Boeing’s Humans Step In After Robots Fumble Assembly of 777 Jets
Score one for the humans
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Score one for the humans. After four years of trial and error, Boeing Co. is dumping the robots that build two main fuselage sections for its 777 jetliners and the upgraded model known as 777X.
Instead, the Chicago-based planemaker will rely on skilled mechanics to manually insert fasteners into holes drilled along the circumference of the airplane by an automated system known as "flex tracks," which it developed and honed on the 787 Dreamliner.
As tempting as automation can be -- with its promise of a mechanized workforce that never gets sick, tired or hungry -- manufacturers are finding many cases where the technology hasn't yet caught up to the dexterity and precision of human hands and eyes.
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