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‘Hold-and-drive’ tooling a benefit in aerospace production

Hold-and-drive fasteners are common in many industries, but they are most prevalent in Aerospace. A variety of different types of hold-and-drive fasteners are used in Aerospace, including fasteners where the hex head breaks off of the fasteners while they are being assembled.

These can often be challenging applications that are heavily reliant on experienced operators to execute.

Hold-and-drive fasteners include an internal hex on the fastener itself, so that the fastener can be held in place and will not spin during assembly. The internal hex is engaged, and then the nut can be threaded onto the outside of the fastener.

Assisting in aerospace

In many cases in the aerospace industry, these hold-and-drive applications are still completed manually. An operator uses a hex bit or wrench to engage the internal hex, and then manually turns the nut onto the threads with a hand wrench. This process requires an operator who is very experienced and skilled in the assembly of these joints to ensure quality and is also extremely time-consuming.

We’re now able to adapt this hold-and-drive application onto a power tool for aerospace. A hold-and-drive head can be installed on either a pneumatic tool (such as our LTV009), or a battery-electric tool (such as our BCP, BCV, or STB battery tools), with a built-in internal hex that will hold the fastener, and a rotating socket to assemble the joint.

By using a tool like this, all that is required of the operator is to pull the tool trigger for a certain amount of time for a proper assembly. We are no longer asking operators to make decisions about assembly quality.

Using a hold-and-drive power tool also greatly improves efficiency, speeding up the assembly process dramatically. The cost benefits of reduced labor cost and efficiency gains can be quite significant.

If you’re interested in increasing the level of automation in a hold-and-drive assembly application, please contact Atlas Copco today.