We are pleased to announce our recent partnership with Ingersoll Rand Industrial Technologies San Diego Division. International Air Tool has been granted “Authorized Dealer” status by Ingersoll Rand, inventor of the impact wrench and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of compressed air products. Ingersoll Rand will be our flagship line. In addition to complete tools, we will also offer replacements parts, and repair service at reasonable rates to both local and international customers.
International Air Tool & Industrial Supply Co. has entered into an agreement with wholesale giant ORS NASCO to provide customers access to a huge variety of industrial products at deep discounts. By teaming up with ORS NASCO, International Air Tool can stay true to its mission of systematically supplying customers with complete pneumatic tool,diaphragm pump, and hoist solutions. If you have a specific make, model, or part number you are currently looking for, please feel free to email our Customer Service Department or call us toll free at (800) 608-5210.
Pneumatic Assembly Tools – Controlling Torque Reaction…
By Mark Schieber, MBA – Director of Sales at International Air Tool
When working with assembly customers in the field I frequently receive questions about torque reaction and more specifically, at what level of torque should some type of reaction limiting device be implemented…. In order to properly answer this question, let’s first define the vocabulary that will be used in the discussion:
Clutch Tools – (aka Torque Controlled Screwdrivers featuring an Adjustable Precision Shut Off Clutch)
Clutch tools are pneumatic screwdrivers (either inline or pistol grip) that utilize a mechanical spring, ball, and cam type clutch (see picture below) to limit the amount of torque delivered to a fastener. Rather than have the screwdriver bit connect directly to the pneumatic screwdrivers motor via the spindle, an adjustable clutch is installed between the bit and the motor to regulate the amount of torque delivered to the fastener. Different screwdriver models offer clutches with different torque ranges (typically measured in inch lbs.) from which to choose. This torque range is adjusted by changing the clutch adjustment settings by either loosening or tightening the tension placed on the clutch spring. During a run down, when the force applied to the fastener overcomes the driving force of the tool (controlled by the clutch) a rod trips and stops the air flow to the tool thus limiting the torque applied to the fastener. These clutches are highly accurate and since they shut off automatically when the proper torque is reached, they also prevent operators from influencing final torque applied to the fastener. In other words, the operators can’t give the fastener “one last nudge for good measure.” The final resting torque of the fastener is determined by the tool, not the operator. Here is a picture of a torque controlled clutch, (disregard the oil free blades text):
You can check out one of my all time favorite torque controlled screwdrivers at: http://www.intlairtool.com/products/Ingersoll-Rand-1RPMS1-Torque-Controlled-Assembly-Screwdriver.html
Now the negative (Con) aspect of clutch tools – Since the air flow to the tool and hence rotation of the bit is stopped abruptly by the activation of the mechanical clutch, a torque reaction (jarring motion) is produced at the end of the cycle which is transferred to the arms of the operators. This reaction can be harmful to the wrists and elbows, but can be prevented… More to come on this later…
A pulse tool combines the speed of an impact wrench with the repeatability and precision of a shut off clutch tool. However, in contrast to a spring, ball and cam type clutch tool, a pulse tool uses a hydraulic cylinder to amplify, regulate, and apply the torque generated by the air motor. This hydraulic cylinder is often referred to as the pulse unit. Not only does the pulse unit generate torque, but it also absorbs the torque reaction, noise, and vibration making it a highly ergonomic (but expensive) tool. Since a picture is worth a 1,000 words, here is a cutaway of a pulse tool…
Pulse tools are usually used for higher torque range applications which are measured in ft. lbs. (12 inch. lbs. in 1 ft. lb.). They are also very quiet and consume very little air (low CFM). IMPORTANT: Pulse tools are virtually reaction-less because the torque is applied to the fastener in a series of rapid starts and stops that are visually undetectable during use. Think of the second hand on a clock and the way it pauses before it moves to the next position… Now imagine this same motion at 8,000 RPM’s and you have the method by which a pulse tool delivers torque! Here is an example of a high quality Ingersoll Rand Pulse Tool…
Torque Reaction Arms
Lastly, let’s talk a minute about torque reaction arms… A torque reaction holds and supports a torque controlled clutch type screwdriver during operation. Since a torque controlled screwdriver comes to an abrupt stop when the desired torque is reached (due to the clutch engaging), a torque reaction arm is used to absorb the transfer of torque (twisting force) before it reaches the arm of the operator. This in turn prevents injury associated with repetitive motion. Torque reaction arms also force the operator to follow the preset pattern/motion of the arm thus performing the assembly in a disciplined and ergonomic fashion. Torque reaction arms come in a variety of materials and configuration, but all share the same goal, which is to prevent injury to the operator caused by torque reaction and repetitive motion.
Selecting the Right Configuration
Sorry for that long winded explanation, but it was necessary… We are now ready to explain how to choose the right tool to get the assembly job done while adhering to proper ergonomics… As a rule of thumb, a clutch tool should be used with a torque reaction arm anytime there is a visible torque reaction noticeable when monitoring the operator perform a series of run downs…. Additionally, the operator should be questioned as to his or her comfort level after performing multiple cycles. See how they feel about 1/2 way into their shift and question multiple operators all the while assuring them that their input is contributing to plant wide increases in productivity. When in doubt however, implement a torque reaction arm. Some experts in the field will assert that a torque reaction arm be implemented only above certain levels of torque (i.e. – above 15 inch lbs.). However, we at International Air Tool have found that torque reactions vary greatly based on the type of joint (hard or soft) being assembled. While some operators may resist the implementation of torque reaction arms, assure them that it is for the benefit of their health as well as the overall well being of the business.
You might have already figured out that by design, pulse tools do not require torque reaction arms. While many plants prefer to implement a combination of clutch tools with torque arms due to lower costs, when possible, it is advisable to use pulse tools. Additionally, since the pulse tool requires no torque reaction arm, it reduces clutter and better supports a lean manufacturing environment. However, pulse tools are mainly offered in higher torque ranges because as you might have guessed, greater amounts of torque cause greater reactions and thus require a countermeasure to diffuse that torque. With borderline medium-low torque ranges i.e – 10 to 20 inch lbs., pulse tools are not typically offered and therefore, you will have to be vigilant and see whether a clutch tool and torque arm combination is required.
In summary, when working with a clutch tool, a torque reaction arm is always a good idea when there is any noticeable torque reaction present at the end of the run down. For higher torque applications, bypass the torque reaction arm entirely and streamline your process with a highly ergonomic and repeatable pulse tool. If you have questions regarding a specific application feel free to call our office during normal business hours or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading…
Dear Fellow Surfers and Board Builders:
I have worked in the air tool business for the past six years…. When it comes to pneumatic tools there are basically two different grades of quality to keep in mind… In the business we separate them into distinct classes by the terms “Vehicle Service / Maintenance Grade” and “Industrial Production Grade“.
Typically your vehicle service / automotive type tools are imported from Asia. These types of tools frequently feature lower quality cast parts and are essentially “disposable” once they break. Not to say that these aren’t okay for sanding the occasional lap, but keep in mind that once they break, they are virtually non-rebuildable. A few examples of decent “throw away” die grinders are the Ingersoll Rand #301 and the Ingersoll Rand #3102. Both spin at 20,000 RPM’s and feature 1/4″ collets that accept quick lock sanding disc mandrels. The #301 is ultra no frills, but is super light and compact. Don’t pay much more than $50 bucks for it. What separates the #3102 from the #301 is a slightly higher horsepower motor (.33 HP vs. .25 HP) and a composite handle which features better ergonomics and less cold transfer to your arm. The #3102 also has all ball bearing construction. A fair price for the #3102 is about $140.00. Both tools are made in China for Ingersoll Rand. I would stay away from the Harbor Freight Central Pneumatic private label brand unless you are really really on a tight budget.
For any of you hardcore production glassers out there that want a 100% rebuildable American made tool for the long haul, go with the Ingersoll Rand G1A200RG4. This tool features all ball bearing construction and machined steel components.These are the same grinders they use in the ship yards and machine shops. The G1A200RG4 spins at 20,000 RPM’s, has a 1/4″ collet and puts out .33 HP. When it’s time to rebuild it, you simply put in a new set of composite phenolic motor vanes and possibly some new bearings available from any industrial distributor. You can literally tear down the motor section of this tool in 60 seconds. Here’s the bad part… One of these bad boys will run you close to $500. Check out this link for more info:
In summary, you can either choose to buy throw away tools and replace them frequently or cry one time and buy the dankster goods… Either way, to ensure maximum life, be sure to place a few drops of oil in the air inlet of the tool each day before use… Lastly, be sure you are running good clean air at 90 PSI so you get maximum horespower…
Hope this was useful…
San Diego, CA
Not here for a long time, just a good time…
Okay, so I’m really going to have a go at it… After too many years selling air tools for “The Man” I’ve decided to start my own industrial products distributorship. I have the experience, business education, and language skills to succeed so now its time to make it happen!
The name of the company if you have not figured it out already is International Air Tool & Industrial Supply Company or I.A.T for short. The focus of the company will be on (yep you guessed it) the distribution of pneumatic tools and accessories. However, rather than distribute any old run of the mill air tools, we will be focusing primarily on items manufactured to withstand the daily abuses of industrial production environments. Tools deigned to build airplane parts, assemble turbines engines, fabricate steel, and lift ship propellers These are in contrast to the disposable auto mechanics / garage tools produced in the far east that are found at your local tire shop. What we will sell is primarily manufactured in Europe and the good old U.S.A and the company will focus more on heavy lifting, surface preparation, and material removal tools as opposed to light assembly products. While we will still offer torque controlled screwdrivers and the like, the main emphasis will be on air hoists and various die and angle grinders http://www.intlairtool.com/categories/Grinders/….
At the time of print International Air Tool has secured a small line of credit with Ingersoll Rand San Diego and has a pending credit application out with ORS Nasco, a wholesaler who represents over 600 industrial manufacturers. Additionally, an SBA loan is also pending with the San Diego chapter of the SBA to help ease any potential early cash flow pressures.
International Air Tool was named so because of its’ principal’s (Mark Schieber’s) strong connection to the Mexican manufacturing industry, otherwise known as the Maquiladora industry. Mark has many friends and business associates down south and I.A.T will pride itself on its ability to seamlessly serve the needs of the nearly 2,000 maquiladoras that line the U.S. – Mexico border. International Air Tool will market itself through in person consultation as well as a soon to be extensive online store.
So yeah in a nutshell that’s it… I want to leverage my old customer and supplier contacts from my prior positions with “the man” to carve out a name for myself as a reputable distributor of air tools, pumps, hoists, and related accessories. I hope to eventually grow my website to offer between 500 to 1000 products which I anticipate shipping to industrial customers located throughout the entire western hemisphere!
On behalf of my the entire International Air Tool crew I thank you for reading this blog…If you have any ideas or thoughts on my business I would love to hear them so by all means please chime in!
Mark W. Schieber, MBA
Director of Sales and Marketing