A wide variety of assembly technologies will be on display at the Design and Manufacturing Midwest Show in Chicago, September 10-12. These include fastening and joining systems, adhesives, and enclosures, as well as related components and systems.
A couple of trends that have been growing in fastening and assembly technologies for a while now are Design for Disassembly (DfD) and Design for Recycling (DfR). In order to recycle the materials in a product, it must be possible to first disassemble it and second, separate the materials relatively easily without damaging them. But that can be tough to do depending on the type of fasteners used, or the amount and type of adhesives. Their placement in a design is also key.
Click the image below to see three products that will be on display at the Design and Manufacturing Midwest Show.
For example, as we've told you before in a guest blog, designing with fewer fasteners can be done by partitioning your design into subassemblies so there are fewer parts to assemble. This also makes it easier to place fasteners in locations where they can be accessed easily. Choosing finger-release fasteners also helps to speed their removal and reduces the need for tools.
Fasteners and adhesives must of course achieve their basic job, which is to hold things together securely. Pattonair's UNISEAL screws, for example, are designed with an O-Ring groove beneath the head of the fastener. After installation they can be used to control the level of O-Ring compression to eliminate air or liquids from leaking into equipment due to either internal or external pressure.
Another trend in fastening systems is optimizing manufacturing efficiencies by careful selection of which types of fasteners are used in particular types of assemblies. The use of tool-less fasteners and fastening systems, in particular, is one example. This also reduces assembly time and eliminates the need for expensive installation equipment, as well as reducing inventory.
One of the biggest challenges to fastening systems has been the rise of lightweight materials used in aircraft. Several different solutions exist. For lightweight metals, such as aluminum, a number of different fastener inserts can be used. For composites, though, new types of fasteners have had to be designed, and sometimes adhesives are required. Often, both are used together.
In adhesives, engineers are demanding more products that combine multiple functions, such as resistance to chemicals, corrosion, humidity, and extreme temperatures. They're also asking for reduction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) due to their plant manager's requests, so many engineers are turning to pressure-sensitive adhesives. In addition, these can reduce the time required in assembly to process liquid bonding solutions.
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