More and more manufacturing is moving to verifying critical functional features 100% in process. The reasons for this growth in checking every part include customer requirements, savings associated with the cost of quality defects, and/or a desire to produce a more consistent and higher quality part. The rotating torque on a pivoting joint assembly often falls into this category of critical functional features that require in-process verification.
The construction of a pivot joint testing machine has numerous considerations. Whether you are designing a machine or purchasing from someone else, understanding various aspects of the pivot testing machine and major considerations to take is critical. In this paper we will discuss these considerations including major parts of the general machine configuration to consider, key aspects of the part fixturing, what gauging and machine verification considerations to take, and finally the control methodology approach and potential key measurements.
GENERAL MACHINE CONFIGURTATION
When discussing pivot joint testing equipment, it is key to start with considerations of the general machine configuration. The main areas to discuss are the spindle location, clamping and part containment, rotational friction, and other potential in stations processes.
- SPINDLE LOCATION
- CLAMPING AND PART CONTAINMENT
- ROTATIONAL FRICTION
- OTHER REQUIRED PROCESSES IN STATION
As discussed in the general machine configuration section, clamping and part containment are critical to the success of a pivot joint testing machine. Clamping and containment are generally accomplished in the part fixture. See Figure 2 below for an example of this location and clamping approach.
The fixture has a few specific considerations to take.
- SUPPORT OF RIVET/PIVOT JOINT
- EXTERNAL COMPONENT LOCATING AND CONTAINMENT
- GENERAL FIXTURE MOTION
- GAUGING OF MOTIONS AND MEASUREMENTS
The final, extremely important, consideration to take for a pivot joint testing machine is the control methodology. As important as the robust, well thought out main machine and fixture, including methods of verification are, they are worthless without the appropriate control methodology. This control methodology has several considerations.
If a test machine is not designed and configured correctly it can either constantly restrict production flow or be as pointless as not testing at all. As we discussed, many considerations need to be taken for each of the main machine, the fixture, the gauging and motion verification, and finally the control methodology. Along with this, these different aspects of the machine construction must work together and interact correctly to produce a test sequence that appropriately provides accurate and indisputable test data.