Emhart® Teknologies
December 2005
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Emhart® Teknologies introduced a rivet monitoring system that is said to take the “blind” out of blind riveting by eliminating guesswork and replacing it with instant feedback.

The POP® SmartSet™ Rivet Tool system comprises a process monitoring device and rivet tool that evaluates and monitors a POP® brand blind riveting cycle. According to the supplier, the system compares stored data to real-time data to determine a quality set rivet. “We’ve taken the technology available for threaded-type fasteners and applied it to a conventional pull stem blind fastener,” Peter Thomas, product manager of Assembly Systems for Emhart, explains. “We utilize the system and, essentially, learn the application parameters.”

The system features an embedded sensor—placed in either the tool casting or the hydraulic system, depending on the tool type—that measures the force from several sample rivets used to set rivet parameters. The data is relayed to a microprocessor, where the rivet signature curve is analyzed and stored. The supplier says the system can learn up to five different rivet settings and that settings can vary in material thickness or even rivet size. The system can also program up to three rivet sequences, with each sequence capable of setting 100 rivet sets. Users can customize tolerance bands around initial learned rivet signature curve values to limit the amount of failures as well.

Once system parameters are entered and stored, the rivet tool relays and compares data from every installed rivet. In “run” mode, the system monitors each rivet against the programmed data and compares each result to allocate either a “go” or “no go” rating. Emhart says the system can be connected to either an audible or visual alert to notify operators of a “no go” rivet.

“The system analyzes or learns the values from a good application and that information develops the curve profile. All subsequent sets are measured against that curve profile,” Thomas tells APPLIANCE. “Until the launch of this product, this type of process control was not available for pull stem blind rivets within the industry. Previously, there was no way to really verify that the rivet set met predefined parameters. This allows you to detect potential quality issues at the point of installation versus having to detect them at some point down the line, which can be costly.”

The system features a pulling force of 1,900 pounds at 85 psi. Historical data can also be stored and downloaded to a PC-based system via optional software from the supplier.

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