“If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain.”
Whoever coined that proverb centuries ago wasn’t thinking about assembly presses. However, it certainly applies to the latest product from Promess Inc.—a handheld, fully electric servo press for precision assembly applications.
Initially available in 5- and 12-kilonewton models with stroke lengths up to 100 millimeters, the new servo presses feature built-in force and position monitoring, data collection and analysis capabilities. They also have adjustable handle positions with two-hand trigger switches and speed limited to 25 millimeters per second for operator safety.
“This is the first time anyone has been able to standardize a fully electric servo press in a handheld application,” says Promess president Glenn Nausley. “It took a lot of creative engineering to put this level of capability in a lightweight, handheld package, and we think it’s going to bring intelligent assembly operations to a whole range of new applications.”
The 5-kilonewton model weighs 18 to 20 pounds without tooling, while the 12-kilonewton version weighs 25 to 26 pounds.
Initial units will be available in a “push” configuration only. Tooling must incorporate either a clamp or a hook of some kind to anchor the unit to the workpiece while it is in use. (Such tooling must be supplied by the customer or the machine builder.)
Standard units operate on 110 VAC power, but 480 VAC models will be available to meet specific customer application requirements. Ten-foot cables for power, motor feedback, load cell and trigger switch are included with the tool.
The handheld servo press is controlled with a standard Promess MotionPRO controller which supports:
• Programmable position and force commands and monitoring for 100 percent in-process verification.
• Comprehensive data acquisition and storage.
• Part serialization for complete traceability.
“The combination of a handheld servo press and MotionPRO controller gives users all of the flexibility and processing power of a standard Promess Electro-Mechanical Assembly Press in a compact package that can be utilized in confined spaces for operations like aerospace riveting and automotive clinch nut installation,” Nausley adds. “This is a real game-changer.”
The handheld servo press was just one of many new press technologies that were on display at The ASSEMBLY Show. More than a dozen press suppliers are exhibiting the latest in hydraulic, pneumatic and electric technologies. The following are some of the products on offer.
Electric Press With Rack-and-Pinion Drive
Designed for integration into automated workcells, the ElectricPress 43 is an all-electric modular press that works with the user’s control system and safety devices.
The press is driven by a DC servomotor coupled to a rack-and-pinion drive. A standard PLC and SCHMIDT EP Assistant software are required to control the machine. Up to 14 user-defined NC sets (motion paths) can be loaded and stored inside the motor. These NC sets specify the ram end position, travel velocity, acceleration, deceleration, and maximum allowable force. When establishing the NC sets, the user can choose either force or ram end position to end the pressing action, and the other acts as a limit.
Like a servo press, the electric machine provides true closed-loop positioning control for programmable stroke control, while maintaining an accuracy of 0.002 inch. Providing fully programmable force levels, it can generate a continuous load capacity of 560 pounds and a peak load capacity of 900 pounds with an accuracy of ±10 percent. In addition, the ram feed rate also is fully programmable, with speeds reaching 5.9 ips.
X-Y Monitoring Systems
The maXYmos TL and maXYmos BL monitoring systems feature a sequencer mode that verifies the quality of a production step, a multistage production process, a subassembly or an entire product. The mode optimizes cycle time, maximizes repeat accuracy, minimizes downtime and increases machine availability—resulting in much greater manufacturing productivity.
Programs set up quickly and easily with the help of an intuitive user interface. Integrated sequence control allows complex test processes to be mapped without costly external PLC programming. The model TL also has evaluation objects that support additional applications such as switch testing.
When the new cable extender is used, cables between measuring modules and the display can be extended on one side, with data transmission via Ethernet. In addition, up to eight measuring modules for different production processes can be connected to one display.
Kistler Instrument Corp.
Machines for High-Force Assembly Operations
HyperPierce units provide the speed and accuracy required for precision high-force assembly operations, such as piercing, riveting, marking, clinching and staking. Three versions are available, all of which have an output force of 1 to 30 tons. Self-equalizing units extend both ram and anvil to the workpiece; reverse-equalizing models extend the anvil to the piece; and non-equalizing units extend the ram to the piece prior to the power stroke cycle. The units can be used with the company’s HyperView press for active-cycle quality control to reduce costs and part nonconformance.
Aries Engineering Co. Inc.
Servo Press for Assembly Automation
The JP4 Electro Press is a high-precision AC servo press that ensures operation data traceability as well as precise position and pressure control. Various models with a pressing capacity from 0.5 to 120 kilonewtons are available.
The lineup comprises three types of models (stand-alone, head and unit types) that can be used for a variety of applications. The AC servomotor drive system can provide a quieter, cleaner work environment compared with a hydraulic or pneumatic drive system. In addition, the press consumes 10 to 20 percent less energy than pneumatic and hydraulic presses. To ensure safety, the presses come equipped with a light curtain and a fail-safe circuit.
The user-friendly operator interface has a large, LCD screen. Display languages and units of measure are changeable.
The AC servomotor, high-precision ballscrew and load cell deliver high accuracy and high function. The device can be programmed for multistage pressing operations via a teaching pendant. With precise positioning and adjustment capabilities, there is no need to make or adjust high-precision dies or jigs when changing setups or starting up new assembly lines.
The press has a variety of sensor functions for load, position, distance and speed. In the sensor load mode, the sampling function checks many load values including peak, bottom and differential. The press can be connected directly to a PC through the external interface, RS-232C. Thus, all the data such as pressure curves and work results can be stored and organized on a PC (using optional software). In case of a problem, an error message will be displayed so engineers can quickly locate and react to the problem.
Models suitable for class 10 clean rooms are available. Up to 20 units of electro presses can be controlled with a computer via Ethernet.
Janome Industrial Equipment USA Inc.
The Digiforce 9311 force and displacement controller delivers rapid results for pressing, riveting or fastening applications that demand high precision and productivity. A measurement accuracy of 0.05 percent is possible at a 10 kilohertz sampling rate. These quantities are recorded synchronously during the manufacturing process or subsequent functional testing to produce a measurement curve. Standard features include a 3.5-inch color touch screen, high-resolution force and displacement inputs, user-configurable digital I/O, six real-time switching signals, 16 measurement programs and data logging on a USB flash drive.
Electromechanical Servo Drives
EQ-K and EX-K series electromechanical servo drives feature integrated force measurement and maintenance-free belts. Press force ranges are 2 to 100 kilonewtons (EQ-K) and 10 to 200 kilonewtons (EX-K). Each model offers a total stroke of 150 to 450 millimeters and repeatability of less than ±0.01 millimeter. Compact and lightweight, the drives are energy efficient, set up easily (plug-and-play design) and allow comprehensive performance monitoring. Options include safety brakes (with or without a rotary encoder), lubrication units and separate ventilation to enhance performance.
Benchtop Pneumatic Press
Benchtop pneumatic presses have a quiet, smooth action. They are designed for light assembly work up to 5 tons. Their deep throat, large bed area and stable base make these presses versatile and user friendly. They have clean and simple packaging with a shroud to enclose the cylinder, tubing and controls. The presses come standard with all controls, including a counter, and have provisions for die mounting.
The bed area measures 13.15 inches by 16 inches. The ram is 7.125 inches from the front of the die plate with a 1.5 inch by 1 inch die shank. A 22-inch wide die plate is available.
The press has a rigid C frame with 1-inch thick side walls to prevent flexing and allow robotic loading. Maximum stroke length is 4 inches.
C-Frame Hydraulic Press
This floor-standing, C-frame hydraulic press is available in two models: the FMS with a single pump and the FMD with a double pump. Press capacity is 20 to 200 tons. Hydraulic pressure is adjustable from 20 to 100 percent. Stroke length is also adjustable. Electric jog control simplifies setup. The vane pump is mounted out of the oil for ease of service, and valves are mounted in a manifold. The press includes a speed change limit switch, PLC, NEMA-12 control cabinet, and IEC-fused disconnect.