One challenge for aerospace manufacturers is the high number of drillings involved in the airplane assembly, not all of which can be done under ideal conditions. Operators occasionally have to work in a confined or restrictive space where the traditional drill is ineffective, warranting the need for a specialized tool: the pneumatic right angle drill.
This is critical to the viability of the manufacturing process in an industry where operator productivity is virtually synonymous with success. One way to ensure continuity of work under these situations is having the right tool for each job.
In this article, we will discuss the reversible pneumatic right angle drill and how it impacts the productivity of an operator with a limited workspace for drilling.
The first considerations in workplace ergonomics are tool design, and workstation size and layout. Drilling in narrow and tight spaces presents a unique situation where both the tool and workstation are greatly affected. The narrow space makes it physically impossible for both conventional drills and the operator to fit or function properly. When the space does have enough clearance, the operator is required to bend at the wrist while drilling or assume awkward joint positions. In the aerospace assembly, where hundreds of thousands of holes are drilled per aircraft, this is a sure way to develop various musculoskeletal disorders.
Aside from compromising operator ergonomics, their productivity is also severely undermined. Inaccurate and off-quality holes can delay production, each reworked hole costing valuable downtime. With the continuously increasing demand for new aircraft, assembly lines are already stretched to the limit and could not afford delays.
The traditional drill is already a common fixture in the tool carts of many manufacturers, but the pneumatic right angle drill is gaining traction as well. Both tools share one fundamental similarity, which is to bore a hole. However, while the traditional drill features a short handle and a long head, the right-angle drill has a long handle and a short head, set at 90 degrees with each other. As a result, the cutting bit is at a right angle with respect to the grip, hence its name. More importantly, its configuration allows the operator to reach and drill holes in narrow spaces where the traditional drill could not.
The right angle drill may not be used as often as the conventional drill, but it is a lifesaver when called upon. Still, it is not meant to replace the traditional drill in manufacturing assemblies. Instead, it complements the conventional drill and allows you to meet all your drilling needs in the production line.
The right angle drill can succeed where a conventional drill often fails. Its shorter head allows it to get into spaces with lower clearance. Moreover, its longer handle extends the reach of the operators, allowing them to drill holes in places you never thought possible. The grip of a right angle drill is designed to facilitate handling with one hand, which may be necessary when working in narrow spaces. With its ergonomic design, the same balance is maintained even when gripped with both hands.
This drill allows the operator to bore holes into hard-to-reach places without compromising hole quality. It is small and lightweight but can be gripped either with one hand or both, giving the operator full control. Most of them come with variable-speed motors that allow the operator to manage the torque and the drilling.
The handle is ergonomically designed for a comfortable grip, ideal for long hours of use with minimal fatigue and risk of injury. Drill attachments can make working in tight spaces even easier, capable of extending the reach for up to 30 inches, providing better handling, and adding more power.
There is a right tool for every job, and this is never more apparent than when drilling in narrow and awkward spaces. These are just some of your tooling options when it comes to the reversible pneumatic right angle drill.
LBV11 Pneumatic Angle Drill - This drill is small and built with an ergonomic handle for easier and safer drilling in hard to reach places. With its precision chuck, it can be relied on for a wide range of drilling applications. Its motor is lubrication-free and energy-efficient. It also has minimal air consumption. Its functionality and cost-efficiency make it an excellent addition to your set of tools.
LBV16 Pneumatic Angle Drill - True to the LBV series of tools, this drill is also designed for working in tight spaces without compromising the quality of work. It has the same precision chuck and low runout for a hole quality that is the same as a hole drilled in free and open space.
LBV34 Pneumatic Angle Drill - With its size and features, this drill is also ideally designed for drilling in confined space. It has multiple lever options, a very low noise level, and an ergonomically designed handle. Drilling in narrow spaces has never been easier with this precision power tool.
LBV36 Pneumatic Angle Drill - The size of this drill can be misleading but make no mistake - it is equipped with a powerful motor that can deliver all the torque that you could need.
LBV37 Pneumatic Angle Drill - This is a heavy-duty drill for a wide range of applications. It comes with a reduced head length, easy-to-grip handle, and ergonomic design for hours of effortless drilling in narrow work areas. Operator productivity will never be compromised by awkward working conditions with the LBV series of drills in your tool cart.
LBD16M Pneumatic Modular Drill - This versatile drill has multiple angle attachments. The multiple heads allow the operator to achieve the perfect point of entry and angle in a wide variety of applications. With the LBD16M, it’s now possible to use one precise drill for all those awkward, difficult to reach places.
There are many problems inherent to any manufacturing process, even in the aerospace industry. Fortunately, there is also a solution to each one. Do not underestimate the impact of a cramped workspace on your drilling productivity, and let Atlas Copco's advanced line of reversible pneumatic right angle drill be part of your solution.
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1. The Government of Canada, Hand Tool Ergonomics, Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety, October 01, 2015
2. Dan, Right Angle Drill and its Uses, Fine Power Tools, 2020
3. Robinson, Bob, How to Use a Right Angle Drill?, Best of Machinery, January 17, 2020
4. What is Right Angle Drill-Advantages of Right Angle Drill, Best Drill Zone, 2020