The threads of a metric flat head screw spiral downward as an assembly operator fastens a medical instrument together. Is the proper torque control being used to keep that life saving medical device together? Tightening down a bolt or screw until it “feels tight enough” is not adequate torque control. That mentality is the path toward costly fastening failures. Ensuring accuracy and precision for any fastening application is critical for all manufactures. Improving safety and performance are key objectives.
What is Torque?
Torque is a “turning” or “twisting” force and differs from tension, which is created by a straight pull. However, we use torque to create a tension.
As the nut and bolt are tightened, the two parts are clamped together. The thread angle in the bolt converts the force applied into tension (or stretch) in the bolt shank. The amount of the tension created in the bolt is critical.
The Importance of Torque Control
The reliability of machine parts subjected to fluctuating loads and stress depends on the fatigue strength of the materials. A threaded fastener, however, relies upon an elastic interaction between the mating components. Its objective is to clamp parts together with a tension greater than any external force trying to separate them. The bolt then remains under almost constant stress and is immune to fatigue. If the initial bolt tension is too low, the fluctuating load in the shank in much greater and it will quickly fail. Reliability, therefore, depends on correct initial tension and is ensured by specifying and controlling the tightening torque.
For low volume assembly applications, often hand type torque tools like a torque screwdriver or torque wrench are adequate to meet the fastening requirements. When the production volume is higher, like an operator fastening hundreds and hundreds of metric SEMS screws a day, an assembly power tool is better suited for the assembly process.
Electric torque screwdrivers are designed to provide precision torque control, ensure quality, and reduce assembly failures. Fasteners that are insufficiently torqued can vibrate loose, and excessive torque can strip threaded fasteners or damage parts.
The EF-Series power tools are recommended for tightening small screws, nuts and bolts. These mechanical clutch screwdrivers offer excellent fastening capability. The low-torque electric screwdrivers provide automatic shutoff capabilities for sensitive electronics or other low torque applications. The electric screwdriver automatically stops when the preset torque has been reached. The EF-Series electric screwdrivers are NRTL certified from TUV America, Inc. The certification ensures manufacturing companies are purchasing and operating a quality and safe tool for its operators.
The EF-Series tools are low voltage DC electric screwdrivers. The power tool uses a separate transformer (power supply). These durable assembly tools increase productivity and enhance product quality through precision torque control and user comfort. Mountz offers various models of the EF-Series tool that ranges from 0.3 to 15.6 inch-pounds. These assembly tools are often used for light assembly applications for industries like, aerospace, electronics and medical manufacturing. The tools are available with ESD safe housings and non-ESD options. The versatile torque driver features an external torque adjustment scale, which allows for easy torque adjustment.
Ergonomic Torque Arm Solutions
When setting up a workstation, don’t overlook ergonomics. Assembly operators often spend long periods standing and/or performing repetitive motions and lifting over the course of their shift. Ergonomic solutions can considerably reduce the physical impact of these daily industrial tasks. An ergonomic mindset leads to a safer workplace. Learn more about reducing injuries and workers’ compensation costs.
Using a quality electric screwdriver makes a safer world through accuracy and precision. Controlling torque is essential for companies to ensure their product’s quality, safety and reliability isn’t compromised. The failure of a three-cent fastener that isn’t properly tightened can lead to catastrophic or latent failures. Fasteners that are insufficiently fastened can vibrate loose and excessive torque can strip threaded fasteners.
Contact us with any questions you may have. We can help you make the right choice, every time.