Industrial equipment supplier Dowson & Dobson Industrial introduced a new range of battery-operated EC angle-head industrial screw- drivers, manufactured by Deprag Industrial, a subsidiary of Germany-based machine-building company Deprag Schultz, at Electra Mining Africa in Johannesburg last month.
The range, which is new to the South African market, is designed for assemblies in restrictive areas, compared with compressed air hoses or electrical cables that are obstructive in the assembly process.
“The hand-held screwdriver, commonly referred to as an electric torque tool or nut- runner, is suitable for use in the automotive assembly sector and appliance manufacturing applications, where space and manoeuvrability are often restricted.
“The cordless screwdriver eliminates cords getting in the way and offers greater freedom of movement to the operator, thereby improving ergonomics and ultimately efficiency,” says Dowson & Dobson Industrial national business manager Herman Parsons.
The company has introduced three models, with torque ratings between 2 Nm and 50 Nm.
The lightweight, hand-held screwdriver has a standard integrated light-emitting diode that assists in locating the screw and it can be programmed with eight multilevel screwdriving sequences.
Additionally, users have a selector 2switch that enables the fast activation of a reversing sequence.
Torque and angle-measure- ment features enable the accurate control of the screw-tightening operation.
Further, Parsons states that the tool’s 36 V lithium-ion battery is at the forefront of new technology, as it has a low self-discharge and is not susceptible to the battery-memory effect during the charging process.
This effect causes rechargeable batteries to hold less charge.
“The batteries offer a considerably lower idle discharge and the recharge cycle for the batteries is between 30 and 40 minutes,” he points out.
Parsons adds that the battery offers users a high-energy and performance density, while the regenerative feedback of the braking energy of the electric motor ensures highly efficient and low-cost energy consumption.
Additionally, the sensor- controlled, multilevel standby mode permits a high number of screwdriving cycles for each battery charge.
High-grade electronically commutated electric motors contribute to a lightweight, powerful tool, with a long service life through power density and output efficiency.
Meanwhile, the screwdriver uses industrial bluetooth to send data, such as the torque, speed and status of an operation, from the screwdriver to a computer using the Deprag ComCenter console. Data acquisition is often a prerequisite in automotive manufacturing to aid quality control.
The screwdriver also has a display keypad that provides users with on-the-spot information, such as screwdriving results and the status of an operation.
“The screwdriver can stay in contact with an optionally available base station, where a graphic user interface allows the fast and easy generation of screwdriving sequences.
“This base station may be connected to a host computer or network that transmits screwdriver settings and can also receive and archive data received from the screwdriver,” Parsons explains.
Software for the host computers is also provided and, together with the base station, will create and configure screwdriving programmes and documentation of the results on an integrated Web server like Internet Explorer.
The base station, which has a multilingual interface, can connect to four hand-held screwdrivers simultaneously through bluetooth.
All products are manufactured in-house at Deprag’s faci- lities, in Germany, to ensure that quality is maintained.
Parsons states that training is offered to the screwdriver operators.
“This new and ground- breaking screwdriver technology has the potential to significantly improve efficiency and productivity in South Africa’s industrial sector and, although the initial purchase price is higher than standard industry products, long-term savings are guaranteed, owing to the high quality and reliability of the Deprag brand, which is supported by dedicated after-sales and technical support staff from Dowson & Dobson Industrial,” he says.