When people think of a production line, they typically picture conveyor belts moving car bodies along as heavy robotic arms move swiftly across the line. Automation is a big part of industrial manufacturing to be sure. However, even in large and heavily automated manufacturing plants, there are still many workers who use hand assembly tools to put components together. Often, they can reach into areas where a machine would have issues or perform multiple tasks at a single staging area that it would be impractical to build and program a machine for. Manual labor is often the rule rather than the exception for smaller manufacturing operations that assemble multiple types of products.
Power and hand assembly tools allow employees to keep up with automation. It is important that these tools meet the highest standards of precision, ease of use, and reliability to ensure manufacturing productivity and product reliability.
The Importance of Torque in Power and Hand Assembly Tools
Torque is simply a measure of rotational force. It is the amount of force applied multiplied by the distance from the rotational point. Torque is a simple concept that can affect the final product that rolls off the manufacturing line in complex ways.
If too little torque is applied, then the fastener can unscrew and the components can come loose. Applying too much torque can damage the fastener, the substrate it threads into. Or, the components can deform, distort, and even break. Damaged components need to be properly disposed of and replaced with different components—a process that can significantly disrupt production. If a damaged or strained component goes unnoticed, reduced product reliability can be the result. Precision torque wrenches improve product reliability and are an important part of keeping your production line running.
Quality power and hand assembly tools for a whole production line can be expensive. However, they are an investment that helps keep your production line running smoothly so you can meet your manufacturing quotas and control operating costs. Precise, reliable torque tools for your production line offer significant returns in the form of increased productivity.
Power and Hand Assembly Tools That Payoff for Manufacturing
Manufacturing environments can vary wildly from company to company. While there is a tendency to think of every manufacturing plant as an industrial wonderland filled with conveyor belts and robotic arms—and to be sure there are numerous examples of these—there are far more small scale manufacturing environments. A large automaker mounts the engine and body to the chassis of a truck. A smaller scale manufacturer adapts this truck with a custom body and electrical systems and turns it into an ambulance, a utility truck, or any other number of useful iterations. Manufacturers of any size, though, can improve productivity with quality power and hand assembly tools.
Hand assembly tools, in which power is provided by old-fashioned elbow grease, have a place in both large scale and small manufacturing environments. Manual torque wrenches have a great deal of flexibility. Click wrenches are a type of torque wrench with a ratchet head and a socket driver that emits an audible click when the torque limit is reached. They’re more economical than other types of torque wrenches, and in small scale manufacturing plants where tools may be moved from station to station, economical and adjustable torque wrenches that can handle a wide range of torque settings are ideal. Since these wrenches only warn that the torque limit has been reached and don’t prevent exceeding it, however, they may be unsuitable for fasteners that are attaching sensitive or fragile components like plastics or electronics housings.
Cam-over wrenches are torque wrenches with socket drivers and a clutch that automatically disengages at the set torque limit. These are flexible hand assembly tools that work well for manufacturing processes where exceeding torque limits must be absolutely ruled out. Break-over wrenches have a similar feature; the shaft of the wrench head disengages from the handle. Adjustable break-over wrenches with interchangeable box end wrench heads can be used in areas where a socket style wrench would be a tight fit, such as attaching ambulance or utility bodies to a truck chassis.
Such hand assembly tools can be used for a wide range of applications. Their mobility and flexibility allow them to adjust quickly to changing circumstances on the assembly line. However, large scale manufacturing has many heavy-duty fastening applications that repeat over and over again in a predictable manner. This allows the setup of assembly stations that are tailored to make fastening as error-free as possible. Power assembly tools like electric screwdrivers, programmable DC control tools, and air screwdriver and pneumatic torque wrenches are fixed to their power supplies (whether electric or compressed air). However, they are unmatched in their ability to quickly fasten large numbers of bolts and screws exactly as specified. Still greater speeds are possible through the use of tool balancers and torque arms that take the weight of the tool off your workers. Screw presenters keep your employees from having to fumble for bolts or screws, and screw counters make sure that every connection is fastened.
Every moment saved while manufacturing a product is a moment that can be put towards fulfilling the next order. Quality power and hand assembly tools for your production line are an investment that creates extra time through faster and more assured product manufacturing, reducing component and product damage during assembly. It is a substantial savings of time, energy, and materials that can substantially boost your bottom line.
Mountz, Inc. understands the importance of quality power and hand assembly tools for reducing production errors and improving productivity. We provide our customers with the best torque tools for their manufacturing assembly, whether they specialize in large productions runs or small custom orders. To see our full range of products, shop our store. Contact us anytime to ask a question. To inquire about price, request a quote. If you’d like to see our equipment in person, schedule an appointment.