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issue: August 2006 APPLIANCE Magazine

Assembly & Fastening
Clinching Offers Much More Than Permanent Metal-to-Metal Joining


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During the last decade, clinching has found its place in appliance assembly. Clinching is a method by which a rivet-like joint is produced through a cold-flow process between punch, anvil and die. The method is clean and fast and avoids the use of separate fasteners that otherwise would have to be bought, sorted and fed to the assembly equipment. A particular advantage for the appliance industry is the fact that clinching works with prepainted, porcelain enameled or other types of pre-coated metal sheets.
Dr. Hans Bergkvist, president and CEO of Attexor, Inc. in Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S. and Attexor Tools in Switzerland says, “We think that time has come to look at clinching far beyond a strong permanent metal-to-metal joint, even though this situation today represents the bulk of applications in the appliance area.”
Clinching lends itself for combination with adhesives, where the clinch point joint is used to hold the parts to be assembled together while the adhesive cures at room temperature.
“Instead of thinking very strong joints, we can go the other way, clinch joints with modest strength, joints that can be broken open, snap-out, with a simple tool,” Dr. Hans says. “An example is for transport securing the drum of a washing machine with a clinched cross-bar that can be removed by wedging a screwdriver in the clinch joint for removal, a cost-effective solution in comparison to expensive long bolts.”
Other opportunities for metal-to-plastic or plastic-to-plastic clinching have not yet been fully explored. For example, by setting the clinching parameters correctly, suppliers could produce a snap-in, snap-out joint for use for an appliance panel cover, under which are components that a service technician occasionally needs to access. The application could be accomplished with no after-mould-inserts, no screws to lose.

This information was provided by Hans Bergkvist, president and CEO of Attexor, Inc.

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Suppliers mentioned in this article:
Attexor Inc.
 

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