Industry 4.0 is often spoken about. It is nothing but the digital transformation of manufacturing,
production, and assembly lines. However, the question remains what assembly tools can allow assembly
lines and plants to switch to automation and become smart? With majority of the assembly lines relying
on pneumatic and manual wrenches, the question also remains that what type of tools can replace
them? In this article, we will answer these questions and talk about the benefits of making the switch to
Industry 4 revolution.
Before we talk about the DC electric assembly tools that can help in transitioning, we will talk about
Industry 4 revolution which is an approach to automate manufacturing that includes the
implementation of several different technologies like AI, cloud computing, and many others. Having
systems that are connected, monitoring, communicating, and working with one another in synergy
without any human involvement is the foundation for becoming a Smart Factory. Since, majority of the
assembly lines rely on such DC electric assembly tools, they are an important component to achieve
As majority of the manufacturing, production, and assembly plants use pneumatic tools, clicker
wrenches, and impact wrenches for tightening, transitioning to a smarter plant would require DC electric
assembly tools that are interconnected via controllers and also record data while doing the job. The
disadvantages of traditional fastening tools are that the manufacturer must always rely on the operator
to pick up the right tool for the job. One small mistake can cause huge losses and brand damage in the
future without even able to understand the source of the problem.
Cleco’s NeoTek fastening tools are programmed to use multi-stage tightening strategies allowing the
operator to use a single tool on multiple applications serving different torque outputs. For example,
there is an application which requires a particular tightening pattern to seal the joint and avoid leakages.
At such times, to switch between tools, take trainings, and follow paper instruction makes the
organization rely a lot on the accuracy of the operator without any source of documenting this job; thus
making it less effective. In such cases, a hybrid controller paired with Cleco’s Neotek will streamline the
process by guiding the operator in tightening the joint and record the job. The Image Visualization
feature in the Hybrid controller allows the controller to process the image and mark which fasteners
need to tighten and in what order.
To further enhance accuracy, Cleco tools disable themselves and notify supervisor when an operator
attempts to retighten the same fastener multiple times. This allows the supervisor to assess the
situation and avoid production losses. Once assessed, the supervisor can resume the system by using a
Cleco Industry 4.0 electric assembly systems record and monitor job data. To understand the benefits,
we would explain it in the form of an example. One of our customers was experiencing inaccurate
rundowns. Based on the data collected, there had been an increase in 65% failure rate from the previous
month. Back tracking from the data provided by the controller, the amount of prevailing torque
observed during the free thread part of the rundown was minimal, less than 1Nm. That value had now
increased to 5Nm and was, at times, reaching final torque well before the low angle limit. Finally, our
customer was able to figure out that a worn tap caused an increase in the amount of torque required to
drive the bolt. The supplier was contacted, made aware of the issue, and correct parts were shipped.
The ability of the Cleco’s NeoTek electric assembly systems to monitor such key applications, provide
real time data and communicate with the respective stakeholders was a crucial step in successfully
transforming the customer’s plant to an industry 4.0 environment. This not only enhances our
customer’s efficiency in plant but also accuracy to avoid production losses. Since making the switch all
actions such as interpreting information, selecting correct application, archiving rundown data, real time
monitoring torque and data, exporting torque traces happens without any human interaction.
We hope this article helped you understand the benefits of how switching to smart DC assembly tools
can help transform assembly lines in to smart factories. Visit us next time for more knowledge sharing