Introduction(cnc instant quote Joyce)

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Riveting is a common method for joining sheet metal components together. It involves inserting a rivet through holes in the two pieces of sheet metal and deforming the rivet so it clamps the sheets together. Riveting was traditionally done by hand using manual tools, but modern CNC machines are capable of automated riveting for higher efficiency and consistency. This article will provide an overview of riveting in sheet metal using CNC technology.
Benefits of CNC Riveting
There are several advantages to using CNC machines for riveting versus manual riveting:
- Speed and efficiency. CNC riveting is much faster than manual riveting since the machine handles inserting and deforming the rivets automatically. This allows higher production rates.
- Consistency and quality. Manual riveting relies heavily on the skill of the operator. CNC riveting produces consistent, high-quality joints time after time. The programmed riveting parameters and automation ensure repeatability.
- Flexibility. CNC machines can handle a variety of rivet sizes and materials. Changing between rivet types is a simple matter of loading a different rivet reel into the machine and adjusting the program. Manual changeovers take more time.
- Lower labor costs. Because CNC riveting is automated, fewer operators are needed compared to manual riveting stations. The labor cost savings can be substantial for high volume production.
- Adaptability. If design changes alter the rivet placement, the CNC program can be easily edited to accommodate the new rivet positions. This facilitates flexibility and quick changeovers.
- Integrated inspection. Automated inspection systems can be incorporated into the CNC riveting process to verify rivet placement and head formation meet specifications. This improves quality control.
CNC Riveting Equipment
CNC riveting systems utilize specialized equipment to deliver rivets and upset/form the rivet heads. Common components include:
- Rivet feeder - feeds rivets into the insertion tooling from reels or vibratory bowl feeds. Stepper motors allow programmable rivet spacing.
- Insertion tooling - presses rivets into the sheet metal components with a pin. Includes servo-electric or pneumatic actuators.
- Upsetting tools - deforms the rivet tails to form the head. Can be servo-electric, pneumatic, or hydraulic. Stationary anvils support the rivet.
- CNC controller - controls the coordinated motion and actions of the feeder, inserter, and upsetting tools according to the programmed riveting sequence.
- Material handling - conveyors or robots transfer parts into and out of the riveting cell.
- Software - CAM programs convert CAD models into riveting instructions for the CNC. Includes rivet locations, patterns, pitch, etc.
The riveting tools are mounted to the CNC machine, which positions the sheet metal parts under the tools. The controller then follows the programmed riveting sequence to index the sheets, insert each rivet, and form the heads.
CNC Riveting Process
The standard CNC riveting process involves three main steps: hole positioning, rivet insertion, and rivet forming.
1. Hole Positioning. The CNC machine uses the programmed hole locations to position the sheet metal pieces together under the riveting tools. This ensures the rivet holes are aligned properly for the insertion step.
2. Rivet Insertion. Based on the rivet pitch and pattern in the program, the insertion tool presses a rivet through the aligned holes using the pin. The rivet shank fills the holes in both sheets.
3. Rivet Forming. The upsetting tool clamps around the inserted rivet and deforms the tail into a formed head using pressure. The formed head spreading against the backside of the sheets secures the rivet in place.
More advanced CNC riveting cells may incorporate additional steps like pre-drilling holes, automated fastener feeding, in-process inspection, and burr removal. But the basic process revolves around this hole positioning, insertion, and forming sequence.
CNC machines can rivet quickly, inserting several hundred rivets per minute depending on the application. Using multiple riveting heads working in unison further increases the production rate. The CNC program optimizes the tool motions and riveting sequence for efficiency.
Applications of CNC Riveting
CNC riveting excels in high volume production across many industries. Typical applications include:
- Aircraft assembly - fuselages, wings, and other structures
- Automotive - body panels, subframes, chassis components
- Electronics enclosures - computer cases, control boxes, racks
- HVAC ducting and housings
- Off-road equipment - cabs, buckets, booms
- Railroad cars
- Shipping containers
- Building panels
- Furniture
- Metal fabricated parts
Nearly any application that involves joining sheet metal components with rivets is suitable for CNC automated riveting. The consistency and speed of CNC machines make them ideal for mass production. And as riveting technology continues improving, even more applications will shift from manual to automated processes.
Riveting sheet metal components is made significantly faster and more efficient using CNC automation rather than manual processes. By precisely controlling the hole alignment, rivet insertion, and upset forming, CNC riveting produces consistent and high-quality joints. With flexibility to handle varying materials and rivet configurations, CNC riveting suits a wide range of sheet metal fabrication applications. The combination of speed, quality, consistency, and flexibility will ensure CNC riveting remains a staple manufacturing process for assembled metal products. CNC Milling CNC Machining