Orbitform was at the show with its newly developed servo-driven powerhead. Previous versions used either pneumatics or hydraulics to push the tool. Orbital riveting and forming is a cold forming process using a peen tool held at a fixed angle to progressively form the material with each rotation. The process takes much less force than ordinary pressing. The orbital process can form mild steel solid rivets. The servo-driven version can work at a quicker cycle time and can give a more precise control of the pressure used to form the rivet head, Orbitform says. The company used to only do servo-driven machines for custom work.
Precision Valve & Automation (PVA) was one of the firms at the show able to create custom application machines for applying substances such as conformal coatings or adhesives. The PVA rep said typical jobs include those involving substrates that can benefit by application of multiple fluids from multiple vendors in one step.
Henkel Corp.'s Loctite brand was at the show highlighting, among other things, its 648 retaining compound, designed specifically for bonding between two shafts, as illustrated in the top image. The acrylic adhesive doesn't cure until it sees an atmosphere devoid of oxygen, so it works well applied between two sleeves. The lower image illustrates a joint in a prosthetic knee that uses the material.
Billed as a "sustainable" adhesive, Nexaweld X5005 is a structural adhesive. The sustainable moniker comes from the fact that it cures without the need for energy input in the form of heat or UV, and because it does not use volatile solvents. Made by Bioformix Inc., it is a cyanoacrylate that won't yellow with age as is the case with ordinary superglues. (The left bottle in the image contains some of the material, the right one contains some old superglue.)
To show off its positioning prowess, Nordson EFD displayed this applicator array. A moving carriage progressively placed a dispensing needle having a 0.017-in outside diameter inside the array of tiny needles each having an OD of 0.033 in. A close-up of what was going on can be seen at left. I didn't record the cycle time for the demo, but the needle zipped through the whole array pretty quickly. The dispensing needles in the display are typical of those used for cyanoacrylates and UV adhesives.
Sensor supplier Balluff Inc. put together a sort of mini-conveyor line to demonstrate several of its wares, among them its software-configurable smart light which can be seen here. Other sensors on the demo line included RFID sensors, an inductive sensor billed as the shortest in the world, and infrared vision sensors whose claim to fame is inspection results that are unaffected by the level of ambient light.
Schunk GmbH & Co. was showing its Powerball concept. The Light-weight-arm LWA 4P targets mobile applications in service robotics and industrial handling. It can dynamically handle loads of up to 6 kg and has a gripping radius of more than 700 mm. The arm has a repeat accuracy of 0.06 mm. The most interesting aspect of the design are the three compact ERB Powerball modules, which combine the movements of two axes. The entire electronic control and regulation circuitry is integrated in the joint drives. A quick-change system with integrated signal feed-through for quick assembly. The supply lines for gripper and tools are inside the module, ditto for the robot intelligence.
The tubes visible on the sides of this spindle stator are for water coolant. The beefy high-speed spindle is a Rexroth Bosch Group IndraDyn T synchronous high-torque motor. This MBT model hits a max torque of 13.8 Nm. Modular components like this one were one of the themes at this year's show.
The Assembly Show came to Rosemont, Ill. this week with an emphasis on new manufacturing and production technology. Here are a few of the more interesting displays we noticed at the event.
Interesting looking machine. I wonder what this is for. I have never seen anything like it before.