To ensure that the newly designed fitting would work, and equally importantly, would not interfere with the comfort and operation, we had a part 3D printed and installed it on a swivel. There were a few changes based on this plastic part, and we have lathe time scheduled this week to make the aluminum replacements.
Another issue that has come up was with the low pressure side of the intensifier operation. The intensifier has two stages, on that allows the ram to move up to the rivet but will not compress it. The second gives the full pressure to collapse the rivet. These two pressures are set with regulators in the bottom of the box. The high pressure set to 90psi and is simply to prevent someone from plugging into 130psi shop air and blowing up the hydraulic hose. The low pressure is around 8psi and is really hard to measure exactly. What we have been doing is putting in a 426AD3-3 rivet and adjusting to the point where it would not compress it. I think a load cell is the correct long term solution, but any recommendations would be welcome. What we didn’t expect… When this is set it will cycle fine, but after the tool sits unused for a time the 8psi is not enough to throw the valve completely open or closed. After some investigation, the electric solenoid is intended to move the position of the piston inside the valve, but it is actually 20psi minimum of air pressure that seals the valve’s piston against either end. When sitting for a while it will often leak when not engaged, or simple not engage at all, and sometimes both. The easy solution would be to move the regulator to the other side of the valve, but that messes up the layout of the box (see photos in previous posts). This may be the solution, but I am hoping that another solution will present it’self before the swivel spindles above are finished.
Other problems that we have solved in the last couple months include jigging and fixturing to be able to hold parts while manufacturing, allowing us to get a better idea of final parts cost, figuring out an anodizing problem that lead to powdery looking parts in some batches, and a problem with the circuit board that caused a short when plugging in the foot control and the wall charger at the same time.
Learning all of these new processes in house has been challenging, and rewarding, but has taken MUCH longer than anticipated. One thing about us though is we will not let a product go out the door until we are satisfied that it will preform as we would expect it to if we were the customer. This is important for function, but equally important for finish quality and ergonomics.
I have now committed to weekly updates here in order to keep the interested parties informed.
Thanks to all for patience and interest. – Mike