Ricoh UK Products Ltd has worked with Mechatronic Solutions and HBM in developing a one-piece assurance system for the automatic assembly of its latest toner product for the European market. Once the bottle for the new toner product is filled it has to be fitted by an automated assembly machine with both a shutter and an outer cap that posed some production challenges.
Dave Roberts, Senior Project Engineer, Ricoh UK Products Ltd, says that there were two major concerns that needed to be addressed. Ricoh UK Products Ltd needed to ensure that the shutter was inserted correctly in a fixed position in the bottle which was a challenge because the new design features two clips that engage into two hollows in the bottle neck demanding a system that could detect whether or not the shutter was correctly inserted and whether any clips were damaged or missing.
The second challenge was to ensure that the outer cap was fitted correctly within a predefined torque specification and without being cross-threaded. In addition Ricoh UK Products Ltd needed to monitor the process ensuring that the cartridges were assembled correctly to reduce any rejection of completed toner cartridges at a later stage. Less material and time is wasted if parts can be rejected while being press fitted rather than later on in the production process.