Case Studies

Nut Sensor Case Study

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Location: Michigan, USA Customer: Automotive manufacturer Key benefit: Reduced waste Case study Requirement In car assemblies, an automatic system welds nuts to sheet metal so auto body parts can be bolted together later. If a nut is missing or not aligned with the hole, the part may have to be scrapped. But these nuts are often hidden from view, making visual inspection slow and costly. Existing hidden part sensors could measure thickness, (indicating whether a nut was present) but they were expensive and difficult to configure into a workable package. Automotive manufacturers needed an affordable sensor that was sensitive enough detect the presence of a nut and easy to calibrate to detect thread quality. Solution Using their expertise in inductive proximity sensing, where a probe emits an oscillating signal, automation experts at IMI Precision Engineering developed the first-ever radial probe sensor. The probe is inserted through the hole in the sheet metal and sends a signal back to a monitor. The operating frequency of the signal indicates whether the nut is present or absent. The sensor can be calibrated to detect thread quality using a simple hand adjustment and an LED indicator. An optional spring mount allows the probe to retract without damage if a hole is missing. Radial sensor technology makes the probe affordable, and manufacturers realize significant savings by eliminating manual inspections and avoiding scrap of costly car assemblies. Sector image used under license from © Norgren, Inc. 2015 Detector for nuts, threads reduces scrap Engineering GREAT Solutions

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