Quality and reliability form the foundation upon which new companies build their futures and stake their reputations. As consumers, we are largely unaware of the painstaking pre-production steps and choices that companies make in order to develop products and assure their reliability. One of the most challenging steps that face these fledgling manufacturers is the selection of the tools that they will be depending on to maximize production, guarantee product quality, and assure the productivity and safety of their workers.
Tool selection posed a challenge for a slot machine manufacturer that was developing a new computerized gaming system. The new slot machine contained delicate and sophisticated electronic components. It needed to be built to withstand the rigors of twenty-four hour a day use by enthusiastic gamblers.
Before going into full production, the slot machine manufacturer initiated an extensive prototyping program to establish assembly procedures, and torque specifications using hand torque tools. However, before full production could be started, it had become apparent that more attention was going to have to be given to tool selection with an eye to the issues of productivity, quality and worker comfort.
The director of manufacturing for the slot machine manufacturer contacted Mountz, Inc. for help with tool selection, assembly procedures and torque specifications. He had worked in the disc drive industry for eighteen years and had used torque screwdrivers from Mountz in the past. He and his engineering team for the project decided to use Mountz hand torque tools in the prototyping stage. They wanted to use the tools to establish time standards for assembling the machines and taking them apart in order to develop the most efficient order of assembly. They also established torque values so that when they were ready to ship the slot machines everything would be well put together.
Once the slot machine manufacturer began test marketing their games to various casinos, the quality of the product was more important than quantity. However, it didn’t take long before they realized they had a hit on their hands – and a new set of challenges.
When orders for the new slot machine gaming system began pouring in, the manufacturer quickly realized that they needed to significantly boost production in order to meet demand, establish a reputation, and still maintain quality standards. Once again they turned to Mountz to increase their production capacity.
Looking to increase production and reduce the time required for assembling the new computerized gaming system, the slot machine manufacturer added electric torque screwdrivers to the assembly process. Mountz worked with the slot machine manufacturer to develop ergonomically correct workstations that improved both worker comfort and productivity while ensuring product quality. The workstations within the new production line featured electric screwdrivers, torque arms, screw presenters, and an array of adapters that permitted access to fasteners in tight locations. Once the assembly lines were completed, the results were immediately apparent.
Before they used the power tools, it took eight hours to produce each game system. With the installation of the power tools they reduced the assembly time down to six hours. In addition to improving productivity, precisely controlled torque assured that the heavily-used slot machines performed reliably.
The electric screwdrivers speed up the assembly process where they were placing many screws in one location, like putting on the access doors. But they continued to use manual torque screwdrivers on the PC box to prevent damage to those components. Using both electric and hand screwdrivers the manufacturer was able to achieve precision torque control and prevent damage to casings or strip the screws.
Proper torque control for an assembly fastening application helps reduced manufacturing costs. While it is evident that fasteners that are too loose can cause parts to come apart, over tightening can also result in broken parts, stripped fasteners, and higher material costs. The slot machine manufacturer used Mountz torque tools to ensure proper torque control requirements were achieved for the entire product, as well as those key critical assembly tolerances and delicate components.
Using a quality hand screwdriver and 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.