Introduction to Assembly 101

The class “Introduction to Assembly” provides an overview of the processes and methods used to assemble components into finished parts. Assembly is often performed on assembly lines, which may be manual, automated, or a combination of both. The three main assembly methods are mechanical fastening, adhesive bonding, and welding. Mechanical fastening uses fasteners to join components. Fasteners can join dissimilar materials, are inexpensive, and allow for disassembly. Adhesive bonding uses materials such as gels, liquids, or tapes to form a joint. Welding uses pressure, heat, or a combination of energy sources to create a very strong, permanent joint. These methods are sometimes used together.

The information presented in this class serves as a foundation for users to learn more about, and eventually perform, fastening and assembly. Understanding the differences between different assembly methods prepares users to learn about the more detailed and complex aspects of each method.

Class Details

Class Name:
Introduction to Assembly 101
Difficulty:
Beginner
Number of Lessons:
15

Class Outline

  • Assembly Methods
  • Assembly Site
  • Manual Assembly Lines
  • Automated Assembly Lines
  • Automated Assembly Systems
  • Review: Assembly
  • Mechanical Fastening
  • Mechanical Fastening Tools
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Mechanical Fastening
  • Review: Mechanical Fastening
  • Adhesive Bonding
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Adhesive Bonding
  • Welding
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Welding
  • Review: Adhesive Bonding and Welding

Objectives

  • Describe common assembly methods.
  • Describe an assembly site.
  • Describe manual assembly lines.
  • Describe automated assembly lines.
  • Describe common automated assembly systems.
  • Describe mechanical fastening.
  • Describe common tools used for mechanical fastening.
  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages of mechanical fastening.
  • Describe adhesive bonding.
  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages of adhesive bonding.
  • Describe welding.
  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages of welding.

Job Roles

Certifications

Glossary

Vocabulary Term Definition
adherents The object that is joined to another object with an adhesive. Adherents can be of similar or dissimilar materials.
adhesive A chemical substance used to bond two or more materials together. Adhesives are made up of nonmetallic materials.
adhesive bonding The joining of two or more materials using adhesive substances such as pastes, gels, and tape. Adhesive bonding can be used to join similar and dissimilar materials.
adhesives A chemical substance used to bond two or more materials together. Adhesives are made up of nonmetallic materials.
assembler A person who assembles parts. Assemblers perform mechanical fastening, adhesive bonding, and welding tasks.
assembly The process of joining components together into a larger or completed part. Assembly methods include mechanical fastening, adhesive bonding, and welding.
assembly lines An arrangement of workstations used to mass-produce products in stages. Assembly lines are a main feature of assembly sites.
assembly site The place where assembly is performed. Assembly sites often consist of workstations arranged in assembly lines.
automated assembly line An assembly line in which the majority of tasks are performed by automated machines. Automated assembly lines require little or no human interaction.
automation The use of self-regulated equipment, processes, or systems that meet manufacturing requirements with limited human intervention. Automation is an efficient means of assembly.
balancers A flexible, retractable line of rope, wire rope, or strap. Balancers are a form of lanyard used for heavy tools.
base metals A metal component to be fused by welding or other joining methods. Base metals influence weld type and the welding process.
bolts A cylindrical threaded fastener with a head that usually mates with a nut. Bolts usually have blunt ends.
brazing A process in which a filler metal is melted at a temperature above 840°F (449°C), but below the melting point of the base metals to form a joint between two base metals. Brazing can be used to join dissimilar metals like silver, aluminum, copper, nickel, and gold.
brittle Inflexible or unwilling to be drawn, stretched, or formed. Brittle materials break instead of bend when subjected to force or pressure.
carousel systems An automated assembly system that combines the features of dial and in-line index systems. Carousel systems make it possible to increase the production of complex parts.
cells An arrangement of workstations structured around the design of similar processes. Cells encourage smooth part flows and use space efficiently.
chassis The frame of a machine. The chassis of an automated assembly machine holds tooling and keeps workstations together.
clamps A workholding device that holds a tool or workpiece in place. Clamps hold an object by using inward pressure by tightening.
conditioning A process that prepares the surface of a part for subsequent operations, including adhesive bonding. Conditioning creates a rough surface on adherents that makes the adhesive bond more effective.
conveyors A moving strip of material that carries parts or other components from one area of an assembly site to another. Conveyors improve the efficiency of an assembly line by keeping parts moving.
corrosion The deterioration of a material caused by a chemical reaction. Corrosion weakens materials and can cause them to fail.
coupling agent A compound that assists in the bond between two adherents. Coupling agents can be used to pretreat surfaces before an adhesive is applied.
cracked welds A visible fracture or point of separation in the surface of the weld. Cracked welds must be repaired, or the part must be discarded.
curing The process during which an adhesive undergoes a chemical reaction and becomes a solid. Curing may require pressure, heat, UV radiation, or a specific amount of time.
dial index systems An automated assembly system designed so that operations are performed as an indexing table rotates from workstation to workstation. The dial index system is also known as the rotary index system.
disassembly The process of taking apart a product, often with the intention of reassembly. Disassembly is made possible using mechanical fasteners.
electric tools A tool that is powered by electricity. Common electric tools include drills and screwdrivers.
epoxies A high-strength adhesive. Epoxies contain metallic elements.
ergonomics The scientific study of equipment, workspace, and production environment design to increase comfort, safety, and productivity. Ergonomics can be applied to any workplace.
fasteners A device that holds two or more objects together or locates them in relation to each other. Common fasteners include screws, bolts, rivets, and nails.
filler metal Metal that may be added to a joint during a fusing process like welding, soldering, or brazing. Filler metals add to the strength and mass of a welded joint.
fumes A cloud of particles suspended in a gas. Fumes are a health hazard and disadvantage of the welding process.
hinges A mechanical joint capable of movement. Hinges can be attached with fasteners.
impact drivers A power-driven tool that uses compressed air to force large fasteners into an object. Impact drivers are commonly pneumatic tools.
index table The circular component of a dial index machine on which parts are placed. The indexing table rotates to position parts at workstations.
in-line index systems An automated assembly system that moves components in a straight line along a path. In-line index systems are used for assembling more complex parts.
inventory Assembled products that are stored before being shipped. Inventory allows manufacturers to have parts available to sell, but inventory requires additional storage costs.
jigs A customizable workholding device that holds a tool or workpiece in place. Jigs control the location or motion of a workpiece.
joint The point at which two materials are attached or joined together. Some joints are permanent, while others can be disassembled and reassembled.
labor costs Expenses associated with employees, including wages, insurance, taxes, and other compensation. Labor costs can make manual assembly expensive.
lacquer A compound that assists in the bond between two adherents. Lacquer can be used to pretreat surfaces before an adhesive is applied.
lanyards A flexible, retractable line of rope, wire rope, or strap. Lanyards are commonly called balancers in assembly.
linear Arranged or moving in a straight line. Linear assembly lines perform tasks in a sequence that connects workstations.
manual assembly line An assembly line in which the majority of tasks are performed by assemblers. Manual assembly lines typically rely on assemblers to transfer parts between workstations.
mechanical fastening The joining of two or more materials with devices called fasteners. Mechanical fastening is often used for parts that require disassembly and reassembly.
melting point The temperature at which a material changes from a solid to a liquid. Melting point varies based on the properties of the metal involved.
nail guns A power-driven tool that uses compressed air to automatically force a nail into an object. Nail guns are commonly pneumatic tools.
nails A thin, pointed non-threaded fastener that is driven into an object with a hammer. Nails are typically used with nonmetallic materials.
non-threaded fasteners A type of mechanical fastener that does not contain threads. Common non-threaded fasteners include pins, retaining rings, nails, and rivets.
nuts A fastener with a threaded hole that mates with a bolt. Nuts have internal threads.
parts feeders A device for transporting parts from workstation to workstation. Parts feeders position the part so that it is ready for the next station.
pins A thin, often straight, cylindrical non-threaded fastener used to secure the position of two or more machine parts. Pins are inserted through holes.
pneumatic tools A tool that is powered by compressed air. Common pneumatic tools include nail guns, rivet guns, and impact drivers.
priming A step in the adhesive bonding process, priming prepares a surface for an adhesive. Priming typically uses a coupling agent, lacquer, or other adhesive-promoting substance.
properties A characteristic of a material that distinguishes it from other materials. Welding together metals with dissimilar properties can impact the characteristics of the weld.
quality Conformance to a set of standards or specifications that results in customer satisfaction in a product or service. Quality products are free of defects and meet the requirements of their anticipated use.
reassembly The process of putting previously disassembled components back together. Reassembly is made possible using mechanical fasteners.
rivet guns A power-driven tool that uses compressed air to force rivets into an object. Rivet guns are commonly pneumatic tools.
rivets A non-threaded fastener that consists of a shank and a head made of deformable material. Rivets are inserted through holes and the shank is formed into a matching head on the other side of the part.
robots Programmable mechanical devices used to perform a variety of complicated, repetitive tasks. Robots are used in automated assembly lines to enable a higher degree of accuracy.
rotary index system An automated assembly system designed so that operations are carried out at workstations by tooling mounted on a central column or around the periphery of an indexing table. The rotary index system is also known as the dial index machine.
screwdriver A tool used to fasten or tighten screws. Screwdrivers have a handle on one end and a blade on the other that fits into the recess in the head on a corresponding screw.
screwguns A tool similar to a drill with multiple cutting edges used to drive fasteners into workpieces. Screwguns are common tools for assembly.
screws A cylindrical threaded fastener that either fits into a threaded hole or forms threads in a material. Screws may have blunt or pointed ends.
sensors A device that detects a change in physical and environmental conditions. Sensors allow robots and other devices to interact with their environment and operate with little human intervention.
soldering A joining process in which a filler metal is melted at temperatures below 840°F (449°C) to form a joint between two base metals. Soldering is often used for delicate projects such as jewelry and electronics.
staples A typically u-shaped fastener. Staples have no threads and can only be used once.
strip A condition in which a fastener's threads become damaged and ineffective. Fasteners strip when excess torque is applied or when their threads become misaligned.
structural adhesive A type of heavy-duty adhesive used for large-scale projects. Structural adhesives are durable and can withstand heavy loads.
threaded fasteners A type of mechanical fastener that has threads to hold objects together or grip materials. Common threaded fasteners include screws, bolts, and nuts.
threads A long, spiral ridge around the exterior or interior of a cylindrical part. Threads are found on screws and other types of fasteners.
torque A force that causes rotation. Torque is required to tighten a bolt, screw, or nut.
weld defects A discontinuity that causes a weld to fail. Weld defects must be repaired, or the part must be discarded.
weld metal The molten metal that becomes the welded joint upon solidification. Weld metal is composed of base metals and filler metal.
welding The joining of two or more materials using heat, pressure, or a combination of energy sources. Welding forms a permanent bond.
workholding devices A component used to hold and locate a workpiece. Workholding devices include jigs and clamps.
workstations Specific areas of an assembly site that are designated for performing specific tasks or work duties. Workstations are organized to increase the efficiency of an assembly site.
wrenches A tool used for fastening nuts and bolts. Wrenches contain fixed or moving jaws or a round attachment that grips nuts or bolts.