The goal of good product design is a functional product but also a seamless and cost-effective manufacturing process. Screwdriving automation is a good way to influence the efficacy and quality of production, especially if it is taken into account already at the design stage. So, what is the optimal product like from the viewpoint of screwdriving automation?
As we have mentioned before, in many cases, screwdriving automation is an excellent way to improve the efficiency of production, speed up different work stages and improve both ergonomics and product quality.
In addition, screwdriving automation should enter the equation with regard to the product design of industrially assembled, mass-produced products. When the requirements of screwdriving automation are taken into consideration on the assembly line, you can save valuable time and trim off the last remaining superfluous seconds of the process.
In this article, we highlight three factors that are essential for industrial product design from the viewpoint of screwdriving automation.
1. Keep the Number of Screw Types to the Minimum
It is a rare product that can be assembled using just one type and size of screw. On the contrary, some products comprise dozens of different screws.
But if you are aiming to keep the manufacturing process as light and low-cost as possible from the screwdriving automation perspective, you should harmonise the number of screw types. In other words, use fewer different types of screws in one product, if at all possible.
2. Design the Screws to Be Accessible
The automation solution is most cost-effective when all screws can be reached through easy and simple movements. In principle, screwdriving automation makes it possible to drive screws located anywhere in the product. However, non-standard solutions may turn out to be very expensive.
For the best efficiency, there should be enough space around the screws and the screws should not be located at completely different levels, too deep inside the frame or behind other components.
We helped to implement a fully automated solution where screws were driven through a small opening into the bottom of a 150 mm deep enclosure. This wouldn’t even be possible using a manual feeding device. That said, cases like this are rare, and if the goal is an efficient manufacturing process, it is better if the screws are easily accessible.
3. Make Sure the Product Does Not Need to Be Unnecessarily Turned
The optimal situation on the assembly line is when you can drive all of the screws from the same direction – and preferably downwards. This is easiest for the operator. Also, once again, the job will be more costly and time-consuming if the product needs to be turned or if the operator needs to change position.
It is not a common occurrence that all of the screws can be driven from the same direction but the simpler the manufacturing process in this respect, the greater the savings.
In any case, it is always better to design the product at the outset so that the assembly process does not include too many different screwdriving stages. If it is necessary to make changes to the product or assembly line afterwards, the costs will increase.
We are always happy to provide our customers with advice regarding screwdriving automation design and high-quality screwdriving automation solutions. For more information, please contact us at +358 10 778 1400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.