| 4:06 PM EST

On Manufacturing/May 2016


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Screwdriving Module for Assembly 


A couple of interesting aspects of the DCAM—DEPRAG Compact Assembly Module: (1) It was developed 25 years ago to specifically address the need to automate the assembly of mobile phones. (Which may make you wonder why you want to read about something that (a) was developed a quarter century ago and (b) created for the telecomm industry, not automotive.) (2) It has been available as a special, or application-specific, system.

But what’s interesting is that the company has been continuously improving the module and has developed it as a standard machine (albeit one that can be tailored for specific applications—it can be manually or automatically loaded; it can be fitted with a linear transfer or a rotary indexing table; etc.), which explains its relevance right now.

The module is made for driving screws. The control system for the module allows programming of the torque, angle, speed, waiting time and rotational direction of the operation. Screws are hose-fed to the screwdriving function module. The DCAM structure is a powder-coated steel frame; the frame allows setting the most ergonomic working height for the operation.
The system can readily handle fluctuating production rates, and even products with short lifespans. Which sounds like the electronics that are characteristic of automotive today.

Improved Tool for Steel Turning


Longitudinal and face turning are the key applications the CoroTurn 300 from Sandvik Coromant have been developed to handle, with particular emphasis on steel turning operations, where it returns increased handling efficiency and longer tool life. The inserts feature eight edges, 80 degrees, with excellent chip breaking capabilities. There are two available grades, GC4325 and GC4315 featuring a uni-directional crystal orientation (“Inveio coating”) for high wear resistance and long tool life.

It also features a patented interface, iLock, which provides tool accuracy within ±0.05 mm for indexing repeatability, leading to better surface finish and increased tool life; it securely locks the insert in place so that it resists cutting forces from affecting tool position.
Another feature is high-precision over and under coolant, wherein coolant applied from the top controls chip breaking, while coolant from below helps control tool temperature. 

Robotic Bin-Picking System


For the past several years, Liebherr has been providing robotic bin-picking systems located at the end of production lines. The systems are based on a patented eight-axis device that capably empties bins.

However, there has been a limitation to the application of these systems: they required complex programming (i.e., source code). But now the company is making the application of the systems more accessible thanks to the simplification of the control. According to Thomas Mattern, head of Automation Systems Development at Liebherr-Verzahntechnik, “Our new graphical user interface takes take entry to a whole new level. Setting up the bin-picking system is therefore substantially simplified, making the workpiece teach-in process considerably easier.”

That is, there is an image of the workpieces, transport bins and gripper on a touchscreen; the operator can readily set the required parameters in an intuitive manner. This setup is said to not only facilitate programming, but minimizes training requirements and enhances troubleshooting.