What’s New With Power Tools
Data collection and ergonomics are driving development of next-gen fastening tools
Whether it’s a car or a computer, a toy or a toaster, almost every assembled product has at least a few threaded fasteners. Indeed, 62 percent of ASSEMBLY’s readers use threaded fasteners of one form or another to assemble their products.
That makes power tools a top priority for any assembly plant. Here’s a look at some of the latest models.
60-Volt Cordless Nutrunner
Stanley Assembly Technologies has added the B44L angle-lever nutrunner to its B-Series cordless tool line-up. Thanks to its 60-volt DEWALT Flexvolt battery, the B44L is one of the most powerful cordless nutrunners on the market.
It balances speed, power and extended battery run-time (180 watt-hours) to perform high-torque fastening jobs. The tool is ideal for applications in the truck, transportation, agricultural and mining industries.
“Truck chassis, trailer bodies, agricultural and mining equipment fastening tools must perform in tough work environments. Ensuring fasteners are tightened to the correct torque specification during the assembly process is critical to keeping the equipment running reliably,” says Thomas Ehrhardt, president of the global automotive division at Stanley Engineered Fastening. “That’s why the B44L sends the operator audible and visible feedback to confirm the fastener is set properly, adding another layer of quality control to the assembly line.”
The B44L can store data for up to 500 fastening cycles and two trace sequences. It also has a built-in controller with wireless capability. This allows seamless integration with a plant’s communications system.
The tool comes in four models with speeds ranging from 243 to 573 rpm and torque ranging from 55 to 120 newton-meters. The 0.5-inch drive is also offered in square, double-ended and flush socket configurations.
Cleco’s New Cordless
Cleco’s new CellCore line of cordless assembly tools are smart and durable. The lightweight ergonomic design reduces operator fatigue without sacrificing power.
The tool has been drop-tested up to 5 feet, and it can run 500,000 cycles between maintenance. A large user interface allows on-the-tool programming without a controller. A color work light on the tool provides visual feedback that a run-down is OK or not OK. A “stay alive” function prevents reboot during battery change.
“CellCore is…a transducerized tool that is designed specifically for quality-critical applications,” says Anthony Zimmerman, global product manager for Cleco Production Tools. “Customers can program up to 10 rundown strategies, called FastApps, directly on the tool in standalone mode, or they can pair the tools to our mPro family of controllers to capture data in real time. Our new mPro200 controller offers a simple way to capture data and program advanced rundowns, in a much more compact footprint.”
As many as 10 cordless tools can be connected to one mPro200 controller, and the tool is compatible with all of Cleco’s global controller and cordless platforms.
Driver for Small Screws
The Nanomat screwdriver from DEPRAG Inc. is for installing small screws in smartphones, cameras, medical devices and other assemblies. Torque output ranges from 8 to 300 newton-millimeters, while speed ranges from 300 to 1,400 rpm.
The driver is available in pneumatic and electric models, and it can be supplied as a handheld tool or a fixtured spindle.
The pneumatic version is equipped with a high-precision shut-off clutch with a torque accuracy of less the ±3 percent standard deviation, even after millions of operating cycles. Under appropriate operating conditions, the tool attains a cmk value of 1.67 with a tolerance entry of ±10 percent relating to Six Sigma in accordance with ISO 5393.
An integrated quick-change chuck allows fast, simple bit exchange without the need for tools. Fasteners are held on the bit via an integrated vacuum implement.
High-Torque Cordless Tool
AcraDyne, a division of AIMCO, has launched a new high-torque cordless tool. This intelligent tool has a battery-driven, two-speed torque multiplier for torques ranging from 90 to 4,000 newton-meters.
For efficient fastening, the tool is equipped with a fast gear for run-down and a power gear for precise application of large amounts of torque. Engineers can choose from 22 torque values.
The tool is supplied with two lithium-ion battery packs. Each pack can perform 360 run-downs and features an LED charge level indicator. During recharge, the battery packs are cooled to reduce charge times and maximize performance and durability.
Pneumatic Pulse Tool
The Du-Pas TDIS Series of pneumatic pulse tools from TorqTec shut off automatically when the set torque has been reached. The torque is easily adjusted using a hex key. With a high power-to-weight ratio and a torque range of 6 to 450 newton-meters, the tools are available in pistol-grip, in-line and right-angle versions.
The tool is equipped with a twin-chamber, unibody air motor to reach torque quickly. A double-sealing pulse mechanism increases performance and reduces maintenance. High-precision components are designed for longevity and durability in industrial environments.
“Less time pulsing equates to greater longevity,” explains Darin Smith, sales and marketing manager at TorqTec.
A rubberized handle provides a non-slip grip and protection from heat generated during operation. The exhaust port rotates 360 degrees and minimizes noise.
Pulse tools are discontinuous drive tools, meaning they apply torque in increments rather than one continuous effort. These short pulses minimize or eliminate torque reaction experienced by the assembler. The Du-Pas pulse tool is unique in that the blades inside the pulse unit are tipped with rollers. This reduces noise and vibration and simplifies maintenance.
Cordless Pulse Tool
The Yokota YS-e cordless pulse tool, distributed by Ingersoll Rand, has a sealed hydraulic pulse unit that eliminates torque reaction during run-downs. The tool weighs just 4.3 pounds and is evenly balanced to reduce operator fatigue.
Assemblers can easily use the tool with one hand. The cordless design eliminates trip hazards from hoses and cables. The high-speed brushless motor produces minimal vibration and noise.
The tool enables users to engage fasteners quickly, improving productivity. The durable brushless motor delivers 4,800 rpm of free speed. Available with either a 0.375-inch square output or a 0.25-inch quick-change output, the tool has a torque range from 7 to 60 newton-meters on a hard joint.
A strain-gauge transducer captures run-down and trace data dynamically. An angle encoder measures the degrees of rotation during fastening and detects abnormal fastening conditions. The tool transmits real-time cycle data to the wireless unit, which stores up to 10,000 records per tool and is easily accessible via USB.
Operators program the YS-e via a programming console or from any device with an Internet browser using a simple, web-based interface that does not require a license. The Yokota wireless unit can communicate with four tools at once.
Operators do not need any special equipment to pair the tool with the wireless unit. A simple pairing process automatically connects the tool with the unit. Once programmed, the tool wirelessly sends data to the unit upon the completion of a tightening.
An integrated fan prevents the tool from overheating. The fan helps maximize run time and increases the lifespan of the tool between services. The unique internal fan location keeps dust from clogging the fan’s intake while keeping the tool cool.
Cordless Tool Integrates Controller
Electronics for measuring torque and angle of rotation have been integrated directly into the Nexo cordless nutrunner from Bosch Rexroth Corp. Because decentralized intelligence is located onboard the tool, it can operate without cable connections or the need for an external controller. As a result, high-reliability fastening is possible even in wireless dead zones.
Durable and accurate, the tool can handle a variety of safety-critical applications, such as battery cell production. The tool can take an input, such as a product’s serial number, and automatically adjust fastening parameters based on the model being assembled.
The tool has a large display screen and comes in both pistol-grip and angle-head versions. It is easy to integrate into an existing WiFi network, enabling simple wireless transfer of tightening results to servers. Digital sensors provide torque and angle data for process documentation—no external sensors or hardware are required.
Tools are available with a maximum torque of 100 newton-meters and a maximum speed of 880 rpm. All versions are available with a browser-based operating system and an optional bar code scanner. All Nexo tools are capable of class A (safety-critical) tightening in accordance with VDI/VDE2862. The tools support both 2.4- and 5-gigahertz WiFi networks.