The F-35 Fighter Jet’s exterior body panels are all held in place by screws, tens of thousands of screws in hundreds of different shapes and sizes. Every screw needs to be cleaned and coated with a chemical primer before they can be used to assemble the airframe. The assembly plant developed as cell to “kit” the various fasteners as needed by production and ask us to develop basket system to keep the kitted fasteners organised through the process.
The basket system needed to have small baskets to keep different types of fasteners organized and separated. And 125 of these baskets had to securely move together through a multi-tank automated cleaning and chemical coating line.
Three M Tool designed and built a system of insert baskets, carrier trays to organize and hold 25 insert baskets, and a carrier rack to securely transport 5 carrier trays through the automated process.
Each Insert Basket is 3″L x 3″W x 2″H with an 1/8″ Dia. Top Frame and a formed bowl of 6 mesh x.035 woven wire (.132 openings) 304 Stainless Steel Construction throughout, All surfaces Gray Halar Coated 7-10 mils thick after fabrication.
Each Carrier Tray is 18-5/16″L x 16″W x 2-7/16″H, 1/4″ Dia. Rod Frame with crossing grid rods to support the insert baskets, has a Hinged Lid with Compression Latch, 304 Stainless Steel Construction throughout, All surfaces Electropolished after fabrication
The Carrier Rack is 18-13/16″L x 17-1/16″W x 10-9/32″H 5/16″ Dia. Rod Frame with support rods and conveyor bottom, Two (2) 3/8″ Dia. Top Mounted Handles with 2-1/2″ Clearance, 16 Ga. Sheet Metal supports with Laser Cut Holes for optimal drainage, 304 Stainless Steel Construction throughout, All surfaces Gray Halar Coated 7-10 mils thick after fabrication.