This device is designed to be more flexible than standard riveting equipment, thus enabling riveting for more difficult/complex sections.
2) Frame assembly riveter (automatic riveter for frame joining)
An automated machine designed to join skins with reinforcing (frame) parts. This device offers precise operations in narrow, tight spaces, thus enabling riveting over a wider area.
3) Drilling robot (large-bore drilling robot)
This robot, which performs automated boring of holes to facilitate joining of skins and reinforcing elements via bolts and other parts, uses newly developed image sensing technologies to achieve precise bore positioning. 
4) Tacking robot (robot for frame tacking)
This robot, which performs automated tacking (temporary joining carried out prior to final joining) of skins and reinforcing elements, uses newly developed control technologies to achieve precise operations in narrow, tight spaces.

* Kawasaki Production System (KPS)
Based on the Just-In-Time system, the KPS uses Kawasaki's proprietary logical production management techniques, which were developed and proved effective in-house by being applied on production lines. The system can be implemented in any production line, regardless of whether it is a mass-production or make-to-order production line.


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