Case Studies

Brush Assembly Machine Automation

Customer:  Outers Inc.

Outers ATK is a division of Federal Premium Ammunition, a manufacture of a variety of gun accessories and gun cleaning products including brushes  for all popular rifle and pistol calibers and all shotgun gauges. ATK needed a turnkey automated brush assembly machine to increase their brush production rate and improve quality control.

Project Scope:  Brush assembly and testing

The gun cleaning brush is assembled from two Outers manufactured components. A threaded ferule is placed over a wire twist formed brush. There are multiple ferrule and brush dimensions. Assembled brush and ferule combinations are dependant upon the type and caliber of the brush being produced. The new assembly machine needed to be capable of assembling all brush types with minimal product change set up.

Project Design:  Turn Key Machine Design

Industrial Automation’s brush assembly machine design incorporates a direct drive servo to index a 36″ aluminum disc. The disc is fitted with 10 nests. Nine automated assembly stations are mounted just outside the indexing disc circumference. The assembly fixtures include pin and sleeve locators so they can be quickly removed for service and reinstalled. Wire wound brushes are delivered pneumatically to index station 2. The indexer moves the brush to successive assembly and testing stations and adds another new brush to station 2 at each index. Successive stations place the ferule over the wire end of the brush and crimp it in place. When the completed brush has passed all inspections, a peen printer inscribes the caliber of the brush on the ferule. The last stage picks the completed brush and places it in a good or bad brush chute dependent upon earlier assembly test results. An Allen Bradley Micrologix 1400 controls all machine devices. Ethernet is employed to connect to a touch screen and the indexer servo control.

Safety:  Machine Safety

The machine is fully guarded with interlocked doors and a light curtain. The light curtain is employed at station 1 to allow manual brush loading and to meet OSHA standards. In manual loading, the indexer starts when a new brush is placed at station 1 and the operator is clear of the protected area. An emergency machine stop is initiated if the light curtain is entered or a door is opened during index or if an associated assembly station is active.

Project Results:  Efficiency, Quality, Productivity

The completed automated brush assembly machine greatly improved production rates and assures that every brush is inspected. Product changeovers are quick and easy.