The lesson is part of the on-going tutorials put out to help prepare CAD Drafting students and new engineers on the art and science of Weld and Assembly Fixture Design. A fixture is used to hold product parts in place in the factory while they are being manually or robotically welded or assembled.
Rentapen’s President and Queen of Lean Machine Design, Susan Straley, has created a Weld Fixture Design Blog and posts bi-weekly educational and helpful information for individuals in the Manufacturing Industry. Rentapen has created a series of videos and instructions on best practices.
This latest Weld Fixture Design Blog addressed 3-way adjustability with weld fixtures that corresponds with the latest video that has been released on Youtube and on their website. Visitors to the blog will find a plethora of different categories on the Weld Fixture Design 101 page. Some common categories that Staley blogs about are locating pins, metal shims, machine design, fasteners and RAPid Tooling Components™.
There are over 50 different videos that a subscriber may choose from when viewing Rentapen’s Youtube channel. Most of the videos are designed to inform the viewer and will educate the viewer on how to design or use purchased tooling components.
“I am pleased that George, who has been designing machines for over 36 years, agreed to be a part of this lesson. He does a great job explaining why Machine Design Engineers should consider including adjustability in their weld fixture designs,” said Susan Straley, President of Rentapen.
Rentapen is a Wisconsin Certified Woman-Owned Business Enterprise that has been designing machine tools for over 36 years. The Milwaukee area company was voted a Top 10 Business in Waukesha County.
Rentapen Inc., a manufacturer of Weld Tooling Components, has been recognized by the American Welding Society (AWS) for being a “Green” company.
On December 3, 2012 the Welding Journal produced a five page article in its magazine entitled “For Weld Tooling Design Company Being Green Is Second Nature.” The article can be found on pages 32-36 of the magazine.
Rentapen designs and builds weld fixtures and is the home of RAPid Tooling Components™. These tooling components are products that Rentapen developed to help engineers and manufacturers save time in the design and build of weld fixtures. Rentapen manufactures these metal shims, locating plates, and clamp risers at its plant in Waukesha, WI.
Rentapen has been a “green” company for over twenty years. In the early 1990’s Rentapen’s President, Susan Straley and Vice President George Straley, became part of a Household ECO Team program. Rentapen’s Owners were reducing, reusing and recycling long before Wisconsin took action and made recycling a state law.
Rentapen not only recycles in their shop, they also recycle and reuse in their office too. Rentapen does not buy paper towels; they use cloth rags in all areas of the office and shop. Also, in every room at Rentapen there are separate bins for recycling and for garbage.
“I am very proud of this recognition. George and I have been advocates for protecting the environment and reducing waste for a long time,” said Susan Straley, President and Owner of Rentapen.
The shop team is also conservative and mindful of waste. They first consider the boxes of discarded material before going to the inventory of new material to build new tooling components and metal shims.
All the paper in the recycle bins located in Rentapen’s office is shredded and used as material for shipping. Employees are encouraged to bring in their old newspapers for use as packing material. Recycling makes good business sense for Rentapen. In the first 9 months of 2012 Rentapen received over $3,500 back for recycling their metal waste.
The article can be found on the American Welding Society (AWS) website, under the December Issue. AWS was founded in 1919 as a multifaceted, nonprofit organization. The main goal of the organization was to help the advancement in science, technology and applications in welding. The website provides thousands of articles related to the field of welding and will benefit instructors, students, and individuals already in the field.
Rentapen Inc., Weld Fixture Specialists, located in Waukesha, WI, produced and published an educational video for CAD Drafters, Engineering Students, and Manufacturing Engineering Managers that has received over 3,100 views on youtube.
On September 25, 2011 Rentapen Inc., produced a video demonstrating Weld Fixture Design. Since the video was released it has been viewed over 3,100 times. This 6.5 minute video is one of the top viewed videos on youtube when searching for Weld Fixture Design. There are 46 other videos that Rentapen has developed and placed on youtube and the website that are for educational purposes.
This video provides seven important tips when building a weld fixture. These tips are designed to help Manufacturing Engineers produce the very best designs. Rentapen Inc., is a custom precision
RAPid Shims™ and RAPid Blocks™ company that takes pride in educating their customers and students in the industry.
“I started my educational Blog, Weld Fixture Design 101, after I learned that 40% of our Engineers in the United States will be retiring in the next 7 years. I feel strongly that those of us who have been working in design need to share our knowledge with those coming up behind us, so they don’t waste time making the same mistakes we made,” said Susan Straley, Queen of Lean Machine Design
and President of Rentapen.
Engineers and students of Engineering and Machine Tool Design can sign up to be notified every time a new blog is posted by signing up for Education and Updates on the Rentapen website. However, if you just want to see any new videos, subscribe to Rentapen’s Youtube Channel.
“Instructions on how to see how many views your video has received on Youtube said that a count of 200 views was really good, so I was pretty shocked and pleased to see our video on machine design tips received over 3,000 views,” said Straley
Rentapen Inc., discovers 32 different footprints for creating 3-way adjustments with RAPid Shims™ and RAPid Blocks™.
On November 14, 2012 Rentapen Inc., launched a new page on the Rentapen website introducing 3-way adjustability for RAPid Shims™ and RAPid Blocks™ under the Shims menu dropdown. These RAPid Tooling Components™ help Engineers save time and also saves time in the machine tool build process.
These newly developed RAPid Shims™ and RAPid Blocks™ create adjustability for locating pins to fit for precision welding. The locating pin’s position in the weld fixture can be finely tuned before mass production begins. Precision shims are added or removed between the blocks to make sure the pin is in the right
location. When in the right location, the final welded product meets product’s tolerance specifications.
Rentapen’s RAPid Shims™ are created with precision sheet metal for fine adjustment of the fixture before welding begins. The RAPid Blocks™ are created with counter-bored hole on both sides for design versatility.
“We knew our RAPid Blocks were versatile, but we were surprised to learn there are actually 32 different ways to position the blocks along with shims to create the 3-way adjustment that is often needed in a precision weld fixture,” said Susan Straley, President and Owner of Rentapen.
In the next few weeks Rentapen Inc., will be producing a “How To” video displaying how 3-way adjustability can be used. There will be a series of blogs coming out that can be found on the Weld Fixture Design 101 web page that will help describe how to use these tooling components in detail.
“I just posted a blog talking about our standard tolerance on locating pins and the ways to use our RAPid Blocks with shims to create 3-way adjustment in weld and assembly fixtures,” said Straley.
On November 9, Rentapen, Inc, a woman-owned machine tool design and build company was honored for its achievements in exceptional marketing by the Waukesha Award Program.
Rentapen Inc. specializes in weld and assembly fixtures and custom and standard precision shims. The weld jig and assembly fixture design and build company was selected for the 2012 Best of Waukesha Award in the Miscellaneous General Business Services category by the Waukesha Award Program.
Earlier in 2012, Rentapen also was voted one of the Top 10 Businesses in the Waukesha Area by the Waukesha Business Alliance and the Biz Times. That award was based on Customer Service, Growth, and Employee Relations.
Each year, the Waukesha Award Program identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Waukesha area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2012 Waukesha Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Waukesha Award Program and data provided by third parties.
Rentapen works with manufacturers when they are tooling up their factories to produce their products. In response to their customers’ need to reduce the time needed to design and build a fixture, Rentapen developed a line of standard yet versatile components. These components save machine designers and manufacturers time when designing and building their weld and assembly fixtures.
This simple weld fixture contains Rentapens time-saving RAPid Tooling Components(TM)
The product line, called RAPid Tooling Components include clamp risers, blocks, plates and precision shims. They are quickly becoming popular among machine tool designers and have grown to be half of Rentapen’s sales. Thanks to a dynamic website where 3D models of the components can be downloaded and placed easily into designs.
About Waukesha Award Program
The Waukesha Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Waukesha area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.
The Waukesha Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in the Waukesha community. The organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. The Waukesha Award Program’s mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.
Here are some images of weld fixtures we have designed recently. Also, at the end, is a new kind of bike to ride the Rails before they become trails. Enjoy.
Three parts are welded together in this small weld jig.
Top view, same fixture.
The CNC leaves an interesting pattern on this weldment. It looks wavy, but is very smooth.
Small Weld Fixture using Goal Posts.
Robotic Weld Cell Fixture that rotates.
You can see all the RAPid Tooling Components(TM) in this fixture.
Sign Up in April for DOWEL HOLE GUIDE.
Sign up for “Education and Updates” on Rentapen’s website in April, 2012, and you will receive a free Dowel Hole Reference Guide for your desk top. Signing up means you will receive an email when a new blog or press release is posted.
Now, I would like to share this, a fun and inspiring post sent from one of our followers:
I am excited about our new Free 3D CAD Models ordering service on Rentapen’s web site. I know I promised to talk more about the simple weld fixture (weld jig), this week, however I am delaying that because this is (I think) so COOL!!
Our line of tooling components are now even easier to use. I invite you to play with this new 3d model downloading service. These files are Free! Since we are still discovering kinks, be sure to let us know if you find any problems.
The videos I have for you today are about how to use this service. But there is so much more to learn. These videos aren’t polished, but you will get the idea.
First, I talk about shims and show how they are placed in a real fixture. You might want to turn the volume down a bit, I start in the shop…
I know I go on and on about shims at times. I am a big advocate for shimming in weld fixtures.
With so many variables involved in how much heat will be created during welding and therefore, how much distorting will occur on the product being welded, shims and shim packs are essential. They help the production group set up the fixture before full production begins. So that when the weld jig or fixture goes into full production it is putting out a product that works.
In this next video I show you how to download a file for a RAPid Block(TM) and a RAPid Riser(TM).
And in THIS video, our team member, Kory, tells you how to get your Pro/E parameters into your STEP file.
I hope you have fun trying out the new 3d models and seeing how you can use them. I’d love to see what you come up with! Didn’t you like playing with legos??
Send images of your designs using RAPid Tooling Components to firstname.lastname@example.org
Rentapen Inc.’s President, Susan Straley, Educates Engineering Students With Her Weld Fixture Design Blogs.
Susan Straley, the Queen of Lean Machine Design and President of Rentapen Inc. has been educating the world about weld fixture designs since October 2011. It’s called Weld Fixture Design 101 and can be found on Rentapen’s website.
The Weld Fixture Design Blog informs the audience first how to design a simple weld fixture. Then Straley’s future posts go further into the design details and more complex issues.
The Weld Fixture Design Blog is part of Rentapen’s Growing Machine Design Engineers Program. Rentapen hires interns and trains them while they work. Rentapen has created a series of videos and instructions on best practices.
The inspiration to create the Blog came when Straley found out that 40% of the engineering workforce was going to retire in 8 years. Straley wanted to share her knowledge and experiences that she has gained over the years through working with a variety of customers.
“I’m passionate about making machine tooling cheaper, easier, fun and fast. I want to ensure that the up and coming engineers understand the important aspects of weld fixture design,” said Susan Straley.
The Weld Fixture Design Blog demonstrates how to use Rentapen’s standardized yet versatile RAPid Tooling Components™. Rentapen’s RAPid Tooling Components™ reduce costs and increases the accuracy of locating product parts in a fixture.
“I started my Blog not only to share my knowledge about Weld Fixture Design but also, to gain more information from my fellow designers,” said Susan Straley.
The Blog format allows others to ask questions and make comments adding to the learning experience. Straley is quick to point out that she is not a degreed engineer, but utilizes the knowledge and experience of the engineers on her team.
Rentapen Inc., is located in Waukesha, WI and specializes in tooling fixtures that hold their customer’s parts together while they are manually or robotically assembled or welded. Rentapen is dedicated to helping manufacturers reduce costs.
In machine design there are fundamental rules to follow when locating fasteners. I remember taking drafting classes but I was taught the basics of holes and hole locating only after I started working for Rentapen many years ago.
Mr. Iyer commented on the blog last time that I didn’t talk about construction holes for locating the angled cut on the v-block. He is right! So this video talks construction holes. I just want to add that in the video I put in .313″ construction hole. Looking back at it, a .25″ would have been better for this small part.
Also the video today talks about a major rule of thumb for locating mounting holes.
Mr. Iyer’s comment talked about using a plane that goes from the construction hole to the dowel hole that was zero/zero in the other surface. If this helps, where should I locate the other zero that is normal to that one. Also at the original surface dowel?
Remember, nothing is written in stone here. So if you know a better way or your company does it differently, share that with us in the comment section below! Are there other rules of thumb you can share?
MORE TO LEARN!
A reader of this blog, Marvin Davis, has shared with us some links to other free education. It doesn’t appear that any of them are on machine design, but some are on computers and math and so might be of interest to you. I am sharing the list below. But before you leave us to surf and learn, be sure to sign up for Rentapen news and updates on the right side of this page. Then you will be notified of the next Weld Fixture Design 101 blog.
Today we will discuss some of the questions that help you decide the material, modeling method using Pro/E 4.0, and fastener locations.
1) MATERIAL —
First decide what material you will need the v-block to be.
How much will the fixture be used? That means knowing what the product is made of because we need the v-block to be strong enough not to wear down too quickly. We want to be able to produce lots of product before we have to replace any of the parts in the fixture. The more the fixture is going to be used the harder you need to make the v-block relative to the product tube or rod.
Do you need to plan for weld splatter?
If the v-block is located near the weld joint, you will need to consider using a metal that the weld splatter will not stick to as easily, or using a weld splatter shield. Remember that like metals stick better. So if you are welding steel, you may want your v-block to be Ampco 18 bronze or a hardened steel such as 4140 PH or A2. If you are welding aluminum, hardened steel may work just fine.
2) TOLERANCING –
Is the location of the rod or tube critical?
If the tube or rod needs to be located in just the right spot in order to work or assemble easily to the rest of the product parts, then you will want to design in adjustability with shim packs. You will need to look at the product drawing and also know your customer’s preferences.
At Rentapen we design for many different customers. So we have to consider the standards and preferences of each customer when we design. Some of them love to shim every locator in a fixture. Some of them don’t like to shim at all. If you are a CAD drafter, you may be working under more than one designer. Each designer may have their own preferences. But it is up to you to look at the product drawing and then advise them when you think shims will be needed to meet the tolerances of the product drawing. Then do what they say, they are your customer.
If it is a rough location, you may be able to use a purchased V-block from somewhere. Do you have a favorite model or brand you would like to share?
3) FASTENERS –
Once you have decided if your v-block will have shims to fine-tune its location before going into production, you can decide about the location of the fasteners. If the tube or rod location is critical, you will need to use dowels to lock in the location. If it is rough, you can just fasten the v-block directly to the base plate with screws.
4) MODELING —
Locating the Vee in the v-block.
Here is how I model in the Vee cut. Click on the video to see my method using Pro/E Wildfire 4.0.
In this video I dimensioned the construction hole from the BOTTOM of the block. However, the v-cut may fail if I make an adjustment too big in one direction or the other. Some of the project engineers I have worked with prefer that the dimension for the V-cut be from the TOP surface of the block. That way you can change the size of the block without having problems with the cut.
Some like to create planes that intersect at the center where the the construction circle will be located. These planes are created before you start the sketch to cut the Vee. I think your preference depends on your experience and how your brain works when making adjustments to parts while in the assembly.
5) CLAMPING —
Clamping is a whole topic by itself that we will address in a future blog. I just wanted to note that it is something that you need to think about. We always clamp down our parts in weld fixtures, even if it is a table mounted fixture and gravity does its work. You want to be sure that tube doesn’t move when the heat of the weld hits it.
And now I would like to share a couple of things with you.
First, Rentapen’s Holiday Greeting to our customers, vendors, students, and friends.