ROSEMONT, IL--(Marketwired - Sep 13, 2016) - The ASSEMBLY Show has always been the event where manufacturing engineers and managers go to learn about the latest assembly technology. This year's show, being held October 25-27 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, is no exception. The following is just a sampling of the breakthrough technologies that will be on display at the show.
New Fastener Plays Key Role in Ford F-150, Chevy Corvette
At first glance, the Ford F-150 and the Chevrolet Corvette would appear to have nothing in common, beyond the fact that they're both gas-powered vehicles. After all, you wouldn't tow a bass boat with a Corvette any more than you would zip a 5,000-pound pickup around a test track.
However, the same small component plays a key role in the design and manufacture of both vehicles: the friction-drilling screw. That's because the bodies of both vehicles are largely made from aluminum, which helped reduce their weight significantly. For example, the 2015 F-150 is 700 pounds lighter than its predecessor.
Faced with the need to join aluminum to aluminum and aluminum to steel, GM and Ford have been forced to find alternatives to the tried-and-true spot welding technology they had been using for decades to join all-steel assemblies. Friction-drilling screws are one such alternative.
These revolutionary new fasteners create very strong joints, but they can't be installed with just any screwdriver. Sophisticated new screwdriving equipment is needed -- and it will be on display at Weber Screwdriving Systems (Booth 805).
Weber isn't the only supplier of screwdriving technology at the show, either. More than 15 suppliers will be showing off the latest pneumatic, electric and cordless screwdrivers and nutrunners, for manual, semiautomatic and fully automatic application.
Collaborative Robots Work Side-by-Side with People
Collaborative robots are the hottest segment of the robotics industry. Many engineers are intrigued by the potential of these next-generation robots, which are equipped with state-of-the-art sensor technology that allows the machines to operate side-by-side with people. These revolutionary robots do not need to be placed behind protective barriers.
For example, workers at Ford's assembly plant in in Cologne, Germany, are working hand-in-hand with collaborative robots to fit shock absorbers to cars. The 3-foot-tall collaborative robots interact with operators at two workstations on an assembly line that builds the Fiesta subcompact. Rather than manipulate a heavy shock absorber and installation tool, assemblers use the robot to lift and automatically position the shock absorber into the wheel arch, before pushing a button to complete installation.
The latest collaborative robots will be on display at The ASSEMBLY Show, including the YuMi from ABB Robotics (Booth 139); the CR-35iA from FANUC America Corp. (Booth 131) and the AURA from Comau LLC (Booth 145).
Of course, there will be plenty of "traditional" robotic technology on display, as well. Indeed, The ASSEMBLY Show will host some 11 suppliers of robotic technology for applications ranging from high-speed assembly of small parts to dispensing liquid gasket material.
New Technology Helps Motorists Keep Cool
To help prevent global warming and reduce ozone depletion, carmakers are switching the refrigerant used in automotive air-conditioning systems, from a chemical known as R-134a to a new, more environmentally friendly chemical, R-1234yf. In addition, air-conditioning systems are becoming much more "buttoned up" -- even the tiniest refrigerant leaks can no longer be tolerated.
To meet these two challenges, carmakers need new technologies to check automotive assemblies for leaks. One such technology is the new Ecotec E3000 multi-gas leak detector from Inficon, which will be on display in Booth 245 at The ASSEMBLY Show. The device is used on the end of an assembly line to check a various parts of a vehicle for leaks, including the air-conditioning system and the fuel system.
Of course, automotive air-conditioning systems aren't the only products that cannot be allowed to leak. Lots of products get checked for leaks, including household appliances, medical devices, light bulbs, and electrical distribution equipment. Manufacturers of all these products and more will find plenty of help at The ASSEMBLY Show, which hosts no less than nine suppliers of the latest technology for leak testing.
High-Speed Automation Helps Asthma Patients Breathe Easier
According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, more than 25 million Americans -- 8 percent of the population -- have asthma. The disease, which restricts breathing, is commonly treated with an inhaled medication.
As a result, hundreds of millions of inhalers are produced annually in the United States. These devices must be assembled carefully, consistently and hygienically. The only way to meet the requirements for both volume and precision is through high-speed automated assembly systems, like those on display at The ASSEMBLY Show. Some 19 systems integrators will be exhibiting at the show.
One of those integrators, Mikron Automation (Booth 2018), will be showing the innovative G05 linear assembly cell. This standardized, modular platform uses a cam drive for all primary motions, which guarantees synchronization between the individual assembly stations and the pallet indexing system. Fixtured pallets enter the cell and are advanced and indexed in steps of 60, 120, 160, or 240 millimeters, depending upon the model. Each assembly step is followed by a systematic check to ensure continuous and consistent quality. Multiple cells can be linked together, and all components are designed for speeds up to 100 cycles per minute.
These are but a mere sampling of the state-of-the-art technologies that will be on display at The ASSEMBLY Show. Whether manufacturers are welding, bonding or fastening their parts, whether they're assembling their products manually or automatically, there will be plenty of vendors to choose from at The ASSEMBLY Show.
The ASSEMBLY Show 2016 will be held Tuesday, October 25 - Thursday, October 27 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL. The Show is sponsored by ASSEMBLY (www.assemblymag.com), a monthly trade magazine read by 56,000 engineers and managers responsible for manufacturing and designing cars, computers, catheters, coffee makers, etc. ASSEMBLY covers the processes, technologies and strategies for joining discrete parts into finished products. The event is produced by BNP Media (www.bnpmedia.com), one of the country's leading business-to-business media companies serving professionals across 50+ industries. For more information, visit www.theassemblyshow.com.