When it comes to manufacturing important components, production shouldn’t be a guessing game. Force and distance monitoring on factory presses gives you increased production efficiencies, product quality improvements, and helps prevent field failures leading to costly repairs/recalls. This technology can improve production in many ways. Let’s take a look at what force and distance monitoring technology does for a press, and how it can improve production.
What is Force and Distance Monitoring?
Force and distance monitoring refers to electronic technology that offers real-time pass-fail feedback during the pressing cycle. In particular, the technology produces a visual representation of the press stroke during a cycle and then informs the press operator whether the press force and press stroke are within the acceptable parameters or not.
Our Sig-Series Air over Oil Presses come standard with force and distance monitoring
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Why is Force and Distance Monitoring Important?
In some cases, parts that look like they’re assembled or fitted properly sometimes aren’t. Defects may appear much later, during quality assurance testing or even during operation out in the field. This may occur if the press required for the operation doesn’t complete the process fully, or doesn’t exert enough force. Force and distance monitoring technology allows you to detect these issues in real time. If the press doesn’t meet the parameters set, then the press cycle “fails” and the failure will need to be acknowledged prior to another part being run. When this occurs, the part should be tagged and segregated. If this occurs repeatedly, the operator will know to inform a supervisor and inspect the incoming parts for more non-conforming parts or inspect the press for proper function.
Failures triggered in the press cycle can signal part issues like incorrect orientation, cracks, incorrect sizing, improper insertion or issues with tolerance, or machine issues such as alignment, improper lubrication, incorrect ram speeds, loose fixtures, damaged seals or low pressure. Any one of these issues can result in defects, or left unaddressed, lead to larger problems down the line.
5 Ways Force and Distance Monitoring Presses Improve Production
Now that we know how force and distance monitoring works and why it’s important, let’s take a look at a few more specific ways that this technology improves production.
1. Prevents Field Failures
One of the most obvious ways that force and distance monitoring presses improve production is to prevent defective parts from making into circulation.
Many minor misalignments or incomplete mated parts aren’t detectable with a visual inspection. These defective parts can easily be passed down the line, until they become a bigger problem. The monitoring technology shows when parts aren’t properly made or assembled, and these can be set aside rather than sent down the line as a part for a final product, ensuring better quality control for assemblies and limiting recalls.
2. Improves Accuracy and Consistency
Force and distance monitoring not only detects part errors and defects, but also provides graphical output on how far off the process was overall, even within operations that technically “pass.” These detailed outputs on force applied and distance at various points of the cycle can help operators pinpoint where the process can be improved for optimal performance and repeatability. Operators can work with specific numeric readings and adjust the process until the press cycle is operating perfectly – leading to higher accuracy, better quality and consistency in production.
See how AHI designed this 2.5 Ton Force & Distance Monitoring Press for error-proof pin insertion.
3. Reduces Waste
As previously mentioned, without force and distance monitoring small misalignments can be easily overlooked. If the press isn’t operating properly, but the operator doesn’t notice, there may be hundreds of defective parts produced before anyone intervenes. By detecting the problem right away, and being able to identify and correct the issue before continuing production, force and distance monitoring technology can significantly reduce material waste.
4. Improves Maintenance
If the press is repeatedly not completing its cycle properly, there may be a need for maintenance or repairs. Force and distance monitoring technology can show when a problem repeats, but it can also show what the problem may be. By analyzing the waveforms produced during the press cycle, the operator can see more specifically what is happening with the press, and indicate a particular machine issue that can be fixed.
5. Improves Efficiency
Every production and assembly operation can benefit from improved efficiency. With the ability to determine potential machine issues, needed operator adjustments, or other changes to the parts or alignment, force and distance monitoring leads to better efficiency with every change that brings the process more in line with optimal performance according to the job requirements. By constant analysis of each press cycle, errors and issues can be determined and addressed quickly, leading to less downtime, less waste in terms of material and labor, and as tweaks to the process to improve accuracy of each pass, you can be sure you are running a smooth and efficient operation. For jobs that require very precise processes with minimal room for error, improvements to accuracy and efficiency based on actual performance data can really add up.
Learn More About Force and Distance Monitoring
If force and distance monitoring would improve production at your facility, we can help. Take a look at our press monitoring packages to see how to equip your press with full-integrated, easily configurable force and distance monitoring equipment. This system provides real-time feedback and does not require an external computer or complex installation. A touchscreen menu guides operators through an easy set-up process, so you can set your parameters and get up and running quickly. To learn more about presses with force and distance monitoring capabilities, get in touch with us today.