A riveting machine is a device used to set the head of a metal fastener called a rivet. Riveting machines can be found in a wide variety of configurations, from manually operated hand riveters and handheld riveting guns to multihead automated tools that are electrically, pneumatically (pop or air riveters) or hydraulically actuated. Riveting machines are designed to help workers increase productivity and quality while reducing labor costs.
The most common type of riveting machine is a manual pop riveter. These are also known as blind riveters, and they use a mandrel shaft that is snapped off after the rivet has been inserted through multiple layers of laminated materials. The rivet is then deformed using a special tool to create an expansion that seals the hole and bonds the materials together. This type of machine is commonly found in production lines where workers are setting hundreds or even thousands of rivets at a time.
A more advanced type of riveting machine is a semi-automatic or fully automated riveting system that utilizes a robot arm to carry the riveting gun to each rivet location on the materials. These are often found in factories where the same task is repeated over and over again, such as automotive and aircraft manufacturing plants. The robotic arms are connected to a hopper and feed track that delivers the rivets into position for the riveting gun to set them. The machine can be programmed to perform a number of tasks, including setting rivets, flushing, and inspecting.
If you are looking to automate your riveting process, a custom riveting machine can be built by a specialist to handle your specific application. These machines include features like poke yokes to make it easier to load rivets and part validation and data collection for quality control. The machines can also be equipped with an auto-feed hopper and feed track, or can be manually fed through the use of a foot lever or hand brake.
There are many types of riveting machines available, but most are divided into two broad groups — impact and non-impact riveting. Impact riveting machines apply a downward force to the rivet to deform it, while non-impact riveting uses a rolling action (often called orbital forming) to spread out the head of the rivet over the workpiece in one contact.
Another subset of this category are radial and spiralform riveting machines, which differ from orbital forming in that they use wheels instead of a peen to distribute the downward force. These machines can be either pneumatic or hydraulic and are usually used in applications where high-quality results are required.