100% automated thread checking solution for automotive

Automotive industry parts and assembly quality standards have moved from sigma level sampling to zero defect requirements. As for example automated thread checking. Achieving these more stringent manufacturing results can be through a combination of containment through 100% inspections (eliminating bad parts) and correction through immediate feedback and adjustment.  Moreover, inspection by hand is reduced or eliminated, parts rejection almost eliminated, and tool wear reduced, all while increasing the pace of production.

Suitably automating these processes increases quality and throughput by providing:

  • – 100% inspection
  • – SPC data acquisition
  • – Process control feedback

However, complex or extended testing takes more time and increases unit costs. Moreover, some testing methods do not ensure full conformity, as for example with the screw thread checking.

The common practice of eddy current probes, lasers, proximity sensors or vision systems are only partly successful. This is because they only inform users of the presence of a thread, not if it’s correct or within tolerance. For example, an eddy current sensor emits an electrical field and from that gets an image. In casting, this field becomes distorted, making the method unsuitable.

Automated Thread Checking

Actuator maker SMAC offers a unique low-cost method for 100% automated thread checking, and for checking a full range of screw thread parameters. Markedly it is also suitable for both blind holes or thru holes.

Using SMAC’s unique single & multi-axis motor based actuators ensures consistent results. Their moving coil actuators offer totally programmable control of position, velocity, acceleration & force. In addition, they are suitable for a wide range of automotive inspection tasks including automated screw thread inspection. They provide a cost effective, plug & play solution for checking:

  • – Oversize or undersized threads
  • – Cross threads and no threads
  • – Thread depth and pitch
  • – Mis-located threads
  • – Shallow or blocked hole

Furthermore they automatically check for:

  • – Major and minor diameter out of spec
  • – Pitch and pitch diameter out of spec
  • – Foreign objects (e.g. broken tap, swarf etc)
  • – Double tapped thread
  • – Cylindricity

Tool wear indication

Another big advantage of moving coil actuators is that tool wear becomes clear earlier. This increases the quality of all parts and gives advance warning of the need for new tooling.

It translates to higher quality & throughput, coupled with lower costs and increased customer confidence. Systems are small, lightweight and cost effective; users include Mercedes, VW, BMW, Ford Honda, Toyota, Porsche and more

 Benefits of moving coil actuators

SMAC is a leading manufacturer of precision programmable electric actuators based on moving coil technology. Their actuators are unique in that force, position, and speed are totally programmable for each application. They offer both exceptionally high speeds and very low speeds with sub-micron accuracy and repeatability. Their Soft-Land function gives extremely accurate sensing of product location or dimensions.

Electric actuators ideal for a wide range of high cycle positioning, measuring, inspection, and pick and place applications, particularly those requiring 100% verification. They deliver faster up-time and ease of set up, and adjustment can also make dramatic improvements in performance.

SMAC actuators also address a variety of automotive applications as well as:

  • – Bore gauging and groove inspection
  • – Thread checking
  • – Switch (Human Interface) testing
  • – Touch screen functionality verification
  • – Camera lens and distance sensor – build sequencing and verification
  • – Lever, buckle, handle force inspection
  • – Couture/form verification (glass or cam/crankshafts)
  • – Sub-components location/installation verification

Moving coil actuator manufacturer SMAC is a Tier One automotive supplier delivering inspection systems offering 100% detailed inspection of automotive parts. Overall, they are designed and developed to validate the products and equipment vehicle manufactures incorporate into their final products.