Spyraflo Inc. (Peachtree City, GA) manufactures specialty bearings that offer innovative ways for original equipment manufacturers and fabricators to reduce cost and enhance bearing performance. For example, Spyraflow self-aligning bearings have a bearing insert that can pivot ± 5 degrees axially to compensate for shaft misalignment and ensure smooth shaft rotation. Spyraflo self-aligning bearings are available with ID from 1/8 to 1 1/4 inch. They are also self-clinching and can be installed in steel sheets as thin as 0.04 inch. When the bearing is pressed into a steel sheet, the steel cold-flows around the retainer, ensuring a secure installation that requires a very small footprint.

As part of its continuous-improvement program, Spyraflo, an ISO 9001 certified company, recently installed air-powered toggle presses from Schmidt Feintechnik (Cranberry Township, PA) to precisely assemble its highly engineered self-aligning bearings. The outer retainer on these self-aligning bearings is made from heat-treated steel. The bearing insert can be made of Delrin, Oilite bronze, Teflon-impregnated bronze, or it can be a conventional needle roller bearing.

To assemble the bearing, tooling on the press ram rolls the periphery of the outer retainer around the bearing insert as the ram completes its stroke, retaining the insert laterally and axially, while allowing the self-aligning pivot. Ensuring that the self-aligning feature is consistent presents a demanding assembly challenge. For the bearing to be assembled correctly, it is critical that the press ram comes down to the same point every time, both vertically and laterally. A variation as small as 0.002 inch in any direction is not acceptable.

The Schmidt air-powered toggle presses meet Spyraflo's unique assembly requirements with their very high degree of ram stroke precision and repeatability, and they generate maximum force at the end of the ram stroke. The vertical alignment of the ram is accurately controlled by Teflon-lined gibs. The vertical stroke of the ram is adjustable in increments of 0.002 inch by means of a micrometer with 0.001-inch resolution.

"It is very important that the rolled over height be controlled precisely," says Peter Allen, chief operating officer at Spyraflo. "The Schmidt toggle press allows us to roll the retainer assembly over consistently, and the full force of the press is applied over a vertical distance of only 0.125 inch, so it was the perfect choice. The press ram stroke can be set accurately and will not change during the production run. This enables us to supply consistent products to our customers."

For more information about air-power-ed toggle presses, call 800-959-1218, visit www.schmidtpresses.com or Reply 5.