Riveting in Sheet Metal Using CNC Technology(annular snap joints Page)

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Rivets have been used since ancient times to join pieces of metal together. While riveting was traditionally done by hand, modern CNC (computer numerical control) machines now automate the riveting process for high efficiency and precision.
CNC riveting machines are commonly used in manufacturing industries like aerospace, appliance production, and automobile assembly. They allow manufacturers to quickly and reliably rivet sheet metal components together.
How CNC Riveting Works
CNC riveting utilizes a specialized riveting head that is attached to the CNC machine. The riveting head contains a punch and die set that precisely forms the rivet. The CNC program guides the riveting head to the programmed hole locations where rivets are inserted and formed.
The basic CNC riveting process involves:
- Clamping - The sheet metal parts to be riveted are loaded and clamped securely in a jig or fixture. This holds the parts in proper alignment during riveting.
- Hole Positioning - The CNC locates the pre-drilled or punched holes for the rivets based on the programmed coordinates.
- Rivet Insertion - The riveting head picks up a rivet from feeder and inserts it into the hole through the top sheet metal part.
- Forming - The punch presses down on the rivet shank while the die upsets and forms the tail of the rivet. This clamps the sheet metal layers together under pressure.
- Release - The riveting head releases the finished rivet and repeats the sequence at the next rivet hole.
CNC riveting heads are precisely engineered for reliable high speed operation. Unlike manual riveting, the automated system applies uniform pressure and shaping for consistent high quality rivets.
Benefits of CNC Riveting
There are several important benefits that make CNC riveting advantageous for manufacturers:
Speed - CNC riveting is extremely fast, installing hundreds or thousands of rivets per hour. This allows mass production at rates far beyond manual methods.
Consistency - The automated process ensures every rivet is formed identically with the pre-programmed pressure, shape and hole alignment. This eliminates variability and defects.
Precision - Modern CNC machines offer high precision riveting to within 0.002 inches or better for the location and forming of each rivet. This is critical for aircraft and other quality-critical applications.
Flexibility - CNC programs can be easily changed to accommodate different rivet patterns, sizes, materials and application parameters. Quick changeover between jobs is possible.
Simplicity - CNC simplifies the riveting process. Operators simply load materials and initiate the program. The machine handles all of the hole positioning, rivet feeding, insertion, forming and inspection.
Strength - CNC-driven riveting applies higher and more consistent squeezing force than manual methods. This ensures solid clinching of rivets for maximum strength.
With CNC flexibility, manufacturers can rivet a wide range of material thicknesses and rivet types/sizes - from micro rivets smaller than 0.5 mm up to large structural rivets over 1 inch diameter. Hard and soft combinations of materials can be riveted including steel, aluminum, titanium, copper and plastics.
CNC Riveting Applications
CNC riveting excels in high-volume production environments where repetitive riveting tasks are required. Common applications include:
- Aircraft Assembly - Riveting of skins, frames, ribs, bulkheads and other structural components. Resistance to vibration is critical.
- Appliances - Joining the metal shells of appliances like washers, dryers, refrigerators. Speed and consistency are paramount.
- Automotive - Riveting car and truck body panels, frames, sub-assemblies. High precision alignment is needed.
- Electronics - Riveting internal components of electronics like computers and communication devices. Micro-rivets are often used.
- Packaging - Riveting food cans, drums, aerosol containers, metal boxes. Sanitary construction and speed are important.
- Construction - Joining building materials like HVAC ducting, corrugated panels, and drainage components. Large semi-tubular rivets are common.
With the precision and efficiency of CNC riveting machines, manufacturers can improve product quality while saving time and labor costs. Automated riveting not only boosts productivity, it also makes companies more competitive in the global marketplace. By harnessing the power and accuracy of CNC technology, companies can achieve new levels of performance in riveting operations. CNC Milling