Riveting machinery uses heat to fuse two pieces of metal together, forming an extremely strong bond that cannot be broken. It is a fast and inexpensive process that does not require an adhesive or sealant. It is also a cleaner process than spot welding and produces no fumes during production. It is best for joining pieces of deformable materials such as metal, wood, leather and plastic. It is not suitable for brittle materials such as glass or ceramics. There are many types of riveting machines available, from hand tools and handheld guns to multihead automated machines. They can be powered electrically, pneumatically (pop riveters and air riveters) or hydraulically.
Choosing the right rivet machine for a job starts with understanding what the assembly goals are and the constraints that must be met. This includes identifying the product quality characteristics and the production cycle time required. Other factors that may be important include the plant utilities available, cost, foot print and space requirements, and finished part aesthetics.
There are three main categories of rivets used in manufacturing and construction: rivets for sheet metal, blind rivets and self-piercing rivets (SPR). Regardless of the category, they all have one thing in common: They are fastened with heat to create an effective bond that is resistant to pull out.
The basic process of a riveting machine involves inserting the rivet through a drilled hole in the two parts to be joined together, then pressing or hammering it from its insertion side to deform the tail end and provide the second retaining head. This deformation is accomplished with the use of heat, which can be achieved by applying a rivet gun to the fastener.
Once the rivet is in place, the operator activates a piston by pulling the trigger on the gun handle. This opens a throttle valve which allows pressurized air from the compressor to escape into the slide. The pressure is applied against the piston, which causes it to compress the rivet body and deform the tail end, thus creating a lap joint. The air is then vented back into the compressor tank and the cycle begins again.
Riveting machines are used in a variety of industries for a number of different tasks, including joining automotive and aircraft parts, fastening metal brackets, housing equipment and electronic components. They can be powered electrically, pneumatically or hydraulically and are usually operated by a team of operators.
The type of riveting machine that is used on a project depends on the assembly requirements, such as the quality level and speed requirements, the number of workers and the size of the project. For instance, a manual riveter is a good choice for light assembly work and low-volume production because it only requires an operator to control the gun via a lever or foot pedal. An automatic riveting machine is more advanced and does not require an operator, instead relying on a feed track and hopper to perform the riveting automatically.