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Are you using the correct fastener?

When manufacturing an assembly over long periods of time, keeping up with industry trends for fastening and forming are essential.  As new technologies are continuously developed, so are opportunities to improve on joint quality, cycle time and ROI. 

Recently, a manufacturer reached out to Orbitform to research the best way to fasten a noise dampening assembly.  This assembly had been in production for many years, but due to increased production requirements over the years, their current method of forming has cycle time issues and ergonomic issues for their operators. 

To fasten multiple layers of fabric together, the company was using pop rivets with washers.  While the pop rivet was small, the additional washers on each side provided the tight hold they required.  The process was time consuming: operators had to manually line up three layers of fabric, hold a washer on each side and then apply the pop rivet.  Alignment issues drove up cycle time, thus adding additional cost to the project.

In reviewing the application with the customer, Orbitform recommended replacing the pop-rivet with a semi-tubular rivet that would remove the need for washers.  By switching the process to impact riveting, operators would be able to align the fabric quickly on a guide pin set in the fixturing directly on the machine.  From there, the machine would form the rivet in 3/10ths of a second.  The overall process would save the customer over 2 minutes of time per assembly. 

Changing the process to form the rivets was a little worrisome for the customer.  Their current method of forming had been working for a long time, so it was difficult to believe that they could successfully implement the new process and replace their current fasteners.  To help address this issue, we recommended the customer contact Jay-Cee Rivet, our recommended rivet supplier.  The rivet experts at Jay-Cee were able to recommend the correct semi-tubular rivet and even supply a few samples for the customer to review. 

Upon review of the samples, the customer had the proof they needed to see that they could replace their current fastener system with a rivet.  This allowed them to go from three components needed down to only one, and with a much lower cycle time, the change in process made much more sense.

When reviewing your current assembly process, it is essential that you continue to research technology available to improve your process.  When you are ready to research available options, the experts at Orbitform stand ready to help.  Contact us today to begin the process.