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Smart Assembly Tools: Smart Screwdrivers FAQs

We often get asked questions relating to our Smart Assembly Tools, and so we have created this page to answer some of the frequently asked questions FAQs.  This page includes information on torque and Smart Screwdrivers.

1) What is Torque?

 

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Talk to Martin about torque -
with over 40 years of experience.

Martin 

Martin Gillespie started his career as an apprentice toolmaker with the renouned electrical manufacturer - Clipsal, back in 1978.  Martin learned all aspects of press metal tooling and special purpose machinery manufacture.

In 1988 he left toolmaking and started a career in sales with Hawker Richardson, specialising in assembly tooling and special purpose machinery.

Manufacturing Industries within Martins hometown of Adelaide, relied on his experience, to guide them through the procurement of automated machinery and tooling for the manufacture of electrical switches, white goods, vehicle components and motor vehicles.

32 years later, Martin still works at Hawker Richardson, specialising in assembly solutions.  Martin describes himself as a laid back individual, and not big on the hard sell.  Instead, he believes in focusing on providing the right solution. 

Outside of work

Martin tinkers with his boat and is a passionate fisherman.  If the weather is good and the wind is down, you will find Martin in his boat in the waters of Adelaides,
St Vincent gulf and beyond.

Talk to Martin

Torque is the radial force in Newtons (N) multiplied by distance.
In simplified terms: 1 Newton = 0.1Kg

So, if we had a wrench 250mm long and applied 5 Newtons (0.5kg) of force, we would be applying 1.25Nm of torque (0.25 x 5N = 1.25Nm).

 

2) Does a fastener tightened to the required torque mean it is correctly assembled? 

 

No, not always.  Achieving the correct torque does not mean the product is correctly assembled.  When torque is applied to a fastener, it causes a clamping force between the fastener and the product.  Just because the assembly tool has applied the designated torque, it doesn’t mean the product has been correctly clamped together.

 

3) What is a Smart Screwdriver?

 
A Smart Screwdriver is typically utilised on an assembly line to tighten fastenings to any given torque – within the capabilities of the screwdriver. The added capabilities of the Smart Screwdriver also include but not limited to: connectivity options such as WiFi and Bluetooth for communication; complete traceability and error prevention features at every level of the assembly process; and controllers that communicate directly to a manufacturing execution system (MES). A smart screwdriver has an inbuilt torque transducer and angle encoder, enabling torque-angle signature analysis. By studying the torque-angle signature of correctly tightened fasteners, the smart screwdriver can be programmed to recognise a “good signature” and reject any fasteners outside of the torque-angle parameters. A microprocessor within the screwdriver or via a separate controller stores the rundown data which can be downloaded for quality analysis. This data can be manipulated for detecting trends, attributed to the quality of the fasteners, the product material or parts out of tolerance etc.  

4) Are there any standards for torque?

 

Yes. Depending on the geographical location of the business and level (criticality) of manufacturing, can depend on the standards that are adhered to. One of the notable toque standards is the international standard ISO 16047:2005. This standard specifies the conditions for carrying out torque/clamp force tests on threaded fasteners and related parts. It is applicable, basically, to bolts, screws, studs and nuts made of carbon steel and alloy steel. More information can be found here: https://www.iso.org/standard/27788.html

 

5) How easy it to provide traceability for applications that require torque?

 
Smart screwdrivers have been designed to support the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ (Industry 4.0) of manufacturing, including features that support the requirements of traceability and error prevention.  Features such as connectivity through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support manufacturers, enabling them to adhere to traceability by reporting back data such as frequencies, angles, and torque in Newton Metre (Nm) of assembly fixtures.  Additional features such as barcode scanners can be configured to allow engineers to match the recorded data to the ID of the assembly, such as the VIN or vehicle identification number.  Providing this data autonomously, not only provides the traceability required, but allow manufacturers to implement greater analytics and reporting for continual improvement.  

6) What are the latest torque trends?

 

In addition to the connectivity and configurability for the traceability required in today’s manufacturing environment, Smart Screwdrivers are starting to benefit from spatial systems. The spatial systems leverage user-defined geofencing parameters to track the tool location, ensuring it does not move out of the work zone. Different levels of spatial awareness can be employed, from station level (utilising ultra-wide band frequencies UWB), application level (utilising a datum point), and bolt level (utilising coordinates X, Y, Z, pitch, roll and yaw).

 
All the features and benefits designed into today’s smart assembly tool/s, have been implemented to ensure engineers can continue to work in a frictionless environment, where hardware and software now stand at equality, with the objective of working smarter.  

 

 

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