Mechanical fasteners are, by far, the most popular means of product assembly. Some 36 percent of ASSEMBLY’s readers buy or specify power tools, and another 33 percent buy or specify fasteners.
It should, therefore, come as no surprise that the exhibit hall at the 2016 ASSEMBLY Show was dominated by suppliers of fasteners and fastening tools.
The following are just some of the fastening tools that were seen on the show floor.
Automatic Fastener Dispensing System
The Automatic Dispenser System is designed to drop the correct number of fasteners into the operator’s hand or a customer’s container for pickup in the assembly area. The dispenser can count screws, bolts, pins, nuts and other specialty fasteners for high production environment. This eliminates fasteners dropping into customer’s application, dropping screws on the floor, and fasteners dropping into assembly tracks. The count can be changed on the PLC’s LED screen.
Design Tool Inc.
Automatic Screwdriver Handles Micro Fasteners
Portable electronics are getting smaller and smaller—and so are the threaded fasteners holding them together. Micro fasteners can be as small as 1 millimeter in diameter, but they are not simply scaled-down versions of their larger counterparts. As fasteners are downsized to lengths as short as 2 millimeters with thread sizes as small as M1, issues related to materials, tight tolerances and torque control become magnified.
Feeding and driving these fasteners is a challenge. Instead of electromagnetic coils and leaf springs, feeders for micro screws use micro piezoelectric technology. Piezoelectric crystals vibrate at different frequencies depending on the voltage and current passed through them. The crystals create micro-vibrations which are gentler on small fasteners. Micro fasteners, pins and other small shapes can be fed quickly without any issues. A micro-adjusting mechanism allows for accurate positioning between the escapement and feed track.
Driving micro fasteners requires a small screwdriving spindle with special features. Because micro fasteners are so short, it’s not always possible to deliver them to the bit via blow-feeding. Instead, installation is a pick-and-place process. A high-precision vacuum spindle retrieves the fasteners from the feeder and drives them with low-mass bit. The mass of the spindle was reduced to decrease inertia and increase torque control. This is critical when the final torque is well below 1 newton-meter.
At such low torques, drag inside the spindle itself can cause incorrect torque readings. This screwdriver does not have that problem.
WEBER Screwdriving Systems Inc.
Pistol-Grip Pulse Tool
The AOB70P-S pistol-grip pulse tool has a 1/4-inch square drive and a torque range of 25 to 35 newton-meters. Weighing just over 1 kilogram, it has a free speed of 5,500 rpm at 73 psi or 5,700 rpm at 87 psi. Thanks to precision grinding, the contact point between the pulse blades and the edge of the oil cylinder is very small. This improves durability and makes the impact power of every pulse more stable.
A switch adjusts oil-return valve to allow the operator to fine-tune shut-off torque. When the tool will be used on a soft joint, the operator can adjust the shut-off speed for more consistent application of torque. A “stepless” trigger makes it easy for the operator to control air flow with minimal pressure.
The noise level of the tool is under 75 decibels.
Airpro Industry Corp.
Interface for Multiple Data Wrenches
The TCI (tool control interface) Multi-Lineside controller lets assemblers simultaneously monitor up to five WrenchStar Multi torque-and-angle data wrenches. It provides easy setup and self-diagnostics via an Ethernet connection over multiple Web browsers. When used as a stand-alone machine, assemblers can send performance results or from one or more wrenches to a PC or Web page. The controller also has a Web-status page that logs messages, monitors Ethernet and radio frequency properties, and indicates the latest torque reading from a wrench (LO, OK or HI). An LED lights shows the real-time connection status of each wrench.
Crane Electronics Inc.
Retractable Hose Reels
By installing a TechniReel, manufacturers eliminate the problem of compressed air hoses lying across assembly floors, and ensure that all unused hose is stored neatly and away from the work area. Constructed of an impact-resistant composite housing, the reels come with a lightweight, durable polyurethane air hose that is 0.25 to 0.5 inch in diameter and 20 to 50 feet long. The Safe-Wind, an option on some models, provides a slow, controlled return of the air hose to the reel. This option reduces the risk of a hose damaging equipment or individuals if an operator releases the hose during the return process.
Advanced Technology Products
Torque Arm Positioning System
By supporting up to four encoders, this torque arm positioning system ensures that no fasteners are missed during an assembly process. It provides pictures or CAD drawings to the operator as a visual aid, and memorizes up to 500 assembly sequences. The flexible system comes in different styles, all of which feature an intuitive, user-friendly HMI touch screen (7 inches wide) that makes setup easy. A digital I/O enables the system to interface with production line and tool controllers. Tool holders and a balancer are standard, with specialty models available.
ASG, Division of Jergens Inc.
Torque Tester Verifies Output of Fastening Tools
The battery-powered DRTQ touch-screen torque tester is used to verify the torque output of manual, pneumatic and electric screwdrivers. Its bench-mount design and wide torque measuring range make it well-suited for use in the production area, repair shop or quality control lab.
Various models cover a range of 0.11 to 135 newton-meters. The unit’s color LCD touch screen displays statistics and torque graphing for performance analysis. Data can be exported to an SD card with a unique file name, date and time stamp.
The “Quick-Run Mode” provides the ability to quickly audit and verify a tool. The “Measure Mode” allows evaluation of torque based on user-established tolerances. Eight configurable torque test profiles are available. Results of a set of run-downs are displayed and evaluated for minimum, maximum, Sigma, Cm, and Cmk.
Each unit is dead-weight calibrated with certified mass standards and arms to verify conformance to an accuracy of ±0.5 percent of indicated value.
Delta Regis Tools Inc.
The Rivdom riveter is a battery-powered tool designed to tackle virtually any riveting task when compressed air is not desired or available. Ergonomically designed by Honsel GmbH, the tool sets blind rivets up to 3/16 inch in diameter with 2,023 pounds of traction power. When the trigger is pulled, an LED light illuminates the application. A clear container collects spent mandrels to help keep the work area clean. The riveter weighs just 3.4 pounds, has a comfortable grip handle, and features a 14.4-volt, lithium-ion battery that recharges in less than 1 hour. It comes in a sturdy plastic carrying case with battery, charger and four sizes of nosepieces.
S-B Industries Inc.
Desktop Torque Gauge
The I-8 desktop torque gauge is ideal for monitoring torque, electric or pneumatic screwdrivers. It allows monitoring of torque while the bit is fitted. Measurement does not require any rewinding. Models are available with capacities ranging from 3 to 8 newton-meters. The battery-powered device has an LCD display with four digits and sign. Data is output via an RS-232 connection. Features include auto-zero, auto-power off and data output.
Battery-Powered Pulse Tools
Made by Uryu Seisaku Ltd., UDBP-AF pulse tools come with either a separate keypad or a wireless ZigBee communication protocol. Both versions feature patented Auto Relief functionality and an integrated torque transducer with angle monitoring capability. Compact and ergonomic, the tools are controlled via onboard electronics and powered by lithium-ion batteries. Users enter operating parameters and obtain fastening data (up to 10,000 tightenings) either via the keypad or ZigBee protocol. This information is clearly displayed on the back of the tool. Motor speed and power are adjustable to improve fastening accuracy.
Impact Wrench for Heavy-Duty Bolting
The FW-330 1-inch industrial impact wrench is for heavy-duty bolting applications. Thanks to its powerful and durable motor and pin-less rocking dog hammer, the wrench is ideal for heavy-duty applications, such as oil and gas machinery, mining and construction equipment, and heavy machinery. The tool is available in pistol-grip or straight-line versions. Powered by a powerful reverse-bias motor, tool delivers 2,600 newton-meters of torque. For greater durability, the hammer mechanism is lubricated with an oil bath instead of grease.
The tool can be used for soft joint work, such as flange bolting. Ergonomic features include a comfortable rotating side handle, a four-speed regulator for better control, outside or inside trigger options, and a dual-socket retainer for maximum tool versatility.
Battery-Operated Riveting Tool
FreeSet is a battery-operated riveting tool that can set rivets, rivet nuts and lockbolts at the same speeds and strength as pneumatic tools. Process controls are integrated directly into the tool to tell users when a set is good or bad with easy-to-read “OK” or “Not OK” indicators. An onboard bar code reader lets engineers preprogram and customize the tool, enabling them to define parameters for multiple jobs and functions and easily switch between them as needed. The tool connects to computers via USB as well as WiFi. Riveting data can be captured in real time and sent to a shop-floor network.
Industrial Rivet & Fastener Co.