Troubleshooting Common Feeding Challenges
Impact riveting is an assembly process that uses force to permanently fasten two or more components together with a semi-tubular or solid rivet. Rivets are often automatically fed from a hopper or bowl through a track and into the jaws. Then the driver pushes the rivet through the components and onto the rollset to form the other end, securing the components together. The advantages of impact riveting are the cycle time is fast, the assembly operation is simple, and the rivets are automatically fed into the tooling.
Occasionally, manufacturers may experience feeding challenges with impact riveting equipment. The problem could be found in the hopper or bowl being used, the track that feeds the rivets to the tooling, or in the tooling itself. Below are a few things to check for if you are experiencing challenges with your rivet feeding.
Hopper or Bowl Related Feeding Challenges
Impact riveting equipment with a flywheel design often uses either a rotary hopper or vibratory bowl to feed the rivets into the track. Here are a few common feeding challenges related to the hopper or bowl:
- Rotary hopper isn’t spinning:
- Check that the shaft is properly lubricated.
- Check that the ratchet system that connects the hopper to the drive cylinder is intact and does not have any wear.
- Hopper or bowl is spinning but rivets are not feeding into the track:
- Check that the hopper or bowl is designed for the rivet you are using. If there is a change in the rivet diameter, length, or head geometry, it may not properly fit through the slots in a rotary hopper or falling into the track with a vibratory hopper.
- Check that the bowl and track are properly aligned to allow the rivets to feed into the track properly.
- Slow rivet feeding:
- Check for wear and tear within the rotary hopper that may cause rivets to stick inside the hopper.
- Check the control speed on the vibratory bowl.
- Check that the vibratory bowl is not too full.
Track Related Feeding Challenges
After escaping from the bowl or hopper, rivets are fed down the track or rail guide into the tooling. The most common feeding challenge with the tracks is the rivets getting stuck. If this happens, here are a few things to look for:
- Check that you are using the correct rivet. Any changes to the rivet diameter, length, or head geometry may mean the rivets cannot properly move down the track.
- Check that the shaft of the rivet is concentric and round, and properly centered to the manufactured head. If the shaft is off-center, it may not properly feed through the track.
- Check that the track is clean. Debris on the track may cause the rivets to stick.
Jaws Related Feeding Challenges
Once fed through the track, rivets are fed into the jaws. The jaws hold the rivet as it is being lowered to the part before being installed. Below are some of the common feeding issues seen at this point in the process and what to look for:
- Rivets fall out of the jaws before being installed into the part:
- Check that the jaws and driver are properly aligned.
- Check for wear on the jaws.
- Rivets are not feeding into the jaws at all:
- Check that the track and the jaws are properly aligned.
- Check that the right jaws are installed for the rivet being used. Changes in the rivet diameter, length, or head geometry could mean that the rivet won’t properly fit in the jaws.
- Jaws are not coming back to the track after installation to catch the next rivet, or are not closing all the way:
- Check for wear on the jaws.
These items are just a few things to check if you are experiencing feeding challenges with your impact riveting equipment. Orbitform’s in-house Service team is also available to assist you with these challenges, or any other issues you may experience with your assembly equipment. We can walk you through troubleshooting over the phone, and also have two full-time service technicians available for on-site service calls. If you need any assistance with your assembly equipment or experience extensive downtime, contact our service department today.