Automated Screw Thread Quality Checking Using SMAC LAR55 Actuator

18 July 2018

The requirement for strict specification and acceptance of all automotive parts and components has greatly increased in recent years. Screw thread inspection is no exception. The common practice of eddy current probes, lasers, proximity sensors or vision systems are only partly successful as they only inform the presence of a thread, not if it's correct or within tolerance. The unique, low-cost SMAC solution enables you to automatically check the following screw thread parameters.

• Oversize or undersized threads
• Cross threads
• Thread depth
• No threads
• Mislocated threads
• Thread pitch
• Shallow or blocked hole

The automated thread checking solution from SMAC enables a 100% detailed inspection and verification of all parts. It also identifies tool wear sooner, and allows statistical process control data acquisition for process control and quality systems. All of this translates to higher quality and throughput, lower costs and increased Source: ElectromateSource: Electromatecustomer confidence.

An optional thread check graphical user interface (GUI) is also available. The SMAC-Motion provides a simple and straightforward way to quickly configure motion parameters of a variety of SMAC single or dual axis actuators and controllers.

Automotive industry parts and assembly quality standards have moved from sigma level sampling to zero defect requirements. These more stringent manufacturing results can be achieved through a combination of containment through 100% inspections (eliminating bad parts) and correction through immediate feedback and adjustment. Inspection by hand can be reduced or eliminated, parts rejection can virtually be eliminated and tool wear can be substantially reduced, all while increasing the pace of production.

SMAC programmable actuators allow 100 percent detailed inspection and verification for all mission critical parts and are being used in a variety of automotive applications such as screw thread checking, switch tests, quality measurement, effort testing, displacement testing and more. SMAC can provide unique inline quality control solutions that successfully automate inspection procedures.

Automating these processes means:

The precision Z-theta motion within the LAR55 actuator provides a convenient pick, orient and place solution to screw thread checking. SMAC offers a wide variety of LAR55 linear rotary actuators with either direct drive or gearbox equipped rotary units.

A vacuum-built-in shaft through the rotary motor is available for some models to prevent dust build-up in the unit. These z-theta actuators can easily be programmed to control force or torque, position and velocity in all axes at the same time with feedback capability.

Finally, SMAC's unique, patented "soft-land" function enables the unit to gently land on a delicate component with a controlled force to avoid damage to both the component and the actuator.

To contact the author of this article, email engineering360editors@globalspec.com


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