Celina, OH As a manufacturer of airbag assemblies, Breed Technologies knows that a tool design is only as good as the people who create it. Just because a design works on paper doesn't mean it works well in a mass production environment. That's why the company turned to PAX Machine Works Inc. when it needed a machine for a precise piercing operation needed to make new airbag assemblies.
"This was a new type of machine that we had never built before, so the design was quite a challenge," says Brent Harman, a design engineer at Pax Machine Works. "For this project, we needed a special rod-less gantry slide with two carriages. We had a 46-inch center-to-center mounting distance."
The piercing operation required precise positioning of a drawn cup that is one of the components used in the airbag assembly. The drawn cup is placed into a nest that pierces it with nine holes.
Pax achieved the positioning accuracy with the centering capabilities of new E-Series jaw grippers, SH Series slides, and a dual-carriage rod-less gantry from Numatics (Avon, OH).
Once the cup is placed into the nest, two hydraulic cylinders power a rotating cam ring that forces the guided pierce punches through the metal. The same cam ring pulls the piercing punches back out of the material when the hydraulic cylinders retract.
"Numatics responded to our requests in a timely manner," says Harman. "We found they were very easy to work with when we needed a special slide."
For more information about motion control products from Numatics: Enter 537