Spiralform was presented at the Automechanika 2008 Innovation Awards in Frankfurt during September. Spiralform is a new fastening process that enables products to be assembled using a 360-degree, eleven-sided forming pattern. The method can be applied to fasten rivets or pre-formed posts/pegs used in product assemblies. Spiralform is an alternative joining process to orbital forming, adhesives, welding and riveting. The process is suitable for applications involving delicate articles or thin-wall, hollow rivets or long-shank pegs where it is important that the end result should not be excessively deformed or affected by the forming operation itself.
Typical applications include automotive assemblies, electronic components, white goods, aerospace products and many varied general industrial products.
Spiralform machines are manufactured by the Orbitform Group. Spiralform is claimed to be the first fastening product capable of operating in either a spiral or orbital forming pattern. It is possible to choose either of the two techniques using the same machine. Only the forming head needs to be changed, which takes just three minutes. This means that the same machine can now be used for more than one application and that the range of products fastened together can be increased by simply changing the head. A variety of machines sizes is available.
Importantly, end users can now invest in just one machine where previously two machines were required to achieve the same level of production. There is an indirect environmental benefit too, since it is no longer necessary to manufacture two machines, which saves on raw materials and energy while reducing emissions caused by the machine production processes.
This machine versatility and flexibility provides:
- Greater return on investment
- Flexibility to accommodate mid-life product design changes
- Better overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)
- Maximum machine output and capacity
- Floor space reduction (one machine can perform the job of two)
- An environmentally-sensitive product
In recognition of this, the judges at Automechanika named Spiralform as co-winner of the 2008 Innovation Award. The award was presented in Frankfurt Messe during the show that ran until 21 September 2008.