Manual work in a technical field typically involves a lot of repetitive actions using hand-held pneumatic or electric tools. Performing these tasks every day can cause fatigue, which increases the risk of errors such as incorrect positioning, causing a light tool to feel heavier by the hour.
Combined with the torque reaction from the tightening process, operators become increasingly at risk of repetitive stress and other hand-arm-shoulder problems that eventually lead to injury, lost manpower, downtime, and possibly worker’s compensation claims. Fortunately, these problems can be effectively prevented by using a torque arm with all power torque tools.
A torque arm refers to the mount for torque tools that hold them in such a way that the operator can smoothly move it around the work area to perform operations. This offers a number of benefits in assembly lines, including:
1. Minimizing the risk of injury
There are different types of torque arms depending on how the arm moves. The most prevalent are linear. The balancer makes it possible to move the arm up and down vertically, on the mast, nearly effortlessly, while holding the torque arm in a specific position specified by the operator.
With the mast serving as the support, both the balancers and arms can rotate around it. There’s also a mount that operators can use to guide any torque tool instead of lifting its entire weight, while the arm absorbs the resulting torque reactions, which helps to further minimize the strain and risk of injury.
2. Improved productivity
All types of torque arms help to reduce the effort required when tightening, which allows the operator to accomplish more work within any given duration. For instance, telescoping torque arms enable the operator to adjust the arm length with respect to its mounting point.
With its complete 360-degree rotation around the mast, linear torque arms are capable of performing even the most basic fastening operations fast and with ease. The maximum amount of torque reaction depends on the structure of the arm.
Linear and articulating torque arms allow for a maximum range of movement and flexibility, providing you with a wide working area. Adding to the ergonomically designed setup of a torque-arm, the power tools feel virtually weightless, allowing for flawless tool movement.
The setup not only removes the weight from your arm and shoulder but absorbs the resulting torque reaction from the fastening process, allowing you to effectively work in a wide area, without stretching or getting tired.
3. Reduced worker fatigue
Torque arms are easy to install and cover very little space, regardless of the size of the work area that needs to be covered. They can be bench-mounted conveniently, so they don’t disrupt your workflow.
Articulated torque arms use an elbow-like joint that provides a second rotational axis for the torque arms, allowing for an even greater range of motion and control.
Depending on the type of assembly station you have, such as those with screw counters or presenters, you can use the articulated torque arms to facilitate the smooth motion of a tool between the presenter and the joint. Torque arms provide operators with more motion control over fastening, reducing the incidence of side loading and cross-threading.
4. Accurate fastening – Improved product quality
The reliability of any assembly joint largely depends on consistently tightening the fasteners in the right order. Torque arms minimize operator influence by controlling the angle and reactionary forces of the tool through the entire fastening process. Assembly systems that have sequential fastening can take advantage of the position control system (posi-control) of torque arms to minimize the risk of incorrect fastening.
The unit comprises a torque arm that’s fitted with the posi-control device and an encoder. The torque tool is then mounted in the normal way to the torque arm.
Next, you need to set the posi-control device to Programming Mode for the tool to run down the fasteners in the correct order. The posi-control device receives and saves arm positioning data obtained from the encoder and when paired with a compatible I/O controller can be set to enable and disable the tool based on its position..
Each time you use the torque arm, the posi-control system will not start a new fastening sequence without completing all parameters in the prior sequence. This serves as a quality control measure before each fastening process, which helps to ensure precise work at all times.
5. Compatibility with multiple power tools
You can use nearly all types of power assembly torque tools with your torque arm, provided you use the appropriate tool clamp for the arm. The common tools such as electric and pneumatic screwdrivers and DC control tools can be used with torque control arms regardless of their form factor: pistol grip, right-angle, or inline grip.
This means that you can take advantage of torque arms for most applications, from the assembly of hard drive cases using electric torque screwdrivers to the heavy industrial manufacturing. The torque arm will help to relieve the stress and strain from the arms, hands, and shoulders of the operators.
Torque arms provide ergonomic assembly assistance for your operators, regardless of the complexity of the work. This not only prevents strain and injury, but also reduces fatigue. In the long-run, your employees can enjoy long-term health and optimal productivity.
Torque arms allow operators to fasten in the proper sequence, at the right torque setting and positioning. This allows the operator to be more relaxed and focused when working, minimizing time wastage during assembly time.
In general, torque arms boost precision, quality, and reliability of the final products while protecting your employees from repetitive strain injury. This makes ergonomic torque arms an essential component in modern assembly systems and should be made a priority in any plans for developing a productive assembly line.
To learn more about the ways that torque arms can improve production quality and safety in the workplace, call Delta Regis at 1-888-733-3142 or contact us here.