Increased Automation to Combat Labor Shortages
Let’s face it – manufacturing is HARD these days. Between a pandemic, reshoring, and labor shortages, finding solutions to manufacture a product has become more challenging than ever. To combat these challenges, manufacturers are turning to automating their assembly process more than ever.
When it comes to automating an assembly process, no two solutions are the same. Each assembly requires its own custom equipment creation. When developing a custom equipment solution, the Engineers at Orbitform take into consideration several important factors for each assembly, including:
- Functional requirement of each joint within the assembly
- Required production volume
- Number of operators available to run the machine
Hand Tool Assembly
Recently, a manufacturer reached out to Orbitform for a customized assembly solution for their new hand tool project. The manufacturer had nearly a dozen different designs of the hand tool. Each design required forming three rivets of varying sizes and inserting a roll pin, all with varying stack up height. While this was a new assembly, the pressure was on for this project – the customer had already received orders for the tool. This fast-approaching due date for product meant that the manufacturer needed a quick equipment solution to meet their production requirements.
One Tool, Three Rivets
As the experts in forming, fastening and assembly solutions, the customer turned to Orbitform to build a machine that would yield a short cycle time while achieving a very specific torque requirement. The machine included an x-y slide package which allowed for the insertion of the pin and forming of the rivets. Additionally, a servo powerhead was used to automatically adjust to form to the correct height for each stack-up height and rivet location. Dedicated part fixtures were developed with a quick release function to allow for quick change over from part to part. Finally, Orbitform worked with the customer to communize on one peen tool for all three rivets, creating a finished form to satisfy each functional requirement. With only one forming tool required, time consuming change from rivet to rivet was eliminated.
Once delivered, the machine provided a forming solution for each rivet and the roll pin, all while keeping cycle time low and only requiring one operator. The customer was able to deliver their order on time, all while greatly increasing their ROI on the project.
With the current challenges in manufacturing, many continue to turn to automation for an assembly solution. Determining a custom solution with the proper level of automation to deliver the best ROI can be tricky. The engineers at Orbitform work to develop custom solutions every day. Contact us today for your custom automated assembly solution.