01 May 2008
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Auto-fed fasteners bring cost savings

Clive Goodall, sales and marketing director of BAS Components, has been promoting the cost-saving benefits of automated feeding of fasteners into the die for many years.

"Now, it is encouraging to note that industry is moving in this direction. Cost savings have been sought for years but the main attention has been on product pricing. In most cases there has been nowhere to go as regards price reduction; in fact, due to recent increases in the price of steel prices have been moving upwards.

"Feeding into the die and, therefore, eliminating all secondary operations associated with welding is the optimum cost saving."
Balancing of the production facility is "an important aspect that often is overlooked", says Clive Goodall. "By this I mean the flow of production is at the speed of the press output. Often, this is higher than the welding capability so a bottleneck issue arises for work-in-progress."

Nuts and studs that are auto-fed can result in process costs being reduced by up to 50% compared to the use of welded fasteners. "There are occasions when it is not possible to feed directly into the die. But robotic cell solutions have been developed in which the robot brings the component to a C frame structure with a mounted feed system or a feed head is attached to a robotic arm thus taking the feed head to the component."

Author
Paul Gay

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