In most assemblies that are joined with threaded fasteners, the cost of the fasteners is not as important as the cost of installing them. That makes choosing the right fastening tool of paramount importance. Pneumatic tools are inexpensive, but DC electric tools offer more control and precision. Cordless tools enable assemblers to access fasteners in confined spaces, but they’ll need a steady supply of fully charged batteries.
Do you need torque control, angle control or both? Is it a hard joint or a soft joint? Is it an ordinary rundown or a “safety-critical” joint? Could the materials crack or strip if the fastening parameters are insufficiently controlled? Do the fasteners need to be installed in a particular sequence? Is data collection and analysis important? Is ergonomics a concern? If production volumes are high enough, you might be able to justify an automatic screwfeeding system or even a screwdriving robot.
Here’s a look at the latest equipment for installing threaded fasteners. All the products here will be on display at The ASSEMBLY Show South, which will take place April 4-6 at the Music City Center in Nashville, TN. Besides fastening tools, you’ll find some 150 suppliers of automation, robotics, motion control technology, parts feeders, manufacturing software and other assembly technologies. For more information, visit www.assemblyshowsouth.com.
Pulse Tool Offers Continuous, Discontinuous Modes
The AcraDrive pulse tool offers three tightening strategies that are programmable with the AcraDyne Gen IV controller: continuous mode, discontinuous mode, or continuous and discontinuous mode. This means that one tool can cover more applications. Engineers do not have to make trade-offs between ergonomics and low cost of ownership or between high speed operation and data collection.
In continuous mode, the tool can be programmed to run like traditional DC electric nutrunners with ergonomically acceptable limits. In discontinuous mode, the tool provides virtually reaction-free performance with great accuracy, high speeds, and controllability. In combined mode, the tool has the unique ability to deliver torque in both continuous and discontinuous modes.
The torque is measured by an industry-standard strain gauge transducer, providing high accuracy and minimizing errors in the assembly process. Sealed brushless optimized motors ensure reliable operation with zero maintenance requirements.
The lightweight, low handling force and smooth movement make the tool suitable for fast one-handed tightening. In addition, AcraDyne developed a proprietary motor control algorithm to regulate speed, torque and various performance characteristics for precision positioning and tool balance.
The tool connects to the controller using the same durable cable that connects to all AcraDyne tools. No software add-ons are required, and no-cost updates are available through AIMCO’s website.
Experience clear and concise data connectivity when integrating the AcraDrive with an AcraDyne Gen IV iEC Controller. With an intuitive user interface, the iEC Controller connects to all major protocols, buses and line control systems in use today. Data storage and transfer to QMS systems enables robust process management in today’s data-driven world.
See this product at The ASSEMBLY Show South, booth 137.
Fixtured, Handheld Electric Tools
A range of fixtured, handheld corded and wireless torque tools are available for precision fastening applications. The smallest handheld tool weighs just 1.54 pounds. The SMX controller has new software and hardware. The controller can now communicate directly with mobile devices, and signal transmission from the tools to the controller is fully digital. Production software is fully customizable with free updates for life and no subscription fees. Fixtured tools feature a new swivel hybrid plug. There’s no need for different cables with straight or right-angle plugs, which reduces spare parts inventory. Battery tools have an integrated control system and communicate directly with a shop-floor network. Innovative monitoring strategies ensure error-proof assembly. A complete line of accessories is also available, including telescoping support arms and semiautomatic handling systems.
See this product at The ASSEMBLY Show South, booth 903.
Digital Torque Wrench
The OPEXplus digital torque wrench can measure both torque and angle of rotation. Accurate and ergonomic, the tool covers a range of torques from 3 to 800 newton-meters, and it transfers tightening results to any IT system without the need for additional control.
OPEXplus torque tools are recognized in in shop-floor networks via an embedded WiFi module. When a tool in an assembly line is changed, the module can simply be plugged into the new screwdriver. The software allows parameterization via a hotspot, the factory network or a serial interface.
The wrench transmits tightening results with a tightening curve, as well as maximum torque and angle of rotation. It supports popular protocols such as OpenProtocol, IPM or XML. A standard 21700 lithium-ion rechargeable battery supplies the power.
The wrench has a scanner to read bar codes and QR codes and transfer them to higher-level systems quickly and correctly.
An LED display ring on the handle is visible from all directions and shows the tightening process and result. An optional vibration module is also available to provide tactile feedback. The color display allows wrench to be operated intuitively. The housing is made of a robust titanium-aluminum alloy with an anti-slip handle cover.
See this product at The ASSEMBLY Show South, booth 503.
Torque Wrench for EV Assembly
The WrenchStar Multi-e digital torque wrench is designed for use in environments that require insulated tooling, such as electric vehicle and electric battery manufacturing. The wrench is manufactured with isolated metal components and finished with an insulative coating, so it can be use in electrically live situations. The non-conductive design gives complete protection for the user in high-voltage applications. It also protects the tool against electrical damage. Compliance with the international quality standard IEC 60900:2018 is pending.
The wrench has an inductive battery charging system. This makes charging the torque wrench easy and efficient by simply placing the wrench onto the charging cradle. The system complies to WPC/Qi standards and has no external charging contacts.
See this product at The ASSEMBLY Show South, booth 543.
The DRFF-520 precision screwfeeder has an adjustable rail that accommodates screw thread diameters from 1 to 5.2 millimeters. Maximum screw length is 19 millimeters. A rail adjustment kit is included with the screw presenter to facilitate quick and easy setup. Three potentiometer adjustments give the user control of feed intensity and time. Hopper capacity is 200 to 220 cubic centimeters. The feeder is quiet and has few moving parts for increased durability.
See this product at The ASSEMBLY Show South, booth 241.
Delta Regis Tools Inc.
Automatic Tool Changer for Screwdriving Spindles
This fully automatic tool changer enables a single robot to install a variety of fasteners with only one screwdriving spindle. The tool changer works with both internal and external drive bits. Since one robot can do the work of two or more robots, return on investment is faster. Torque, angle and fastening speed are still programmable, and the device does not compromise the ability of the driver to collect data on the fastening process. Fasteners can be supplied to the tool via feed hose or pick nest.
See this product at The ASSEMBLY Show South, booth 435.
Sensor for Testing Low-Torque Drivers
The DSTxs static torque transducer is used to test low-torque screwdrivers in-house. Engineers can use the transducer to conduct capability studies of pneumatic or electric drivers for applications as low as 0.06 newton-meter. The sensor can be used in conjunction with Desoutter’s DJS joint simulator set, which includes models for both hard and soft joints. A guided test station is recommended to ensure perfect alignment of the tool or connection simulator and torque transducer. The transducer can also be integrated into a test station or robot cell.
In addition to the minimum, maximum and mean values, the transducer provides the standard deviation as well as Cm and Cmk values. The measurement uncertainty of the sensor is ±0.5 percent over the entire measuring range. All data for a capability report, such as sensor type, serial number, sensitivity, nominal load and test date, can be called up via the built-in smart chip memory.
See this product at The ASSEMBLY Show South, booth 403.
Nutrunner for Cobots
The ESTIC pulse nutrunner is now certified UR+ peripheral product for use with collaborative robots from Universal Robots. Because the pulse tool produces low torque reaction, the cobot can tighten bolts torque range of 0.1 to 140 newton-meters. The tool can be programmed for torque control, angle monitoring and multistage tightening. It can detect defects such as missing parts, cross-threading, and re-hitting. All fastening data, such as torque, angle and serial number. can be output to an upper-level system to ensure 100 percent traceability. Up to 250 torque programs can be stored in the controller.
Because the cobot does not require a safety fence to operate, manufacturers can save space and reduce labor costs. The cobot can be programmed in minutes. To create a fully automatic system, engineers can integrate a third-party bolt feeder with the nutrunner using discrete I/O and configured using URcaps.
See this product at The ASSEMBLY Show South, booth 661.
Programmable Fastening Tools
AccuTec fastening tools are programmable, accurate and repeatable. The lightweight, ergonomic tools are driven by powerful brushless motors.
The three pistol-grip models in the ASM 18 series cover a torque range of 0.5 to 12 newton meters and are suitable for hard and soft joints. Fastening speed can be adjusted from 110 to 1,200 rpm.
The six right-angle models in the ASW 18 series cover a torque range of 1.2 to 60 newton-meters and are suitable for hard and soft joints. Fastening speed can be adjusted from 20 to 1,100 rpm. Nine angle heads are available to match any application.
Engineers can control tool speed through an exact setting or a percentage of the tool’s maximum speed. Engineers can also set direction of rotation, angle of rotation, run time, and torque threshold. The latter setting is for two-stage fastening and complete control of soft joints. Engineers can program up to five elements per trigger pull.
See this product at The ASSEMBLY Show South, booth 655.
Fein Power Tool
Lightweight Cordless Riveter
The Birdie is the smallest and lightest battery-powered blind riveting tool in its class. It has an ergonomic design with a balanced center of gravity and a nonslip handle. With a maximum setting force of 10,000 newtons and a maximum stroke of 25 millimeters, the tool can set blind rivets up to 5 millimeters in diameter in all materials. The tool is powered by any battery compatible with the Cordless Alliance System. With the battery, the tool weighs just 1.3 kilograms. Color-coded nosepieces make it easy to match the nosepiece to the rivet being installed.
See this product at The ASSEMBLY Show South, booth 340.
Cables for DC Electric Nutrunners
Replacement cables are available for DC electric nutrunners from a variety of OEMs, including Atlas Copco, Cleco, Stanley and Bosch Rexroth. Available with short lead times, these replacement cables are highly flexible, cost effective and durable. Cables can be ordered with custom lengths. Sahajanand can also repair or refurbish old or damaged cables.
See this product at The ASSEMBLY Show South, booth 759.
Sahajanand Impex Pvt. Ltd.