Press-Insertion Systems Deserve a Thumbs-Up
In final assembly, interior trim is predominantly attached using trim clips, plastic expanding rivets or push-fit panel pins. These fasteners have one thing in common: They must be pressed into a pre-drilled hole to connect two components together. Often, workers have to push together fastening elements by hand in order to attach two components. If you have ever pushed a tack or pin into a wall, you know it can stress your thumb. Fitters may need to repeat a similar movement hundreds of times per day.
DEPRAG SCHULZ GmbH (deprag.com) has developed two new press-insertion devices for handheld use—but in the case of these machines, the hand operation is leveraged by the devices. There are the Type EDG with an insertion stroke and Type EDGZ with an insertion stroke and additional locking stroke. Each device features an ergonomically shaped handle.
When using the EDG type, the operator guides the entire downstroke of the press-insertion procedure: The pressure exerted by the operator supports the down-pressure. With the EDGZ, the operator makes only a short insertion stroke: An integrated cylinder performs the locking stroke, ensuring that pressure is kept directly on the fastener as it protrudes from the nosepiece. The fastener has no space to retract.
The handheld press-insertion devices are designed to work with an electronic controller and a feeder. Sword feeders are particularly suitable for applications which require gentle handling, low-friction and a quiet noise level. For the processing of screws, threaded pins, nuts and o-rings, the company recommends a vibratory spiral feeder.
From the point of view of structural engineering and assembly, electric vehicles are a whole lot simpler than those with internal combustion engines, which probably goes a long way to explain why there are so many startups showing EVs.
Several years back, one of the authors visited a major North American assembly plant engaged in the launch of a new vehicle program. A "ramp-up" schedule was prominently displayed on a bulletin board deep in the heart of the plant. The schedule indicated that the day of the visit was the same day the plant was originally planned to achieve full capacity production of its new product. Yet the plant was actually producing only a few units an hour! The assembly plant's tardiness is certainly not uncommon, but did contribute to our interest in the wide range in vehicle launch performance across major vehicle firms.
General Motors Co. says it hopes to claim equipment and inventory from a bankrupt interior trim supplier to avoid being forced to idle all 19 of its U.S. assembly plants.