There are many benefits to be gained for manufacturers looking to bring assembly operations in-house. Reshoring or insourcing assembly processes to bring them in-house from an outside supplier can reduce delivery times, increase quality control, and provide a higher level of protection for intellectual property. When manufacturers make the decision to reshore or insource, they can also face challenges and often need to validate the process or find a better assembly solution altogether.
Recently, a hand tool manufacturer made the call to reshore some of their assembly operations. Looking to assemble ten different parts on one machine, they partnered with Orbitform to find the right solution. Each part had multiple rivets located on pivoting joints, and each rivet had varying diameters with different finished form heights. Aesthetics were also important as they were looking for a smooth, captured form for each rivet. It would not be an easy task to meet these requirements, but our engineers were up for the challenge.
First, we partnered with the customer in our Solutions Lab to find what a good part looked like. We developed a peen forming tool for one of the rivets that resulted in the desired finished form. Next, we worked with the manufacturer’s design engineers to identify the appropriate rivet length and stick-out for the remaining rivets to allow for the same forming tool to be used. After finalizing the rivet requirements, they were able to correctly source the rivets within the correct tolerance to get consistent results that met their specifications.
Once the tooling design and rivet requirements were finalized, our engineers designed a custom servo XY machine that could form all ten parts with one machine. This custom machine used our SV-750 Servo-Driven Orbital Powerhead mounted to a base with a Servo Driven XY table. We designed multiple fixtures with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology to identify which part is on the XY table. The Servo Driven XY table would then run the corresponding programming and move the part to each rivet location for the identified part. The Servo-Driven powerhead was also programmed for multiple stop positions to allow rivets to be accurately formed at different heights. The powerhead was also equipped with a load cell to monitor the force applied to ensure each rivet was formed within their tolerances.
Bringing this assembly process in-house and forming ten parts with one machine was a big challenge for this manufacturer. They knew there could be huge benefits, including a more consistent part, higher quality control, and an increased return-on-investment. By partnering with Orbitform, they were able to validate the current process, improve their product design, and gain a solution for consistent results across all their parts.
Orbitform is a trusted advisor for manufacturers looking to bring assembly processes in-house from outside suppliers. Whether by validating the assembly process in our Solutions Lab, working with engineers to redesign their part, or designing an automated or semi-automated assembly solution, Orbitform stands ready to support manufacturers. Contact us today to discuss your insourcing or reshoring strategy and assembly requirements.