For automotive manufacturers, one faulty fastener can lead to user injuries and reputation-damaging situations. So, when it comes to fastening components, manufacturers need tools and systems that ensure quality throughput and seamless processes.

Specific types of fasteners require the right tools to tighten them correctly and safely, and often cost drives which tools manufacturers purchase. Traditionally, transducerized tools – tools equipped with electronics that convert electronic signals into specific levels of work output – have been complex, expensive, and made exclusively for high-level fastening applications. However, with the rise of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), technology costs are decreasing, lowering investment costs for advanced tool systems.

Data are key to mitigating errors throughout the manufacturing process, helping monitor each process and ensure quality throughput. Transducerized tools deliver the information manufacturers need to know about their operations. Direct current (DC) tool systems such as the DC Electric Fastening Tool systems from Ingersoll Rand offer simplicity, ease of use, and are quick to set up. With an efficient DC tool system in place, automotive manufacturers can improve processes, increase data collection, and minimize rework and damaged parts caused by inaccurate torque or fastening techniques.

Simplified fastening

Not all DC tool systems require an expert to set up. Also, assembly workers should be able to operate the system easily. In looking for a simplified system – one that avoids time-intensive installations or training that take away from manufacturing time – evaluate the facility’s existing infrastructure and identify controller options with easy-to-program settings. Next, evaluate two critical features:

  • Flexibility: Consider potential changes that can happen in an automotive manufacturing environment; identify tool systems that can grow with an operation and don’t require third-party involvement for required changes
  • Capability: Whether it’s tightening a basic bolt or employing advanced torque strategies, look for solutions that accomplish all tightening modes

Flexibility

Automotive manufacturers should consider the potential changes they’re planning or that can happen in the future, from new product introductions to rebalancing assembly lines. Whether it’s adjusting torque, switching fasteners, or growing operations, they need flexible solutions.

A controller that is complex and requires the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to configure the system is time-intensive and expensive, adding to the manufacturing investment. Plug-and-play systems that are ready to go with the push of a button are easier to configure for future changes. These complete, out-of-the-box systems connect users and applications to deliver the speed, durability, and accuracy for maximized productivity.

Capability

There are two key types of fasteners in automotive applications: function critical and safety critical, and there are various torque strategies employed to tighten them. Systems with data feedback and validation ensure that fasteners are tightened correctly and accurately. However, tools that are not equipped with closed-loop transducer technology lack the data feedback capability. The Ingersoll Rand INSIGHTqc controller system integrates with transducerized tools and achieves higher-level requirements.

With DC tool systems, manufacturers ensure they apply each fastener with the right amount of torque for safety and functional purposes. A DC tool system with an advanced controller that senses the intricate details of a fastening can streamline manufacturers’ processes and mitigate time spent on reworking or retightening components. With IIoT, the movement toward digitally collecting and monitoring data digitally continues to grow, and technologies that were once a hefty investment are now more affordable and have the features automotive manufacturers need to future-proof their operations.

Ingersoll Rand
www.ingersollrandproducts.com