Tuesday 6 January 2015

Hi Tech to hand presses!

Many thousands of hand presses are used in industry for a wide range of operations from assembly, bending and crimping to joining, press-fit, punching, and riveting where a relatively small number of products are being manufactured. Generally, hand pressing has been limited to operations where high precision is not needed. This is about to change.

Kistler Instruments and Toolex Limited, British agent for Mäder presses, have joined forces to apply the latest process control technology to a range of German made hand presses, which brings a previously unattainable level of precision and repeatability to manual pressing operations. The system uses the Kistler maXYmos monitoring and control concept, as used in Kistler’s high level NC Servo Press electromechanical systems, to provide “zero defect” production in high volume environments. The application of maXYmos X-Y monitoring to hand press operations means that precision monitoring of the whole operation can now be applied economically to low volume manufacturing. In addition to in-process monitoring, the Kistler maXYmos system also allows data to be stored for future QA analysis.

The system being applied to the Mäder hand presses is the maXYmos BL, a single channel X-Y monitor for use with force sensors to monitor for OK/NOK evaluation of X-Y curves. The Kistler piezoelectric sensors, used to provide data to the system, are especially suited to industrial applications due to the precision and long life characteristics, well proven in both production and R&D operations. Typical evaluation curves are force against displacement. The curve, derived from the sensors mounted on the press, is displayed in real time on a compact LCD colour screen monitor mounted on the hand press which displays a clear OK/NOK visual notification in clear view of the operator as soon as the operation is completed.. This ensures that any bad assemblies are removed from the production process before being passed to the next operation.

The result of the cooperation between Kistler Instruments and Toolex is a range of hand press systems up to 30kN capacity which bring the same benefits of precision and repeatability, combined with process monitoring and QA capability, as enjoyed by volume production facilities, to low volume manufacturing all at a very affordable cost.

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