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In-Process Torque Check

Manufacturing requires consistency and repeatability.  When your assembly process is inconsistent and you experience quality issues, where do you turn?

Orbitform is the leading expert in forming fastening and assembly solutions.  We partner with manufacturers to find the best possible assembly process.  Recently, we were approached by a manufacturer on an articulating joint with a very specific, low torque specification.

Upon review of the manufacturer’s current joint forming method, it was found there was a high scrap rate due to inconsistent torque.  The forming method they were using for the rivet, which held together two handles, simply did not provide enough control to ensure the proper torque specs while holding all components robustly. 

Orbitform partnered with the manufacturer to test the assembly in our Solutions Lab.  Many assemblies were formed to different forces.  After testing the assemblies, a precise forming force was found to provide the required joint functions. 

Orbitform experts worked to develop a new, accurate, repeatable process for the manufacturer.  The system combined a servo-driven orbital powerhead with process monitoring, a servo-driven wedge to raise and lower the assembly for forming, and a rotary servo for in process torque check. 

Upon initiation, the orbital head advances to locate the bottom of the rivet head in the assembly.  The overall length of the rivet is detected, and the stick-up is verified within its specification limits. Based on the specific information received, the rivet is then formed to a specific overall length from the rivet head.  Once formed, the tool retracts, and the assembly exercised a set number of times to release pressure in the joint.  Then, using the rotary servo, the torque of the joint is measured.  If the torque spec is met, the powerhead fully retracts and part unload.  However, if the spec is not met, the forming cycle repeats.  Upon development of this new system, the manufacturer received a repeatable, robust process that produces consistent assemblies every time. 

Partnering with the experts at Orbitform on your assembly process provides many positive results.  The many fastening, forming and assembly processes offered provide the right solution for your functional requirements every time.  Orbitform is the only orbital riveting company able to provide in-process torque check, and eagerly awaits partnering with you on your next assembly process.  Contact us today to have our experts review your application and begin developing your unique solution.

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A Dual Opposed Solution

Vehicle Safety

When backing out of your driveway and speeding down the road on your way to work, you probably don’t give much thought to the effort it takes to run your vehicle.  We have come to expect the highest quality out of our vehicles to provide transportation, while keeping us safe.  Vehicle manufacturers perform stringent tests to ensure the highest quality, giving you a smooth, worry-free ride.

Self-Contained System

Orbitform upholds the same quality standards with fastening, forming, riveting and assembly, so it is no surprise that we were approached to find a self-contained solution to form carrier pins in a transmission planetary carrier gear.  In a completed assembly, components were held in place by either four or six carrier pins.  A machine solution was required to form both sizes of gears and to form the carrier pins equally on each side to meet the high-quality standards.

Tolerancing Challenge

Upon review of the assembly, the largest challenge was with the tolerancing of the carrier pins. Prior to forming, the pins were slip fit, held in place by grease.  While forming the first pin, the other pins could fall out due to the slip fit.  Orbitform partnered with the manufacturer to design a fixture that would allow for robotic loading and unloading and hold all pins in place during the forming process.  The fixture could also shuttle to hit the next pin, thus creating a self-contained solution. 

Orbital Forming

The next challenge addressed was the forming of the pins.  During testing in Orbitform’s Solutions Lab, our lab technicians found that orbitally forming the pins .070” on each side created the desired form to withstand the pushout forces the carrier would be seeing.  However, the pins required a back-up upon forming. 

A Dual Opposed Solution

To combat these challenges and meet the required cycle time, Orbitform introduced the idea of a dual-opposed system that was programmable to run either the four pin or six pin carrier.  An orbital powerhead would act as a hard stop on one side of the carrier pin while the other side was being orbitally formed.  Next the two powerheads would switch jobs and form the opposite side.  After this cycle was complete, the fixture would then shuttle to the next pin and begin again. 

High Quality

In developing this dual opposed, self-contained system, Orbitform was able to provide a solution that exceeded expectations and achieved the required cycle time.  In addition, through partnering with our customer on this project, Orbitform was able to ensure the carrier pins overperformed in safety tests to provide the highest quality vehicle components possible. 

Overperformance

Orbitform is committed to providing high quality, robust and unique solutions to overperform in meeting the functional requirements in a joint.  Afterall, on your drive home from work tonight, your thoughts should be on your family, not questioning the safety of your vehicle. 

Orbitform stands ready to partner with you on your next fastening, forming, riveting or assembly project.  Contact us today to find your unique solution.

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Orbital Vs Radial

What’s the difference?

We hear it all the time – what is the difference between orbital and radial riveting. It’s an important subject to discuss when designing a new assembly and looking for the right fastening or forming process. To help you better understand each process and find the right solution, we have put together a few comparisons to consider.

Forming a tenon

The most obvious difference in orbital and radial riveting is the tool path of the peen. With orbital riveting, the peen is held at a fixed angle, typically 6°, and rotates over the fastener in a circular motion. As it rotates along the tenon, it gently forms the material. The 6° angle uses up to 80% less force than a press and creates approximately a 10% sideload. Radial riveting is quite different. The radial peen tool begins in the center and forms outward in a fleurette design. This process creates less side load but requires more force as it travels directly over the tenon.

Common uses and considerations

Due to the forming force required, radial riveting is most often used with small and delicate parts, such as endoscopic medical tools or inside watch components. As the size of the rivet increases, so too does the forming force, making it harder for radial riveting to be completed on larger diameter rivets due to the tooling path. As the tooling path travels directly over the top of the rivet and approaches 0 °, shank swell is increased due to the increased forming force, which can limit the joint’s ability to articulate. With orbital riveting less forming force is required due to the angle of the peen and tool path. The indirect force applied to the tenon creates less shank swell and can allow for articulating joints. The range of assemblies benefiting from this type of riveting include pinion gears, industrial sprinklers, striker wires, etc. etc.

Maintenance

The largest consideration manufacturers should consider is the long-term cost of maintenance and tooling to be used for each type of forming. The tooling path of radial riveting is quite larger than that of orbital riveting. It takes 13 rotations of fleurettes to complete one full 360 ° pass with radial riveting, whereas an orbital path only takes one. For this reason, the internal components between the two types of powerheads differ greatly. Orbital heads include three industrial standard bearings held in place by a snap ring. Maintenance includes removing the snap ring, cleaning, greasing and replacing the bearings. This process, on average, takes around a half hour and should be completed every 40 hours of part contact. The bearings are a standard bearing that can be found at any tool supply shop, meaning you are able to replace bearings quickly in an emergency. The total cost to replace all internal components for an orbital head is minimal. Conversely, radial riveting requires more internal components to create the tool path. The range of movement creates friction and heat, causing internal components to break down quicker. It is critical to grease the internal bearing, pre-load spring and thrust cup every 40 machine hours (not contact hours as in orbital riveting) to limit heat. Also, the rubbing of the pre-load spring and thrust cup to create the florets and rotation creates galling and increased wear. As these components break down, required maintenance and machine downtime due to maintenance increases. Due to the complexity of the components, the cost of replacing internal components of a radial head is three to four times that of orbital riveting.

Making the choice

When choosing between orbital and radial riveting, total cost of ownership, joint function, size, forming force required, and future machine maintenance costs must be taken into consideration. The financial obligations and time required for maintenance are not to be taken lightly, as it can greatly affect your throughput. As you approach the initial design phase of a new project, call the experts at Orbitform to discuss your assembly requirements to determine the appropriate riveting process. Our Applications Engineers and Lab Technicians stand ready to work with you to find the best solution for your assembly.

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How to TUNE-UP Your Orbital Riveter

Orbitform Powerheads with interchangeable Spiral Cartridges. Orbitform Powerheads with interchangeable Spiral Cartridges.
Permanently assembling parts using an orbital process offers many advantages including: 80% less force required than a conventional press, a low profile aesthetically appealing head-form, low cost fasteners, a high strength joint, and the option to allow a joint to rotate. Proper machine setup and maintenance is critical in achieving a desirable head form and consistent results.  With over 25-years of experience, Orbitform’s application engineers and service technicians have seen what can happen on the factory floor.  Here are a few tune-up tips to keep your orbital assembly equipment running smoothly, and producing quality parts. ALIGNMENT: To assure a quality head form it is critical that the center of the orbital head be aligned with the center of the rivet being formed.  A misalignment can produce undesired results, rejected parts and possible damage to bearings and the orbital head. Alignment issues can come from: the fixture, the part, and/or the machine setup.  The easiest method to check the alignment is with Orbitform’s Orbital Alignment Kit.  Typically on a 1/4” diameter rivet, the center of the orbital head should be within 0.004” Total Indicator Runout from the center of the rivet. THE PEEN:
Orbital Diagram Orbital Head, Peen Holder, and Peen.
The peen is the perishable tooling that touches the rivet or part being formed.  Make sure the peen-holder turns freely inside the orbital head.  The peen is held in place with a magnet or set screw and should be easy to remove.  Apply an anti-seize lubricant to its shank at least once a week. Check the peen for excessive wear.  Never sharpen or machine a worn peen.  Changing the length of the peen changes its point of contact, which can affect the resulting head form, and possibly lead to bearing failure.  Always replace worn tooling.  Make sure new tooling meets the standards for hardness, polish, and coating set by the manufacture. Check if the peen is too hot to touch after forming.  Excessive heat can lead to or indicate bearing failure.  A hot peen may mean it’s hitting the part too hard or dwelling on the part too long and/or not rotating properly.  The flow control on the Powerhead’s exhaust may need to be adjusted to increase or decrease the Powerhead’s advance rate. LUBRICATION: Orbitform’s Powerheads are lubed for life and require little preventative maintenance.  However, the orbital head should be inspected and greased after approximately 100 hours of forming time.  Do not confuse this with 100 hours of machine operation.  If a part takes 5 seconds to form, that would be one minute of forming-time for every 12 parts, one hour for 720 parts, or 72,000 parts for every 100 forming-hours.  Be careful not to over grease the orbital head. Typically, a single shot from a hand pump is all that’s needed.  Over greasing can create extra drag on the bearings and restrict the peen-holder from rotating freely. AIR: Orbitform’s Powerheads are rated to 100 psi of air pressure.  We generally size our Powerheads based on the air pressure available in the plant.  If the pressure on the factory floor drops, the Powerhead’s force will be diminished; this can effect cycle-time, and the overall head-form.  Verify the recommended air pressure is within the machine’s specification. Just as important as air pressure is air volume.  The more air-driven equipment added to a production line the greater the overall volume of air needed to run them.  Air pressure may be within limits, but the machines may be starved for air, which can affect cycle-time and forming results.  This is especially true when forming multiple rivets with quick forming cycles.  Make sure the lines can deliver the required volume of air; if not an accumulation tank may be needed. An orbital riveting or forming process can solve many challenging assembly requirements; a well-tuned machine is the key to consistent forming results and quality parts. Orbitform Group 1600 Executive Dr. Jackson, MI 49203 (517) 787-8447 www.orbitform.com

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H-1000

Orbitform’s modular H-1000 pedestal machine is manufactured and assembled at Orbitform’s factory in Jackson, Michigan, USA. The orbital riveting pedestal machine is available with many standard features and the orbital forming pedestal machine can be customized with options to help monitor, control, and improve the assembly process. Orbitform’s application engineers listen and seek the appropriate answer for each specific assembly process being considered. Orbitform can design and build a complete turnkey assembly system including controls, safety, fixtures, and error-proofing to any specification.

Standard Features and Specifications for Orbital Riveting or Orbital Forming Applications:

  • Powerhead with electric motor and orbital head with peen developed and tested for each application
  • Fabricated reinforced work stand and H-Frame with precision bearing housings
  • The unit is fixtured to the needed height
  • HMI touch panel for enhanced diagnostics
  • Directional valve with dual pilot operated (PO) check to prevent powerhead drifting
  • Dual low actuation force palm buttons for cycling the machine
  • Pneumatic solenoid valves to assist with smooth and exact fluid motion
  • Digital adjustable dwell timer
  • Re-settable cycle counter to keep track of machine cycles
  • Electrical enclosure with disconnect switch
  • Illuminated power on selector switch
  • Programmable Logic Controller
  • Internally mounted home, deceleration and full stroke limit switches
  • Programmable Logic Controller

H-Frame Machine Options:

Electrical Options

  • Light curtains for operator safety
  • PLC expansion for an additional I/O
  • Low-profile LED work-light to enhance the lighting of the work area

Mechanical Options

  • Guarding for operator safety
  • Air line lubricator
  • Custom part fixturing designed and built by Orbitform allowing a turnkey riveting solution
  • Pneumatic fixture slide to allow for simpler part loading
  • Offset motor mount to allow for a shorter machine height and/or to allow for a through spindle pressure pad
  • Gear reducer to reduce the RPM to allow for the optimal forming speed
  • Spindle brake to control the tool position or to stop the tool rotation for certain applications
  • Anti-rotate device to prevent the peen from rotating during certain assembly or forming applications
  • Orbital alignment kit to help you set up the machine if the machine configurations change

Error Proofing, Process Monitoring, Process Control Options

  • Process Intelligence Package: Load Cell, LVDT (Linear Variable Displacement Transducer), Touch Screen
  • Pressure pad (standard, height sensing, or programmable height sensing) to secure the work piece prior to forming or assembly, to assist with assembly process monitoring / process control, or to confirm part presence prior to continuing the assembly process

Forming Options

  • Multi-point or Multi-spindle head for orbital riveting or orbital forming of multiple rivets at the same time
  • Static rollerhead for roller forming or roller assembly applications
  • Articulating rollerhead for roller forming or roller assembly applications
  • Press head powerhead configuration and press tooling to allow the powerhead to act as a press for pressing parts together into any assembly

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MR-750

Orbitform’s modular MR-750 powerhead is assembled with top line components and is manufactured and assembled at Orbitform’s factory in Jackson, Michigan, USA. The orbital riveting powerhead comes with many standard features and the orbital powerhead can be customized with several options to help monitor, control, and improve the orbital forming application being developed. Orbitform’s application engineers will listen and ask relevant questions in order to best specify the appropriate options to improve the assembly system being analyzed.

Extended stroke requirements?

Applications with similar orbital riveting or orbital forming force but requiring extended vertical clearance for part loading may benefit from the extended stroke Orbitform powerhead model M-753.
  • The M-753 Orbitform powerhead has a total tool stroke distance of 3.0 in (76 mm) that is adjustable between 0 in to 3.0 in (0 mm to 76 mm).

Standard Features and Specifications for Orbital Riveting or Orbital Forming Applications:

  • Electric motor with pre-wired 4-pin and 5-pin "mini-change" male connector (alternate voltage specifications available upon request)
  • Orbital head
  • Peen developed and tested for each application
  • Home switch to acknowledge when the tool is fully retracted
  • Limit switch to acknowledge when the tool is extended to the desired position
  • Deceleration switch
  • Orbitform powerheads are “lubed-for-life” with lifetime bearing and seal lubrication which allows for reduced lifetime maintenance expense and increased orbital forming equipment uptime. (The forming heads of Orbitform’s competition require diligent preventive maintenance in order to stay in operation for more than a few months.)
  • Stroke adjustment knob on top of the powerhead with indicator mounted on the side of the powerhead to help you establish the stroke distance of the machine

Powerhead Options:

Electrical Options

  • 12 ft. motor cable with 4-pin "mini change" 90 degree female connector to allow you to quickly and easily connect the motor to your power supply control panel
  • 12 ft. limit switch cable with 5-pin “mini change” to allow you to quickly and easily connect the limit switch to your control panel

Mechanical Options

  • Offset motor mount to allow for a shorter machine height and/or to allow for a through spindle pressure pad
  • Gear reducer to reduce the RPM to allow for the optimal forming speed
  • Spindle brake to control the tool position or to stop the tool rotation for certain applications
  • Anti-rotate device to prevent the peen from rotating during certain assembly or forming applications
  • Powerhead mounting plate with ± 1 inch (25.4 mm) adjustment to allow for simpler, front flange mount integration of the Orbitform powerhead into your assembly system
  • Orbital alignment kit to help you set up the machine if the machine configurations change
  • Standard bench machine column (bench machine base is also available) to support the powerhead. The bench machine column and base can be combined to provide a complete ready to use machine.
  • Standard pedestal machine column and base assembly
  • Fabricated straight column to be engineered specifically for your automated assembly application
  • Fabricated c-frame column to be engineered specifically for your automated assembly application

Error Proofing, Process Monitoring, Process Control Options

  • Pressure pad (standard, height sensing, or programmable height sensing) to secure the work piece prior to forming or assembly, to assist with assembly process monitoring / process control, or to confirm part presence prior to continuing the assembly process
  • Loadcell force monitoring to assist with assembly process monitoring / process control / error proofing
  • LVDT (Linear Variable Displacement Transducer) for stroke position monitoring. The LVDT is externally mounted.

Forming options

  • Radial head for radial riveting or radial forming assembly applications when the radial forming process is preferred
  • Multi-point or Multi-spindle head for orbital riveting or orbital forming of multiple rivets at the same time
  • Static rollerhead for roller forming or roller assembly applications
  • Articulating rollerhead for roller forming or roller assembly
  • Press head powerhead configuration and press tooling to allow the powerhead to act as a press for pressing parts together into any assembly

Filed Under

HS-750

Orbitform Orbital Heads Last

Through proper care and maintenance, it is possible to keep your orbital head running as smoothly as the day your purchased it and with Orbitform's lubed-for-life orbital heads you know the performance will stay optimal for years.

Orbitform Peen Tools Fasten Your Assemblies

Orbital heads come with a peen tool. The peen is the tool that actually contacts the rivet being upset or the post being formed. There are a wide variety of standard peens used with Orbitfom orbital heads to help enhance your assembly process. Orbitform peen tools are designed for the specific purpose your forming or assembly application requires. Some peens ensure a certain aesthetic appearance while others flare or crimp the work piece involved. Orbitform offers many peen configurations including: conical form peen, flat form peen, captured form peen, crown form peen, flare form peen, eyelet form peen, ring stake form peen, and crimping form peen.

Orbitform Orbital Head Options

  • Standard orbital heads with 6 degree peen angle for minimum required forming force
  • Long reach orbital heads with 3 degree to 6 degree peen angles for difficult to reach rivets or posts
  • Gold series orbital heads with upgraded, heavy duty sealed bearings when you are forming harder materials
  • C-Frame orbital heads for difficult to reach rivets where an overhang or other obstruction prevents a standard, straight down riveting process
  • Multi-point orbital heads for forming several rivets at once with a custom orbital head equipped with several peens
  • Multi-spindle orbital heads for forming several rivets at once with a custom orbital head equipped with several spindles, each spindle with a peen
  • Radial riveting heads for certain applications where the part being formed is fragile, small, or otherwise more conducive to the radial forming process
Please contact Orbitform so we can help you choose the proper peen and orbital head combination for your forming, flaring, or assembly project.

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GL-730

Gold series orbital heads are an available upgrade with certain Orbitform orbital forming, orbital fastening and orbital riveting machines. The gold series orbital heads from Orbitform are designed for orbital riveting and orbital forming hardened materials that would cause standard orbital forming heads to wear out quickly. The gold series orbital heads provide a greater thrust capacity in comparison to the standard orbital heads due to the robust design and upgraded bearings. The heavy duty design allows the gold series orbital heads to last longer when riveting under challenging material conditions and when your assembly process presents a difficult forming, fastening, or riveting application. The gold series is available with the standard 6 degree peen or the extended reach 4 degree peen tool.

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GL-610

Gold series orbital heads are an available upgrade with certain Orbitform orbital forming, orbital fastening and orbital riveting machines. The gold series orbital heads from Orbitform are designed for orbital riveting and orbital forming hardened materials that would cause standard orbital forming heads to wear out quickly. The gold series orbital heads provide a greater thrust capacity in comparison to the standard orbital heads due to the robust design and upgraded bearings. The heavy duty design allows the gold series orbital heads to last longer when riveting under challenging material conditions and when your assembly process presents a difficult forming, fastening, or riveting application. The gold series is available with the standard 6 degree peen or the extended reach 4 degree peen tool.

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GL-320

Gold series orbital heads are an available upgrade with certain Orbitform orbital forming, orbital fastening and orbital riveting machines. The gold series orbital heads from Orbitform are designed for orbital riveting and orbital forming hardened materials that would cause standard orbital forming heads to wear out quickly. The gold series orbital heads provide a greater thrust capacity in comparison to the standard orbital heads due to the robust design and upgraded bearings. The heavy duty design allows the gold series orbital heads to last longer when riveting under challenging material conditions and when your assembly process presents a difficult forming, fastening, or riveting application. The gold series is available with the standard 6 degree peen or the extended reach 4 degree peen tool.

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