Almost everyone has had the experience of buying an expensive bit of machinery—like a shop lathe, a high-end computer, or even a car—and having it fail catastrophically shortly after the purchase. Usually, this is enough to keep us from ever using that product again and maybe even from considering using any other product from that company. If you are in the business of making or repairing products, you dread the possibility of someone having this experience with something you’ve manufactured. After all, it only takes a few bad reviews to see orders canceled and your market share drop.
Creating reliable products requires thorough design and testing, the use of quality components, and a precision power assembly screwdriver, or power assembly tool, to fasten those components together exactly as designed. Fasteners that are tightened above or below specifications can cause catastrophic damage in machinery, create loose electrical connections with damaging shorts, and, in general, greatly reduce the reliability of your products.
The Importance of Torque in Product Reliability
Torque is rotational force, and the amount of it that is applied when installing a fastener determines the tension of the fasteners and the strength of the connection between it and the substrate it is connected to. If too little torque is applied, then the fastener may be too loose. When a user begins to operate your product, vibrations can begin to unscrew the fastener. If the screw is holding vibrating machinery to a housing, this loose connection can cause vibration across the hole component that will cause further damage. If it is part of an electrical connection, this could result in a short that can damage sensitive electrical components.
On the other hand, if too much torque is applied to the fastener, it can damage the fastener by stripping threads or placing the shaft of the fastener under more tension than it can reliably bear. It can shear through later when a device is turned on and vibration places it under greater force. An over-tightened fastener can also damage the substrates the fastener is holding together. Plastics can crack and metals can be distorted out of shape by excessive torque. This can create many of the same issues as a loose fastener although much more quickly and suddenly as the strained connection or surrounding ones break down as a product operates.
The key to preventing either scenario is tightening fasteners exactly to the torque specifications your product calls for. The key to producing a reliable product that your customers can count on is a high-quality precision power assembly screwdriver to ensure that all products are assembled exactly as designed.
Choosing a Precision Power Assembly Screwdriver
Choosing a power torque tool for your assembly line depends on the product you are assembling, and the layout of stations that your stage-by-stage assembly line design dictates. Electric screwdrivers are best for low torque assembly like computer components. Electric torque screwdrivers are a type of power assembly tool. When mounted onto torque arms to improve worker ergonomics and help ensure screws are driven in at the correct angle, they are even more precise.
A screw counter ensures that the correct number of screws are used, and a screw presenter speeds up the process by keeping employees supplied with screws as they are needed. A posi-control system makes sure that the correct fastening sequence for these screws is followed. Whether these screwdrivers are preset or adjustable depends on whether or not a station has to fasten more than one type of screw. An assembly line can have a single station fastening multiple screw patterns or can assemble multiple products with torque specifications changing with the product.
Heavier industries will likely assemble products designed for heavier applications with correspondingly robust components and fasteners alongside delicate control modules and wiring harnesses. Precision power assembly screwdrivers will need to be capable of handling greater amounts of torque to turn these industrial fasteners to spec. DC control tools offer great strength along with precision. These are programmable tools that can account for different sizes of fasteners and different torque settings at a single station with a single tool. Error proofing solutions, like a bit socket tray that can be configured to change setting to match different bits, make it far less likely that mistakes will be made in complex assembly processes.
Air screwdrivers are not programmable, but they are lightweight while still being powerful. A clutch mechanism automatically disengages when the preset torque setting is reached to prevent over-tightening fasteners, and air screwdrivers are available in a variety of form factors to enable an assembler to tighten hard-to-reach fasteners. Pulse tools are a more powerful form of air screwdriver capable of putting out even greater amounts of torque with an automatic hydraulic shut off that prevents over-torquing. Pneumatic precision torque tools are the best fit for heavy-duty assembly lines like automotive or heavy equipment production.
A reliable product is the result of careful design, and following those design specifications closely at every stage of the production process is critical. It isn’t enough to purchase or make quality components; those components must also be assembled to a rigorous, well-engineered standard. As such, a power assembly torque tool is vital to producing a reliable product.
Mountz, Inc., knows the importance of producing a product that your customers can count on. For over 50 years, we’ve provided power assembly torque tools that our customers rely on every day to build their products. 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.