12 July 2021
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Pull-to-stroke vs pull-to-force in blind riveting

As today’s assembly operations focus on speed, efficiency and accuracy, quality control for blind riveting is a crucial concern in industrial manufacturing. Industrial manufacturing operations strive to achieve three top objectives on the production floor: speed, efficiency, and accuracy. Pull-to-stroke and pull-to-force tool features support all three of these goals, but in different ways. Stanley Engineered Fastening senior design engineer Tim Cumersdale explains the difference between pull-to-stroke and pull-to-force.

Pull-to-stroke settings allow an operator to set the stroke depth based on the thickness of the material the blind riveting is being applied to. When installing the same type of blind rivet nut into a single plate thickness, pull-to-stroke technology ensures that each fastener is compressed by the precise same amount. This means that each stroke will be identical, offering superior quality control and consistency.

By contrast, pull-to-force is used in variable thickness applications. By always using the appropriate stroke required to set a blind rivet perfectly, an operator can set the same insert into materials of varying thickness. Pull-to-force works by applying a preset force to the blind rivet nuts so that on any grip thickness, the rivet will be set properly based on the force required to set it, rather than relying on a stroke distance. This improves cycle time by delivering the optimum stroke regardless of material, without any need to change tools or setting between materials of different thicknesses.

One of the things that makes setting blind rivet fasteners challenging is the lack of visual confirmation operators are able to get from a single vantage point. A blind rivet may look as if it has been properly set from one side, but upon inspection of the other side may be revealed to be placed improperly. With pull-to-force and stroke-to-force settings, the need for visual confirmation of each fastener is largely eliminated. Using these dual technologies, a blind fastening tool gives operators the confidence they need to know rivet placement is correct, without even having to look at the blind side.

Because pull-to-force and pull-to-stroke features are useful for two very different applications, combining them in a single tool offers dramatic advantages. While pull-to-stroke settings make it easy to quickly set blind rivet fasteners into material with a uniform thickness, the dual settings allow operators to install a wide range of thread sizes and grip combinations without needing to swap out one tool for another. Eliminating the need for multiple tools at a single workstation increases speed and efficiency.

Two Stanley Engineered Fastening tools that offer dual pull-to-stroke and pull-to-force capacity are blind rivet tools, the NB08PT-18 Battery Powered Blind Rivet Nut Tool and the pneumatic Avdel ProSert XTN20.

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