Take a look around your home, and it is possible that you will see hundreds of items that were manufactured on an assembly line. Do you ever think about how these things were put together? How many people, and how many machines it might have taken? The technology that drives material handling and equipment automation is incredible, and complex. Here are just four of the tools that have made your life easier.
1. Grease Fittings
A grease fitting feeds lubricant into machinery under high pressure. It is a metal piece that is permanently installed with a threaded connection, and enables the attachment of a grease gun. Industrial, agricultural, and mining equipment are often reliant on grease fittings. Tractors, automatic pool covers, cars, trucks, and lawnmowers are often constructed with the aid of grease fittings.
Bearings serve the purpose of constricting motion to only the movement that is desired. Bearings with a flange located on the bearing outer ring can make axial location more simplified. A flange bearing can be expensive to manufacture, but it is still the most cost efficient ball bearing for its process. Linear bearings can keep machinery efficient by providing a very low level of friction. Linear bearings work differently than flange bearings, and allow for free motion in one dimension.
When it comes to creating a lot of undirected force in a unidirectional stroke, the hydraulic cylinder is the best. It has many uses in construction, and although we think of the hydraulic cylinder as a single tool it has many parts. The hydraulic hose, for example, is categorized by pressure, temperature, and its compatibility with different fluids. When a pipe or tube cannot be used, a hose is selected due to its flexibility. The pump is also a part of hydraulic cylinders. Hydraulic pumps come in many styles, but the common types include Gear, Vane, Axial piston, and Radial piston.
Plastic knobs tighten, fasten, and pull objects in the industry. They come in various styles and designs, including grip knobs, ball knobs, wing knobs, metal knobs, instrument knobs, and plastic soft touch knobs, round fluted knobs, and the list could go on. There are plastic knobs for almost every possible application, allowing for safe and accurate work to be achieved.
Material handling tools and automation equipment touch every part of our lives even though we rarely ever see them. The next time you look at a finished product, think about what may have been necessary to create it. Chances are, you are looking at the product of decades of ingenuity, engineering, and construction.