Electronics manufacturing and assembly poses unique challenges. The need for miniaturization necessitates the use of small screws and delicate substrates. In addition, electronic components can be damaged beyond repair by the inadvertent discharge of static electricity from torque tools. Finally, the volume at which electronics must often be manufactured to ensure profitability requires high-speed, low-maintenance tools.
Finding torque screwdrivers which meet all these conditions can be difficult—there are many options to choose from, and since they’re all “the best,” it can be difficult to tell them apart. For factory managers or procurement specialists seeking an effective tooling solution for a new or existing electronics manufacturing or assembly plant, it helps to focus only on the tools which directly meet their needs. Namely, the ideal torque screwdrivers for electronics manufacturing are fast, precise, electric or pneumatic torque screwdrivers.
Choosing the Best Electronic Torque Screwdriver for Electronics Manufacturing
Electronics manufacturing—even the manufacturing of electronic torque screwdrivers—can often be best accomplished by using electronic torque screwdrivers. Torque screwdrivers differ from normal screwdrivers. They can not only detect how much force has been applied to the head of a screw, they also stop the driver when the correct amount has been delivered.
Appropriate electronic torque screwdrivers for electronics must be able to precisely deliver torque in low ranges, measured in inch-ounces or inch-pounds. This prevents them from damaging the small screws and fragile substrates found on circuit boards and in electronics assemblies. They must also be able to deliver torque quickly, with powerful motors and short run-down times. This enables them to keep up with high production volumes. If they have variable speed control, then they can slow down before the screw hits home, protecting delicate substrates.
Different electronic screwdrivers require different amounts of maintenance. Screwdrivers with brushless motors require significantly less maintenance than others. This increase their uptime percentage, allowing workers to make more products before repairs or replacement screwdrivers are needed.
Finally, electronic torque screwdrivers for used in electronics must be constructed to prevent electrostatic discharge (ESD). The action of the electronic motor and the conductivity of the tool can accidentally channel static electricity into sensitive electronic components, destroying them. Screwdrivers built to be ESD-safe obviate this issue, and so are the only electronic screwdrivers which should be used to make electronics.
Choosing the Right Automation Torque Screwdriver for Electronics Manufacturing
For manufacturing electronics in bulk, automation torque screwdrivers improve on electronic screwdrivers. Automation screwdrivers can work faster than electronic screwdrivers without sacrificing flexibility, control, useful torque ranges, and low-maintenance brushless motors. Certain automation screwdrivers are ESD safe as well.
Automation screwdrivers differ by drive type. Some are intended to be driven by robots; others are still human-operated, with torque and RPMs controlled automatically. Fully robotic assembly solutions are faster and deliver more standardized results than human operators, but require a higher initial investment and additional maintenance.
As an additional benefit, the customizable software which powers automation screwdrivers can act as a screw counter as well as a tool controller. This allows companies to easily keep living records of every screw they fasten. Such meticulous records help demonstrate regulatory compliance, identify production issues, and inform future product development.
The special needs of electronics manufacturers demand special tools. Deciding whether automation or electronic screwdrivers are best for your operation depends on manufacturing needs like production demands, time to “go to the market”, opportunity to reduce costs and the ability to accommodate timely production changes. Consult with an electronic manufacturing expert for help choosing the right solution for your operation.
Mountz has been a leading provider of electronic and automation torque screwdrivers for decades. Our powerful, dependable tools have been used to successfully manufacture a wide range of electronics. 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.