2nd Dec 2019
VIDEO: Sonitek VCU Instructions (heat staking process control)
This is an instructional video we made to help you understand the Velocity and Distance Control device (coined the VCU) of the Sonitek Spectrum series thermal presses.
The VCU is a dual function device that performs the following functions:
First it is a hydraulic speed control that decelerates the speed of the tool from the air cylinder (like a kinecheck) and controls its velocity during the thermal process and secondly it is also the positive stop that prevents the tooling from descending any further down in the Z axis. Both of these functions are fully adjustable.
The VCU has three adjustments: #1 stroke distance of the VCU piston, #2 stroke speed of the piston (which directly correlates to the tooling speed) and #3 the positive stop which is used to prevent all further travel of the tooling in the Z position. We suggest that you shut off the air prior to making any adjustments especially when changing tooling over.
The bottom of the VCU major threaded body has a crowned surface at the end. We crowned this purposely to allow for a better visual of when the positive stop has made contact with the striker plate in the press. In the center of this crowned surface is a hole that allows the hydraulic speed control piston to extend out (or in).
When using the VCU to decelerate the tooling and control it’s velocity this small piston gets extended out (SHOW IT) from the bottom of the VCU unit to make contact with the striker plate located in the press and does so BEFORE the stop makes contact.
To adjust the position of the VCU’s internal piston you first loosen this locking collar and turn then the large knurled center in the direction desired to extend or retract the piston length. The length of this piston extending out from the bottom of the VCU should be adjusted to be at least equal to the length of the post being heatstaked or equal to the length of an insert being installed. (Or in your case the diameter of the gate being cut.) It is important to TIME the piston end to make contact with the striker plate in the press just before the thermal tooling is making contact with the part being processed and preferably just above the part in the Z position.
Speed of the VCU is adjusted here at the top portion of the VCU body via this top knurled knob which either increases or decreases the speed rate. There is a hash mark here and the knob is marked which direction to turn for faster or slower speed. One thing to note about this speed adjustment, usually the higher you have the PSIG setting to the higher you will need to set the speed control to.
Rotate the entire VCU unit to move it up or down. There are hash marks here for reference position. When this piston is collapsed inside the main VCU body the crowned surface we intentionally put on the VCU bottom surface will make contact with the striker plate in the press and be the positive stop.
Remember the key to success is to time the tooling position to BOTH the hydraulic speed control and the positive stop. It is always best to make any adjustments with the tooling cold and with no air pressure on the machine.
NOTE: This sensor located on the striker late is the sensor that starts all dwell time. Either the speed control piston or the crowned end of the positive stop MUST make this sensor in order for the machine to fully dwell.