Uses for Rivets in CNC Machining(subtractive manufacturing Vicky)

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Rivets are a common mechanical fastener used in many manufacturing applications, including CNC machining. Though riveting is often done by hand, CNC machines can also automate the riveting process for high precision and repeatability. Here are some of the main uses and benefits of incorporating rivets into CNC machined parts and products:
Joining Thin Materials
One of the most common uses of rivets in CNC is for joining thin sheet metals, plastics, or other materials. Rivets provide a solid mechanical connection that is often stronger than alternatives like adhesives or welding for thin materials.
The CNC machining process allows rivet holes to be precisely drilled and aligned across multiple layers of material. This ensures the rivets join the materials together tightly and uniformly when set. Riveting thin materials with a CNC machine improves quality and consistency over manual riveting methods.
Assembling Layered Products
Many products are created by layering together different machined or formed material layers. For example, electronics enclosures and cases often consist of several plastic or metal layers assembled together. Rivets provide an inexpensive and straightforward way to combine the layers while allowing them to be disassembled later if needed.
The CNC machining process enables quick and accurate riveting even for complex case or enclosure designs. By using a riveting tool on the CNC machine, manufacturers can programmatically insert rivets to assemble products instead of relying on manual labor. This improves assembly speed, precision, and overall product quality.
Permanent Fastening
While screws and bolts allow for disassembly, rivets create a permanent fastening solution. Riveting two or more components together with a CNC machine creates a tight, long-lasting connection. This prevents parts from coming loose over time compared to removable fasteners.
Permanent riveted connections are useful for critical components that should not detach, or for applications like aircraft and machinery where vibrations could loosen screws. CNC-automated riveting provides permanent fastening that would be tedious and unreliable to do manually.
Securing Against Vibration/Shock
In addition to preventing loosening, rivets also dampen vibration and absorb shock better than other fasteners. The riveting process essentially cold welds the rivet shaft to the application materials, creating a tight friction fit. This provides excellent vibration resistance for components that undergo shaking or impacts.
CNC riveting technology allows manufacturers to strategically place rivets in areas most prone to vibration or shock loads. The automated precision of CNC also ensures rivets are set consistently with ideal force to maximize their shock absorbing capabilities.
Sealing Against Fluid/Air Leakage
Properly set rivets form a tight clamping force between components. This creates a seal that prevents fluid and air leakage between the materials. Rivets are commonly used to seal aircraft and marine external skins for this reason.
CNC machines allow rivets to be precisely placed along joints and seams to fully seal the structures. The CNC automation also lets manufacturers efficiently rivet large surface areas and curved contours, providing consistent sealing across complex geometries.
Strengthening Structures
In addition to joining materials, rivets also reinforce structures and increase strength. The rivets help distribute and transfer loads through the connected components. This makes the overall structure more rigid and resistant to stresses.
A CNC machine can be programmed to insert rows or optimized patterns of rivets along or across load bearing structures. This takes full advantage of the strengthening effect of the rivets. The automation and precision of CNC riveting also results in greater reinforcement than manual methods.
Rapid/Low Cost Fastening
Compared to welding or adhesives, riveting offers very rapid assembly times per fastening point. This makes it suitable for high volume production where assembly speed and efficiency are priorities. Riveting is also generally a low-cost fastening method.
By automating the riveting process on a CNC machine, manufacturers can minimize assembly costs and maximize throughput. CNC allows riveting to be done faster and with lower operational costs than manual riveting labor. Large volumes of products can be quickly riveted together at high quality.
Non-Permanent Connecting
While rivets typically create permanent fastening, specialized rivet types allow for non-permanent connections. Certain rivets are designed to be relatively easily drilled or removed while still holding components securely in place.
Such removable rivets are useful in applications requiring maintenance, repair, or periodic disassembly for other reasons. CNC automation allows these rivets to be quickly and precisely inserted for temporary connections until later removal is needed.
Improved Process Control
One of the key advantages of CNC riveting is the increased process control compared to manual riveting. The CNC machine allows factors like hole alignment, rivet placement, and rivet setting force to be precisely controlled. This improves joint quality and reduces errors.
Operators can program optimized riveting patterns and sequences into the CNC machine. The automated nature of CNC also provides repeatability and consistency unmatched by manual work. All these factors combine to deliver higher overall riveting quality.
Reach in Tight Spaces
CNC riveting tools can often access tighter spaces than possible with manual tools. This allows rivets to be set in confined areas of complex designs that may not be reachable otherwise.
The compact nature and precision control of CNC riveting end effectors enables setting rivets in hard-to-reach internal spaces. This facilitates improved design geometries and strengths in many products.
Improved Ergonomics & Safety
CNC machines take over the physical workload of rivet insertion from workers. This reduces repetitive stress injuries and other problems associated with prolonged manual riveting. Automating the riveting process with CNC improves workplace ergonomics and safety.
In addition, CNC systems add a degree of separation between operators and machinery. This enhances safety by reducing direct contact with tools and materials during production. Altogether, the ergonomic and safety benefits make CNC riveting attractive for many manufacturing environments.
Riveting Automation for Any Industry
The uses and advantages covered here demonstrate why CNC riveting is beneficial across diverse industries. Any manufacturing application requiring solid and precise component fastening can benefit from automated riveting capabilities.
Consumer electronics, vehicles, aircraft, defense products, machinery, construction equipment, and medical devices comprise just a sample of the industries using CNC riveting today. And continued improvements in rivet feeding systems, tooling, and other technologies will further grow the applications of CNC riveting moving forward.
In summary, CNC machines enable fast, consistent, and cost-effective riveting for mass production or custom fabrication. The precision, configurability, and automation of CNC makes rivets an accessible and versatile fastening solution. By leveraging riveting on CNC machinery, manufacturers and designers can improve assembly processes, strengthen products, and optimize manufacturing. CNC Milling CNC Machining