Computer Numerical Control (CNC) turning is a manufacturing process in which computer software dictates the movements of factory tools and machinery. This intricate procedure allows for precise control over aspects such as speed, location, coordination, and feed rate more effectively than manual operations. The CNC system enables employers to automate the production line, ensuring consistent, accurate, and high-quality output at reduced costs. Among several applications, one specific function where CNC machinery plays a crucial role is in the production of various types of rivets.
Rivets are permanent mechanical fasteners that consist of a smooth cylindrical shaft with a head on one side. They play a fundamental role in numerous industries, including automotive, construction, and aircraft manufacturing due to their robustness, durability, and resistance to vibration and stress impacts. There are different types of rivets used based on their application. These include blind rivets, solid rivets, tubular and semi-tubular rivets, drive rivets, flush rivets, friction-lock rivets, and structural or self-piercing rivets, among others.
The manufacturing process of rivets involves complex production stages utilizing advanced techniques and specialized machinery like CNC lathes. Here’s how some primary rivet types are produced using CNC turning technology:
1. Solid Rivets: Being the oldest type of rivet available, these solid pieces comprise a flat, round, countersunk or brazier head with a cylindrical body and plain end. A rotating cutting tool shaves off material on a CNC lathe to produce this design from a metal rod or pre-formed blanks. After shaping the overall contour, subsequent turning and milling operations form the desired head style.
2. Blind Rivets: Also known as ‘pop’ rivets, they come with a mandrel through the center and do not require access to both sides of the assembly. The production process for blind rivets involves progressive steps on a CNC machine, such as head forming, annealing, cleaning, mandrel assembly, and packaging.
3. Semi-Tubular Rivets: These rivets have a hole at the tip opposite the head, which reduces the force required during installation. To produce them, a precise CNC operation hollows out a portion from a solid rod to form this design in a few second cycle time.
4. Friction-Lock Rivets: They consist of two parts, the pin, and the collar. A CNC turning process manufactures these items separately before assembling them together.
5. Self-Piercing Rivets: For these rivets, complex CNC functionalities shape sharp-edged blind rivets that can pierce through materials without prior hole preparation.
In conclusion, CNC turning stands as a crucial factor in the production of different rivets, ensuring efficiency, precision, and cost-saving. It provides ultimate control over various machining operations leading to high-quality output suitable for diverse applications. Furthermore, advancements in CNC technology continue to evolve, promising even greater opportunities in manufacturing sectors widely dependent on robust fasteners like rivets.