Will-Mann Inc. (Fullerton, CA) manufactures precision sheet metal assemblies for the electronics, computer, medical and aerospace industries.

Historically, inserting hardware in these products was a source of production problems, as operators manually inserted various types and sizes of fasteners into each assembly using a pair of standard insertion machines. The process was time consuming and created production bottlenecks, so that parts would stack up, waiting for insertion. The company would sometimes have to pay expediting costs to try to catch up with production. In addition, there were problems with rejected parts, due to missing hardware and incorrectly installed fasteners.

To increase throughput and quality, Will-Mann Inc. installed a WindowTouch hardware insertion machine from Haeger Inc. (Oakdale, CA). Equipped with a turret insertion system and Haeger's proprietary quality assurance process monitoring package, the machine inserts a variety of different fasteners with minimal part handling, thereby cutting labor costs and increasing productivity.

"The WindowTouch has proved to be a perfect fit for our fastener insertion department, and it has exceeded expectations," says Jeff Reinhardt, operations manager at Will-Mann Inc. "We are now 75 percent faster and have reduced labor by 70 percent. Before the WindowTouch, our process took 3 days with two operators. Now we are turning parts around in hours and doing all the insertion with one operator in one day.

According to Reinhardt, the machine inserts as many as four different types of fasteners at a time. He adds that it is more reliable and easier to operate than the old equipment, thanks to software that allows engineers to write and store programs for each part. All important machine parameters for each fastener are stored and easily recalled each time a part is run. The operator simply calls up the program, sets up the tooling and begins work.

In addition, the system has cut down dramatically on rejects and scrap, thanks to the quality assurance process monitoring package, which tracks both fastener presence and length, ensuring the correct fastener is installed each time.

"The WindowTouch has become the operator's favorite machine to operate," Reinhardt says. "The machine is user-friendly in mechanics and programmability. Once the programs are stored, inspection time is less, and the operators can start and run programs faster without set up...One of the easiest aspects of using the WindowTouch compared to the older machines is the auto feed setup. On one of our jobs, we ran 40 fasteners with color coding, and it worked perfectly-we had no delays at all."

Ultimately, Reinhardt says one operator can do in 2 hours what used to take two operators up to 4 hours to complete. "The machine has paid for itself in one week providing peace of mind," he says. "Instead of paying more for additional man hours, damaged parts and late deliveries, Will-Mann is experiencing higher productivity, better quality, and increased profits."

For more information on sheet metal fabrication, call 714-870-0350, visit www.will-mann.com or eInquiry 5.

For more on fastener insertion machines, call 209-848-4000, visit www.haeger.com or eInquiry 6.