The engineer Peter Feldmeier (Dipl.Ing. (FH)) is studying the construction plans. He looks once more at the specification of the assembly equipment for which the medium-sized engineering office IBF has secured the order for project planning and construction. For production start-up, a process-safe manual workstation will do, he thinks. Later when the volume of production increases, partially or fully automated assembly equipment will be recommended. But what he needs now is detailed information and an informed introduction to screwdriving and assembly technology. Best would be information from one source - clear, concise and understandable. He thinks that the Internet would be a good source for information. This should result in consultation with a competent equipment manufacturer.
Peter Feldmeier sighs. He thinks of surfing for hours and hours in the Internet to find answers to his many questions about the application he is planning and starts googling. DEPRAG SCHULZ GMBH u. CO. is known to him as a screwdriving and automation expert and competent full service provider. He enters the name of this machine builder and is thus introduced to a modern very clear and optically attractive website. The website is subdivided into Screwdriving Technology and Automation, Air Motors, Industrial Tools and Green Energy, through all of which DEPRAG made its name in the marketplace.
With just one mouse click Peter Feldmeier, whose company IBF in Amberg Bavaria has five employees, enters the complex world of screwdriving technology. In most assembly cases, assembly components must be screwed together in such a way that they cannot be displaced by externally applied forces and that they behave like one single component. The known force is called pretension force. This force must be sufficient to keep the assembly together without damaging the screws and the component by overstress. The designer knows this problems which result from unknown settings and from vibrations during assembly. How to use torque and angular displacement as indirect measuring parameters to achieve a very precise screwing result is comprehensively detailed on the website.
Peter Feldmeier is enthusiastic about the scope and clarity of the DEPRAG website. The portfolio of this specialist for screwdriving technology contains a large number of proven and patented air screwdrivers as well as free programmable electronic screwdrivers in his default programme. Peter Feldmeier is quickly informed, studies the technical information about tightening procedures, precision and measuring principles in screwdriving technology. Then he came across a guideline designed to help select the correct screwdriving tool for the application. When the optimal screwdriver for the task is selected in the planning phase, unpleasant surprises can be avoided during practical application.
In addition he learns that manually operated screwdriving tools are applied more frequently where, for example, there is lower production volume, short product life cycles, or a high mix of product variants. With increasing production volumes the manual workstation can be upgraded with an automatic screw feeding system selected from the comprehensive range of feeding technology offered by DEPRAG. This implies that a relatively high production volume and long product lifecycles are ideal for automatic assembly processes. Depending on the product, there are robotic XY-single-spindle assembly systems or for very short cycle times, multi spindle screwdriving system which are designed according to the products specific screw hole pattern .
On their new website, the manufacturer clearly explains the pro and cons of drive media compressed air and electric power: flexibility, process security (quality), torque accuracy, data collection and statistic process control, documentation requirements, investment costs, operating costs, availability of compressed air and lifecycle - all of which are factors which must be investigated prior to a decision for or against air screwdrivers or EC-screwdrivers. Which torque, angular displacement or number of rotations and screwdriver speed must be applied in the screwdriving process? detailed information is provided by the manufacturer.
On thier website DEPRAG points to a service which is of major interest to Peter Feldmeier as IBF-Chief: The screwdriving expert offers detailed screwdriving joint analysis in which DEPRAG experts make a close examination of the individual application in their laboratory. At the end of comprehensive test series a detailed analysis will be provided including recommendations to the customer as to which screwdriving tool is best suited for the application. Peter Feldmeier as managing director of an independent engineering office takes some notes. He flags the process reliability from the very beginning, through the analysis of the screw seating process and friction loss as well as the determination of optimized process parameters, as an important subject by setting a large exclamation mark. "When talking to the consultant I can ask him for a screwdriving joint analysis for my application" Peter Feldmeier remarks.
However, not only the screwdriving tool is decisive for the best possible specification of a process-safe manual workstation but also other components. Dipl. Ing.(FH) Peter Feldmeier needs to put together the corresponding screw feeding-, measuring and control techniques for his assembly equipment. "It would be advantage to procure all components from one source who offers a favourable price/performance ratio and good service without an extensive search", he notes. His engineering office is specialized in industry-independent automation solutions. His customers come from the automotive, household goods and cosmetic industries also the field of production equipment for the wind power industry. Now his task is to find the most suitable solution for the present project.
He delves further into the visually inviting DERAG website. Under the subject heading "Automation" he finds a number of examples as to how his future machine may look. "Smart Work Benches" unite human manual work with high process security and quality which are equal to automated production in terms of process control.. Ingenious standard modules can be applied to compose an economic, ergonomic and process-secure system which helps to exclude quality deviations even if there are frequent personnel changes at the work station. But DEPRAG also presents the globally successful, standardized assembly platforms DCAM and DCAM-XS in detail on its website. Examples of semi- and fully automated assembly equipment with many images and descriptions complete the picture.
IBF manager Peter Feldmeier is now convinced: DEPRAG as the "One Stop Shop" is the preferred partner for details on the execution of his machine. DEPRAG as a full service provider has been dealing with modern assembly systems for 40 years. All experiences acquired or "lessons learned" from ongoing projects are incorporated into new projects . All components come from the standard range and therefore from a single source. EC-screwdriving technology, pneumatic screwdrivers, feeding technology, control and process monitoring are harmonized and proven system components which have been tested for many years but also updated and optimized on an ongoing basis.
What about maintenance and service? These items are are also discussed in detail on the website. During the design phase DEPRAG applies due diligence to insure the ease of maintenance and lowest possible maintentance costs of an assembly system. Routine field inspection, repair or retrofitting can be performed onsite. DEPRAG offers world wide service from trained specialists. Service and maintenance contracts, tailored to customer requirements are also offered. Remote maintenance service is also given high priority where ever possible using modem or internet services. For machine offline recovery a comprehensive documentation package and short lead time of spare parts ensure minimized down times. Professional training courses also enable the customer employees and maintenance staff to perform internal maintenance and upgrade projects successfully. A 24 hour Service-Hotline is also at the customer's disposal.
Peter Feldmeier terminates his search in the Internet. Since 1994 he and his employees have been working as an independent engineering office with the focus on special machine design, equipment integration and automation technology. The comprehensive information from the DEPRAG website has enabled him to quickly reach his goal. The engineer wants to take DEPRAG by its word. The promise is to present a concept after termination of the project phase that offers a possibility even with fluctuating production volumes to arrive at an efficient and economic production with entrepreneurial flexibility. And this is exactly what he needs for the successful start-up of the planned system. All that remains now is to arrange for a meeting with the DEPRAG project manager.
Source: DEPRAG SCHULZ GMBH u. CO.