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Challenge Automation designed, manufactured, and developed a machine that could assemble our customer’s electrical channel strut back to back utilizing rivets.  Strut pieces were manually loaded onto a gravity conveyor, and then an operator could position the strut and initiate the automatic cycle.  Guide tooling and pneumatically actuated stops were used to help the operator with locating the material in the machine.  A die set with tooling to locate and punch the rivet holes was fabricated in house and featured a hydraulic cylinder capable of delivering up to 30 tons of press force.  Once the holes were punched, a 4-Axis SCARA robot picked rivets from a 2-line vibratory bowl feeding system and placed them in the holes.  After the rivets were installed, the strut was conveyed to a staking station which also had a 30-ton press force hydraulic cylinder.  An out-feed hitching unit was provided to power the leading edge of the strut through the end of the machine.  Challenge integrated a servo controller system with the machine controller, as well as a self-contained power unit to power the hole punch and stake press.  Perimeter light curtains were installed along the front, back, and sides for safety.

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