Machine Design

Grills grill longer with riveted joints

A leading manufacturer of universal grill burners needed a stronger bond on the mounting brackets for its burner assemblies. The bond had to outlast the grill's five-year warranty and be quick to produce.

Heavy-duty stainless steel burners include C and oval shapes and one or two-tube models, and fit most makes and models of gas grills. A custom, double-hit, impact riveting work cell streamlined the fastening process, reducing handling time and setup costs.

Time-tested impact riveting proved to be the best option. It replaced a locking compression joint, which was costly and prone to failure. Impact riveting uses a short, soft metal rivet with a single head. The fastener first inserts through-holes in the burner. An impact then deforms the rivet and creates a second head that firmly locks parts in place.

The riveting process employs an Adtech impact riveter from Orbitform, Jackson, Mich. ( The machine is said to be the only heavy-duty unit (≥6 tons) with automatic rivet feed and all-mechanical drive.

The Adtech machines emphasize safety because the ram stops midcycle if an operator releases the actuators. Rated power is up to 40 tons throughout full stroke range. Cycle times are less than 1 sec, and rivet setting force is adjustable.

Using high-speed riveting, the grills assemble quickly, and burners and brackets have uniform tightness. Production costs reportedly are lower because of less prefabrication and fixturing. Parts that had previously taken over 3 min to adjust and fasten now assemble in 20 sec, with stronger joints that last longer.
-- Kenneth Korane

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