Automated self-clinching fastener Insertion, courtesy of Factory Automation Systems, Inc.

Automated PEM self-clinching fastener Insertion Factory Automation Systems (FAS) provided the system integration of this automated assembly system, utilizing two FANUC M-710iC/45M robots. FAS is an Atlanta-based automation system integrator specializing in robotic material handling, machine tending, palletizing, and material removal applications. FAS is also heavily involved in control systems, machine vision, and information systems integration. This robotic application involves the insertion of PEM self-clinching fasteners into sheet metal back panels for large LCD outdoor displays. These threaded inserts are used as stand-offs for components that get assembled to the back panels. Up to 250+ PEMS may be required for specific back panels, with up to eight different PEM types in a back panel. A variety of different size back panels are also produced in this facility. Two robot work cells mounted side-by-side, manipulate the back panels for insertion by a Haeger PEM insertion machine. These cells are capable of independent work or sequential back panel processing. Each insertion machine tended cell can feed up to four different model PEMs from vibratory feeder bowls, allowing robots to work independently. For panels that require four to eight different PEMs, the panels are passed between each work cell using a rotary transfer device to pass it from cell to cell. Racks of panels are brought into each workcell by an Agilox Intelligent Guided Vehicle (IGV), essentially a smart panel jack. The robot unloads a panel from the rack and places it in a registration fixture to accurately locate it. Each robot is equipped with an automatic tool change system that it uses to interchange different size vacuum cup tools to handle the range of panel sizes. The robot picks up a located panel and takes it to a PEM insertion machine. The robot accurately places a hole in the panel over a mandrel in the machine and signals the clinching stroke in the machine to be activated. A vision camera and laser verify the proper placement of the mandrel inside the hole before activating the clinching stroke. The robot moves the panel and progressively places that specific size hole over the mandrel until all those specific PEMs have been clinched. The robot then signals another size mandrel to be selected by the insertion machine and repeats the insertion sequence for the second PEM type. It repeats this operation until all PEM type insertions have been completed. Factory Automation Systems, Inc.