#4 | 2020
SYN] Magazin

The factory of the future

Very small joints in Industry 4.0

Very small screwdrivers for the highest demands

In many areas of industry, including the screwdriver sector, an Industry 4.0 transformation means changes in all production lines at all levels. In the electronics sector too (smart phones, medical equipment, aerospace, automotive electronics, etc), the key factor will be to use this transformation to remain competitive or to gain the edge over competitors. The market demands faced by the production of smart phones, tablets and similar items of consumer electronics have reached a new level and the time factor has become even more crucial. Solutions needs to be developed not only to reduce the economic risk but also to boost productivity and to reduce production time – at the same time as ensuring constant, controlled quality. All manufacturers must follow this development in order to gain full control over their production facilities. This also means that operators need to be helped to meet a number of challenges and to avoid uncertainty, with manual work being simplified to the greatest possible extent using intelligent tools in the future.

A firm grip on Newton-centimeters

A factory is operated round the clock to meet production targets and production lines are continually being re-balanced to introduce new products. The problem is that very little time is available for the implementation of new, intelligent processes at factories – processes that can bring competitive advantages through improved efficiency and seamless data processing. As a result of the situation, many problems and obstacles arise within a production process. A common problem in industrial production is that workers forget to use a washer when tightening a joint or are not sure precisely which tightening tools to use. Irrespective of other consequences, this not only causes quality problems in production; missing components leads to different tightening results and different clamping forces. Other problems include joints that are falsely identified as OK. From above, the joints may appear to have been properly tightened but the parts are not effectively clamped together, resulting in reworking that often causes high additional costs. Very often, several hundred thousand units per day may not be correctly assembled and the resulting losses may be very high. If inappropriate tightening strategies are used and not properly monitored, this can happen very quickly. Solutions are therefore needed to exclude human errors in advance. Smart tightening tools and controllers can help detect such errors and warn the worker immediately. Thanks to the right combination of different tools and the right software as well as intelligent monitoring, low-torque assembly processes can be effectively digitalized.

Combination of forces

A screw is exposed to a variety of different forces including clamping force, torque and shear forces. In order to tighten the screw in a thread, all the preceding processes must have been properly completed. This is the case with the “Smart Connected Electronics” approach from Atlas Copco Tools. This shows how Atlas Copco solutions can transform electronics production into intelligent production, allowing productivity increases, cost reductions, quality improvements and efficiency boosts. It presents the entire portfolio of Atlas Copco as a holistic solution provider for assembly processes in the electronics industry. It is a complex system which allows continuous control of tightening processes with monitoring of the various parameters involved in assembly. It not only corrects relaxation phenomena and detects all possible errors in the tightening process such as forgotten or incorrect screws, forgotten washers, thread damage, incorrect torque, incorrect angles or cycle interruptions but also simplifies the installation of the smallest screws and explains production processes step-by-step. The software connected to the system collects, analyses and processes the data received, providing valuable information for further process improvements. In short, this represents a combination of forces – intelligently networked and efficient.

Smart Tightening in Elektronics - ready for Industry 4.0

“Smart Tightening in Electronics” is a training concept that provides a holistic solution for productivity and quality with smart tightening strategies and superior torque accuracy. With the smart MicroTorque solutions developed by Atlas Copco, it is possible to record the data of the entire production process at the same time as managing the configuration, software versions and access control. Thanks to smart connected work stations, errors are scarcely possible. In order to ensure that this is the case, Atlas Copco Tools offers a training program with four modules giving an overview of smart production processes as well as precise instructions. The program covers questions such as: what tightening techniques are needed? How precise can a human operator be? Or: What are the crucial problems and how can they be solved? Each module is combined with several goals and the objective is to train customers and to inform them about the challenges posed by Industry 4.0 for their company. This way, customers can decide precisely what products they need for their low-torque tightening systems.      

Go to “Modules for the future” here 

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