(19)
(11)EP 3 653 893 A9

(12)CORRECTED EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION
published in accordance with Art. 153(4) EPC

(15)Correction information:
Corrected version no 1 (W1 A1)
Corrections, see
Drawings

(48)Corrigendum issued on:
29.07.2020 Bulletin 2020/31

(43)Date of publication:
20.05.2020 Bulletin 2020/21

(21)Application number: 18832363.8

(22)Date of filing:  28.06.2018
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
F16B 19/06(2006.01)
F16B 5/04(2006.01)
B29C 51/18(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2018/024589
(87)International publication number:
WO 2019/013006 (17.01.2019 Gazette  2019/03)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 10.07.2017 JP 2017134651
25.12.2017 WO PCT/JP2017/046316

(71)Applicant: Dai-ichi Dentsu Ltd.
Tokyo 182-0034 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • EGUCHI Takeshi
    Tokyo 182-0034 (JP)
  • TANABE Daiki
    Tokyo 182-0034 (JP)

(74)Representative: Viering, Jentschura & Partner mbB Patent- und Rechtsanwälte 
Am Brauhaus 8
01099 Dresden
01099 Dresden (DE)

  


(54)FASTENING METHOD AND FASTENING DEVICE


(57) A fastening method and a fastening apparatus are provided in which the work of fastening a plurality of workpieces using a fastener made of a fiber-reinforced resin can be performed rapidly. A fastening method of the present invention comprises: a preparing process that prepares an intermediate piece 111, which is made of a fiber-reinforced resin and comprises a first head part 11a and a shaft part 11b formed integrally with the first head part 11a and extending in an axial direction; a shaft-part heating process that heats the shaft part 11b in a noncontacting state while the shaft part 11b is inserted through each of the through holes W10, W20 of each of the workpieces W1, W2; and a fastening process that forms a second head part 11b opposing the first head part 11a using a fastening die 17 and thereby fastens the workpieces W1, W2 using the intermediate piece 111 as the fastener 11by applying pressure to the heated shaft part 11b in the state in which the shaft part 11b is inserted through each of the through holes W10, W20 of each of the workpieces W1, W2. The fiber-reinforced resin is a carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin. The shaft-part heating process is performed by a high-frequency induction coil capable of induction heating 3b.




Description

TECHNICAL FIELD



[0001] The present invention relates to a fastening method and to a fastening apparatus that fasten a plurality of workpieces, through which through holes are provided, using a fastener.

BACKGROUND ART



[0002] Various fastening methods that fasten a plurality of workpieces, through which through holes are provided, using a fastener have been proposed in the past. In addition, in recent years, from the viewpoints of reducing the weight of the fastener, preventing corrosion and the like, fastening methods that fasten a plurality of workpieces using a fastener made of a fiber-reinforced resin have also been proposed. Such a fastening method is disclosed in, for example, Patent Document 1.

[0003] In this fastening method, first, a shaft body, which extends in an axial direction and is made of a carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin, is prepared. Then, the shaft body is passed through the through hole of each workpiece. Next, the shaft body and the workpieces in this state are disposed between two fastening dies. Next, while both fastening dies are being heated, the shaft body and the workpieces are sandwiched, while being pressed, by both fastening dies. Thereby, the shaft body is heated by both of the fastening dies, changes to a plastically deformable softened state, and is plastically deformed, owing to the pressure applied by both fastening dies. As a result, a first head part is formed on one-end side of the shaft body in the axial direction, and a second head part is formed on the other-end side in the axial direction. In addition, a shaft part, which is inserted through the through hole of each workpiece, is formed in the shaft body between the first head part and the second head part. Thus, the shaft body constitutes a fastener. Thereafter, by cooling the fastener, the fastener fastens the workpieces. Then, by removing the fastener and the workpieces from the fastening dies, the work of fastening the plurality of workpieces using the fastener is complete.

PRIOR ART LITERATURE


Patent Documents



[0004] Patent Document 1 Japanese Laid-open Patent Publication H4-244609

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION


PROBLEMS TO BE SOLVED BY THE INVENTION



[0005] However, in the above-mentioned previously existing fastening method, because the shaft body is heated by the heat of both heated fastening dies, when changing the shaft body to a plastically deformable softened state, it is necessary to raise both fastening dies to a high temperature. Consequently, even after the first and second head parts and the shaft part are formed in the shaft body by applying pressure using both fastening dies, both fastening dies maintain a high heat for a long time. As a result, in this fastening method, it takes a long time until the fastener is cooled. Thereby, in this fastening method, the work of fastening the plurality of workpieces using the fastener cannot be performed quickly.

[0006] The present invention was conceived considering the above-mentioned past circumstances, and the problem to be solved is to provide a fastening method and a fastening apparatus in which the work of fastening a plurality of workpieces using a fastener made of a fiber-reinforced resin can be performed rapidly.

MEANS FOR SOLVING THE PROBLEMS



[0007] A first fastening method of the present invention is a fastening method that fastens a plurality of workpieces, through which through holes are formed, using a fastener, comprising:

a preparing process that prepares an intermediate piece, which is made of a fiber-reinforced resin and comprises a first head part and a shaft part formed integrally with the first head part and extending in an axial direction;

a shaft-part heating process that heats the shaft part in a noncontacting state while the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces; and

a fastening process that forms a second head part opposing the first head part using a fastening die and thereby fastens the workpieces using the intermediate piece as the fastener by applying pressure to the heated shaft part in the state in which the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

wherein:

the fiber-reinforced resin is a carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin; and

the shaft-part heating process is performed using a high-frequency induction coil capable of induction heating.



[0008] In the first fastening method of the present invention, the shaft-part heating process is performed using the high-frequency induction coil capable of induction heating. Here, the intermediate piece prepared in the preparing process is made of a carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin that employs a thermoplastic resin, which is softened by heating, and employs carbon fibers, which have electrical conductivity as well as excellent heat transfer properties. Thereby, in the shaft-part heating process, the shaft part of the intermediate piece can be directly heated in a non-contacting manner, and thereby softened, by induction heating using the high-frequency induction coil. At this time, the softened resin tends not to adhere to the heat source. Consequently, in this fastening method, there is no need to heat the fastening die in order to heat the shaft part. Thereby, the temperature of the fastening die is low compared to the intermediate piece in which the shaft part is heated. Consequently, in the fastening process, the heat of the fastener, which was obtained from the intermediate piece, can be absorbed by the fastening die. As a result, according to this fastening method, the obtained fastener can be cooled quickly, compared with the situation in which the fastener is obtained by heating the fastening die.

[0009] Therefore, according to the first fastening method of the present invention, the work of fastening the plurality of workpieces using the fastener made of a fiber-reinforced resin can be performed rapidly.

[0010] A second fastening method of the present invention is a fastening method that fastens a plurality of workpieces, through which through holes are formed, using a fastener, comprising:

a preparing process that prepares a shaft body, which is made of a fiber-reinforced resin and extends in an axial direction;

a shaft-body heating process that heats the shaft body in a noncontacting state without inserting the shaft body through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

an intermediate forming process that forms an intermediate piece, which comprises a first head part and a shaft part formed integrally with the first head part and extending in the axial direction, using an intermediate die by applying pressure to one-end side of the heated shaft body in the state in which the shaft body is not inserted though each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

a shaft-part heating process that heats the shaft part in a noncontacting state while the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces; and

a fastening process that forms a second head part opposing the first head part using a fastening die and thereby fastens the workpieces using the intermediate piece as the fastener by applying pressure to the heated shaft part in the state in which the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

wherein:

the fiber-reinforced resin is a carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin; and

the shaft-body heating process and the shaft-part heating process are each performed using a high-frequency induction coil capable of induction heating.



[0011] In addition, a third fastening method of the present invention is a fastening method that fastens a plurality of workpieces, through which through holes are formed, using a fastener, comprising:

a preparing process that prepares a shaft body, which is made of a fiber-reinforced resin and extends in an axial direction;

a shaft-body heating process that heats the shaft body in a noncontacting state while the shaft body is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

an intermediate forming process that forms an intermediate piece, which comprises a first head part and a shaft part formed integrally with the first head part and extending in the axial direction, using an intermediate die by applying pressure to one-end side of the heated shaft body in the state in which the shaft body is inserted though each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

a shaft-part heating process that heats the shaft part in a noncontacting state while the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces; and

a fastening process that forms a second head part opposing the first head part using a fastening die and thereby fastens the workpieces using the intermediate piece as the fastener by applying pressure to the heated shaft part in the state in which the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

wherein:

the fiber-reinforced resin is a carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin; and

the shaft-body heating process and the shaft-part heating process are performed using a high-frequency induction coil capable of induction heating.



[0012] In the second fastening method and the third fastening method of the present invention, the shaft body is directly heated in a noncontacting manner in the shaft-body heating process and thereby softened by induction heating using the high-frequency induction coil. At this time, the softened resin tends not to adhere to the heat source. Thereby, in the intermediate forming process, the heat of the intermediate piece, which was obtained from the shaft body, can be absorbed by the intermediate die. In addition, in the fastening process, the heat of the fastener, which was obtained from the intermediate piece, can be absorbed by the fastening die. As a result, in the second and third fastening methods, the intermediate piece can be cooled quickly, and the fastener can be cooled quickly.

[0013] Therefore, according to the second fastening method and the third fastening method of the present invention, the work of fastening a plurality of workpieces using a fastener made of a fiber-reinforced resin can be performed rapidly.

[0014] A fourth fastening method of the present invention is a fastening method that fastens a plurality of workpieces, through which through holes are formed, using a fastener, comprising:

a preparing process that prepares a shaft body, which is made of a fiber-reinforced resin and extends in an axial direction;

a shaft-body heating process heats the shaft body in a noncontacting state while the shaft body is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces; and

a fastening process that forms a first head part, a shaft part formed integrally with the first head part and extending in the axial direction, and a second head part opposing the first head part using a fastening die and thereby fastens the workpieces using the shaft body as the fastener by applying pressure to both end sides of the heated shaft body in the state in which the shaft body is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

wherein:

the fiber-reinforced resin is a carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin; and

the shaft-body heating process is performed using a high-frequency induction coil capable of induction heating.



[0015] In the fourth fastening method, by simultaneously forming the first head part, the second head part, and the shaft part from the shaft body, the fastener can be directly obtained from the shaft body in the fastening process without going through the intermediate piece stage.

[0016] Therefore, according to the fourth fastening method of the present invention, the work of fastening a plurality of workpieces using a fastener made of a fiber-reinforced resin can be performed rapidly.

[0017] A first fastening apparatus of the present invention is a fastening apparatus that fastens a plurality of workpieces, through which through holes are formed, using a fastener, wherein:

an intermediate piece, which is made of a fiber-reinforced resin and comprises a first head part and a shaft part formed integrally with the first head part and extending in an axial direction, is used;

comprising:

a shaft-part heater capable of heating the shaft part in a noncontacting state while the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

a shaft-part pressure-applying apparatus that applies pressure to the heated shaft part in the state in which the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces; and

a fastening die that forms, from the heated shaft part, a second head part opposing the first head part, and in which the intermediate piece serves as the fastener;

wherein:

the fiber-reinforced resin is a carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin; and

the shaft-part heater is a high-frequency induction coil capable of induction heating.



[0018] According to the first fastening apparatus of the present invention, the above-mentioned first fastening method can be implemented.

[0019] A second fastening apparatus of the present invention is a fastening apparatus that fastens a plurality of workpieces, through which through holes are formed, using a fastener, wherein:

a shaft body, which is made of a fiber-reinforced resin and extends in an axial direction, is used;

comprising:

a shaft-body heater capable of heating the shaft body in a noncontacting state without inserting the shaft body through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

a shaft-body pressure-applying apparatus that applies pressure to one-end side of the heated shaft body in the state in which the shaft body is not inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

an intermediate die that forms, from the heated shaft body, an intermediate piece comprising a first head part and a shaft part formed integrally with the first head part and extending in the axial direction;

a shaft-part heater capable of heating the shaft part in a noncontacting state while the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

a shaft-part pressure-applying apparatus that applies pressure to the heated shaft part in the state in which the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces; and

a fastening die that forms, from the heated shaft part, a second head part opposing the first head part, and in which the intermediate piece serves as the fastener;

wherein:

the fiber-reinforced resin is a carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin; and

the shaft-body heater and the shaft-part heater are each a high-frequency induction coil capable of induction heating.



[0020] According to the second fastening apparatus of the present invention, the above-mentioned second fastening method can be implemented.

[0021] A third fastening apparatus of the present invention is a fastening apparatus that fastens a plurality of workpieces, through which through holes are formed, using a fastener, wherein:

a shaft body, which is made of a fiber-reinforced resin and extends in an axial direction, is used;

comprising:

a shaft-body heater capable of heating the shaft body in a noncontacting state while the shaft body is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

a shaft-body pressure-applying apparatus that applies pressure to one-end side of the heated shaft body in the state in which the shaft body is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

an intermediate die that forms, from the heated shaft body, an intermediate piece comprising a first head part and a shaft part formed integrally with the first head part and extending in the axial direction;

a shaft-part heater capable of heating the shaft part in a noncontacting state while the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

a shaft-part pressure-applying apparatus that applies pressure to the heated shaft part in the state in which the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces; and

a fastening die that forms, from the heated shaft part, a second head part opposing the first head part, and in which the intermediate piece serves as the fastener;

wherein:

the fiber-reinforced resin is a carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin; and

the shaft-body heater and the shaft-part heater are each a high-frequency induction coil capable of induction heating.



[0022] According to the third fastening apparatus of the present invention, the above-mentioned third fastening method can be implemented.

[0023] Therefore, according to the first fastening apparatus, the second fastening apparatus, and the third fastening apparatus of the present invention, the work of fastening a plurality of workpieces using a fastener made of a fiber-reinforced resin can be performed rapidly.

[0024] In each fastening method and each fastening apparatus of the present invention, if the fastener contains carbon fibers that extend from the first head part to the second head part via the shaft part, then the first and second head parts and the shaft part can be suitably reinforced by the carbon fibers. Consequently, the plurality of workpieces can be securely fastened by the fastener. In addition, if the intermediate piece, the shaft body, or the like contain mutually intersecting carbon fibers, then eddy currents can be suitably created in the shaft part, the shaft body, or the like by induction heating. Consequently, it is possible to suitably bring the shaft part, the shaft body, or the like into a plastically deformable softened state by induction heating.

[0025] In the second fastening apparatus and the third fastening apparatus, the shaft-body heater and the shaft-part heater are preferably a single high-frequency induction coil. In this situation, the configuration of the fastening apparatus can be simplified.

EFFECTS OF THE INVENTION



[0026] According to the first to fourth fastening methods of the present invention, the work of fastening a plurality of workpieces using a fastener made of a fiber-reinforced resin can be performed rapidly. In addition, according to the first to third fastening apparatuses of the present invention, the work of fastening a plurality of workpieces by a fastener made of a fiber-reinforced resin can be performed rapidly.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0027] 

FIG. 1 is a schematic drawing that shows a fastening apparatus of working example 1.

FIG. 2 is a flow chart for when the work of fastening workpieces is performed by the fastening apparatus of working example 1.

FIG. 3 is a control flow for when a shaft-body heating process is performed by the fastening apparatus of working example 1.

FIG. 4 is a control flow for when an intermediate forming process is performed by the fastening apparatus of working example 1.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view that shows a shaft body.

FIG. 6 is a principal-parts enlarged cross-sectional view that shows, according to the fastening apparatus of working example 1, the state in which the shaft body is held by a first holding die.

FIG. 7 is a principal-parts enlarged cross-sectional view that shows, according to the fastening apparatus of working example 1, the state in which the shaft body is inductively heated by a high-frequency induction coil.

FIG. 8 is a top view for the situation in which, according to the fastening apparatus of working example 1, the shaft body and the high-frequency induction coil are viewed from direction D1 in FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a principal-parts enlarged cross-sectional view that shows, according to the fastening apparatus of working example 1, the state in which a head-part forming die has come into contact with the shaft body.

FIG. 10 is a principal-parts enlarged cross-sectional view that shows, according to the fastening apparatus of working example 1, the state in which a first head part and a shaft part are formed in the shaft body.

FIG. 11 is a principal-parts enlarged cross-sectional view that shows, according to the fastening apparatus of working example 1, the state in which an intermediate piece has been removed from the first holding die and the head-part forming die.

FIG. 12 is a principal-parts enlarged cross-sectional view that shows, according to the fastening apparatus of working example 1, the state in which the fastener, whose shaft part is inserted through the through hole of each workpiece, is held by a second holding die.

FIG. 13 is a principal-parts enlarged cross-sectional view that shows, according to the fastening apparatus of working example 1, the state in which the shaft part is being inductively heated by the high-frequency induction coil.

FIG. 14 is a principal-parts enlarged cross-sectional view that shows, according to the fastening apparatus of working example 1, the state in which the head-part forming die has been brought into contact with the shaft part.

FIG. 15 is a principal-parts enlarged cross-sectional view that shows, according to the fastening apparatus of working example 1, the state in which a second head part is formed, and the workpieces are fastened by a fastener.

FIG. 16 is a principal-parts enlarged cross-sectional view that shows a fastener that has fastened workpieces according to the fastening apparatus of working example 1.

FIG. 17 is a principal-parts enlarged cross-sectional view that shows, according to the fastening apparatus of working example 2, the state in which a shaft body is inserted through the through hole of each workpiece.

FIG. 18 is a principal-parts enlarged cross-sectional view that shows, according to the fastening apparatus of working example 2, the state in which the shaft body is being inductively heated by high-frequency induction coils.

FIG. 19 is a principal-parts enlarged cross-sectional view that shows, according to the fastening apparatus of working example 2, the state in which the head-part forming die and the second holding die are brought into contact with the shaft body.

FIG. 20 is a principal-parts enlarged cross-sectional view that shows, according to the fastening apparatus of working example 2, the state in which the first head part, the second head part, and the shaft part are formed, and the workpieces are fastened by the fastener.


MODES FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION



[0028] Working examples 1, 2 and modified examples 1, 2, which embody the present invention, are explained below, with reference to the drawings.

(Working Example 1)



[0029] As shown in FIG. 1, the fastening apparatus of working example 1 comprises a press unit 1, a high-frequency induction heater 3, and a control computer 5. With this fastening apparatus, the work of fastening a first workpiece W1, which is made of metal, and a second workpiece W2, which is made of metal, using a fastener 11 is performed, as shown in FIG. 16. It is noted that the material of the first workpiece W1 and the second workpiece W1 can be changed as appropriate.

[0030] In the present working example, upward of the paper surface in FIG. 1 represents upward of the fastening apparatus, downward of the paper surface in FIG. 1 represents downward of the fastening apparatus, and thereby an up-down direction of the fastening apparatus is defined. In addition, rightward of the paper surface in FIG. 1 represents rightward of the fastening apparatus, leftward of the paper surface in FIG. 1 represents leftward of the fastening apparatus, and thereby a left-right direction of the fastening apparatus is defined. In addition, FIGS. 6, 7, 9-15, 17-20 are cross-sectional views in which area X in FIG. 1 is enlarged. Furthermore, in FIG. 6, etc., the up-down direction and the left-right direction are defined in correspondence with FIG. 1. It is noted that the up-down direction and the left-right direction are but one example and can be modified as appropriate.

[0031] As shown in FIG. 1, the press unit 1 comprises a support member 7 and a servo press 9. The support member 7 comprises an upper-end part 7a located on an upper side, a lower-end part 7b located on a lower side, and a grasp part 7c that connects the upper-end part 7a and the lower-end part 7b and is substantially U-shaped. In addition, in the support member 7, a work space 7d is formed between the upper-end part 7a and the lower-end part 7b. A first pedestal 71 for mounting the servo press 9 is provided on the upper-end part 7a. A through hole 73, which faces the work space 7d and extends in the up-down direction, is formed in the first pedestal 71. A second pedestal 75 is provided, such that it is located inside the work space 7d, on the lower-end part 7b. A first holding die 151 and a second holding die 171, which are described below, are mountable on the second pedestal 75. The work space 7d is open leftward, and a high-frequency induction coil 3b of the high-frequency induction heater 3 is capable of advancing therein. The grasp part 7c is rightward of the work space 7d and extends in the up-down direction.

[0032] The servo press 9 comprises a press main body 9a and a press head 9b. The servo press 9 is one example of a "shaft-body pressure-applying apparatus" and a "shaft-part pressure-applying apparatus" in the present invention. Although not shown in the drawings, a servomotor, a press controller that controls the operation of the servomotor, and the like are provided inside the press main body 9a. The press head 9b is mounted on the press main body 9a. The press head 9b is capable of lengthening and shortening relative to the press main body 9a while the speed, the pressure, or the like is appropriately changed by the servomotor. A head-part forming die 151, which is described below, is mounted on the press head 9b.

[0033] In the press unit 1, the press main body 9a is fixed, by a plurality of bolts 13, to the first pedestal 71 in the state in which the press head 9b has been passed through the through hole 73. Thus, in the press unit 1, the support member 7 and the servo press 9 are integrated, and, by the press head 9b advancing and retracting relative to the press main body 9a and thereby moving in its own axial direction inside the work space 7d, the press head 9b is displaceable to an initial position shown in FIG. 1, a standby position shown in FIG. 6, FIG. 7, etc., and a press position shown in FIG. 10, etc. The initial position is the position at which the press head 9b is farthest from the second pedestal 75 inside the work space 7d, as shown in FIG. 1. The standby position is the position at which the press head 9b is closer to the second pedestal 75, inside the work space 7d, than it is at the initial position, as shown in FIG. 6, FIG. 7, etc. The press position is the position at which the press head 9b is nearest to the second pedestal 75 inside the work space 7d, as shown in FIGS. 10, 15, 20.

[0034] In addition, in this fastening apparatus, the press unit 1 is held by a first work arm 101 as shown in FIG. 1. Specifically, the first work arm 101 holds the press unit 1 by grasping the grasp part 7c of the support member 7. Although a detailed illustration is not shown, the first work arm 101 is configured such that it is capable of pivoting, extending, and retracting in the state in which it has grasped the grasp part 7c. Thereby, by being controlled by the control computer 5, the first work arm 101 can hold the press unit 1 at an arbitrary angle.

[0035] As shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 7, the high-frequency induction heater 3 comprises a main-body part 3a, the first high-frequency induction coil 3b, an energization controller 3c, and a temperature sensor that is not shown. The first high-frequency induction coil 3b is one example of a "high-frequency induction coil" in the present invention. The main-body part 3a is held by a second work arm 102. The high-frequency induction coil 3b is fixed to the main-body part 3a and extends from the main-body part 3a side toward the work space 7d side of the support member 7. As shown in FIG. 8, one tip part 31 is provided on the work space 7d side in the high-frequency induction coil 3b. A recessed part 31a that is capable of enveloping a shaft body 110, a shaft part 11b, or the like, which are described below, is formed in the tip part 31. The energization controller 3c shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 7 is fixed to the main-body part 3a. By being controlled by the control computer 5, the energization controller 3c supplies electric power to the first high-frequency induction coil 3b. The temperature sensor detects the temperature of the shaft body 110, the shaft part 11b, or the like.

[0036] The second work arm 102 is configured such that is capable of pivoting, extending, and retracting in the state in which it has grasped the main-body part 3a. Thereby, by being controlled by the control computer 5, the second work arm 102 can hold the high-frequency induction heater 3 at an arbitrary angle. In addition, by being controlled by the control computer 5, the second work arm 102 can move the main-body part 3a and thereby displace the first high-frequency induction coil 3b to a retracted position shown in FIG. 1 and a heating position shown in FIG. 7, FIG. 13, etc. The retracted position is a position at which the first high-frequency induction coil 3b is withdrawn from the interior of the work space 7d, as shown in FIG. 1. The heating position is the position at which the first high-frequency induction coil 3b has advanced into the work space 7d, as shown in FIG. 7, FIG. 13, etc.

[0037] The control computer 5 shown in FIG. 1 comprises a computer main body 5a, a display 5b, and a keyboard 5c. A user, who is not shown, can input via the keyboard 5c the dimensions of the shaft body 110, an intermediate piece 111, and the like as well as work data, such as the shape, the material, and the like of the first and second workpieces W1, W2. Although not shown in the drawings, ROM, RAM, a CPU, and the like are housed inside the computer main body 5a. Various control programs for controlling the servo press 9, the energization controller 3c, the first work arm 101, the second work arm 102, a third work arm 103, which is described below, and the like are stored in ROM. The work data that were input via the keyboard 5c are stored in RAM. The CPU performs various operations based on the control programs stored in ROM and the work data stored in RAM. Thus, the control computer 5 performs such control by sending control signals to the servo press 9, the energization controller 3c, and the first to third work arms 101-103. The work data input by the user as well as the operating state of the fastening apparatus and the like are displayed on the display 5b.

[0038] In the fastening apparatus configured as described above, by executing a fastening method in accordance with the flow chart shown in FIG. 2, the work of fastening the first workpiece W1 and the second workpiece W2 using the fastener 11 is performed. This is explained in detail below. First, as a preparing process, the shaft body 110 is prepared (step S1). As shown in FIG. 5, the shaft body 110 is composed of a thermoplastic resin TP, such as nylon, and a plurality of carbon fibers CF. That is, the shaft body 110 is made of a carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin (CFRTP). The shaft body 110 has a circular-columnar shape extending in an axial direction. The dimensions of the shaft body 110 are defined in accordance with the shapes of the first and second workpieces W1, W2 to be fastened. In addition, each carbon fiber CF extends from one-end side to the other-end side of the shaft body 110 in the axial direction. Thereby, the length of the shaft body 110 in the axial direction and the length of each carbon fiber CF are substantially equal. It is noted that, in FIG. 5 and FIG. 16, to facilitate the explanation, the number of the carbon fibers CF is simplified and the shapes of the carbon fibers CF are shown in an exaggerated manner.

[0039] Next, the user inputs the required work data via the keyboard 5c (step S2 in FIG. 2). Then, the user sends, using the control computer 5, a control signal to the first and second work arms 101, 102 to start control of the first and second work arms 101, 102. Thereby, as shown in FIG. 1, the first work arm 101 holds the press unit 1 in the state in which the servo press 9 is stood up in the up-down direction. In addition, the second work arm 102 positions the high-frequency induction heater 3 leftward of the press unit 1.

[0040] Next, the user mounts an intermediate die 15 on the press unit 1 (step S3 in FIG. 2). As shown in FIG. 6, the intermediate die 15 comprises the first holding die 151 and the head-part forming die 152. In the first holding die 151, a first recessed part 151a, which is capable of holding the shaft body 110, is formed in a circular-columnar shape. Here, the length of the first recessed part 151a, that is, the depth of the first recessed part 151a, is shorter than the axial length of the shaft body 110. The first holding die 151 is mounted on the second pedestal 75 of the support member 7 in the state in which the first recessed part 151a faces the press head 9b side. On the other hand, a second recessed part 152a, which has a semispherical shape, is formed in the head-part forming die 152. The second recessed part 152a is formed with a diameter larger than that of the first recessed part 151a. The head-part forming die 152 is mounted on the press head 9b in the state in which the second recessed part 152a faces the first holding die 151 side. Thereby, a first cavity C1 is formed between the second recessed part 152a and the first holding die 151.

[0041] Next, a shaft-body heating process is performed (step S4 in FIG. 2). This shaft-body heating process is performed based on the control flow shown in FIG. 3. In this shaft-body heating process, the shaft body 110 is heated in a noncontacting state without inserting the shaft body 110 through the through holes W10, W20 of the first and second workpieces W1, W2. When the shaft-body heating process is performed, first, the user causes the shaft body 110 to be held in the first holding die 151 (step S401). Specifically, as shown in FIG. 6, the user causes the shaft body 110 to be held in the first holding die 151 by inserting the shaft body 110 into the first recessed part 151a. As mentioned above, because the length of the first recessed part 151a is shorter than the axial length of the shaft body 110, the shaft body 110, which is held by the first holding die 151, is brought to the state in which, while one-end side of the shaft body 110 in the axial direction is exposed from the first recessed part 151a, the shaft body 110 is stood up in the axial direction. It is noted that, when the shaft body 110 is inserted into the first recessed part 151a, this is done by controlling the third work arm 103, which is shown in FIG. 12, etc., by the control computer 5.

[0042] After causing the shaft body 110 to be held by the first holding die 151, the user sends, using the control computer 5, a control signal to the servo press 9 (step S402 in FIG. 3). Thereby, in the press unit 1, the servo press 9 actuates the press head 9b. Consequently, the press head 9b starts to descend from the initial position shown in FIG. 1 toward the second pedestal 75 and, in turn, toward the first holding die 151 (step S403 in FIG. 3). The descending of the press head 9b continues until the press head 9b reaches the standby position (step S404: NO). Furthermore, as shown in FIGS. 6, 7, when the press head 9b reaches the standby position within the work space 7d, the servo press 9 stops the descending of the press head 9b (step S404: YES).

[0043] Thus, when the press head 9b reaches the standby position, the control computer 5 sends a control signal to the second work arm 102. Thereby, as indicated by a black arrow in FIG. 7, the second work arm 102 moves the high-frequency induction heater 3 toward the press unit 1. Thereby, the first high-frequency induction coil 3b starts the movement from the retracted position shown in FIG. 1 toward the heating position shown in FIG. 7 (step S405 in FIG. 3). Here, unless the first high-frequency induction coil 3b has reached the heating position, the second work arm 102 continues the movement of the high-frequency induction heater 3 (step S406: NO). Then, when the first high-frequency induction coil 3b reaches the heating position, the second work arm 102 stops the movement of the high-frequency induction heater 3 (step S406: YES).

[0044] As shown in FIG. 8, by virtue of the first high-frequency induction coil 3b reaching the heating position, the tip part 31 of the first high-frequency induction coil 3b approaches the shaft body 110 within the work space 7d. Then, the one-end side of the shaft body 110 is received within the recessed part 31a formed in the tip part 31. It is noted that, even when the first high-frequency induction coil 3b reaches the heating position, the first high-frequency induction coil 3b, including the recessed part 31a, and the shaft body 110 do not contact one another.

[0045] Thus, in the state in which the first high-frequency induction coil 3b is at the heating position, the control computer 5 sends a control signal to the energization controller 3c. Thereby, the energization controller 3c starts the supply of electrical current to the first high-frequency induction coil 3b. Consequently, the first high-frequency induction coil 3b generates magnetic force lines. Here, because the shaft body 110 is made of CFRTP, which contains a plurality of carbon fibers CF, the carbon fibers CF exhibit electrical conductivity and excellent heat transfer properties. Consequently, the shaft body 110, which is received within the recessed part 31a, internally generates eddy currents owing to the effects of the magnetic force lines. Thereby, the shaft body 110 generates heat due to Joule heating based on the eddy currents. Thus, induction heating of the shaft body 110 by the first high-frequency induction coil 3b is started (step S407 in FIG. 3). In addition, the temperature sensor detects the temperature of the shaft body 110.

[0046] After the one-end side of the shaft body 110 has reached a set temperature, which is set in advance by the control program, the induction heating of the shaft body 110 continues until a set time, which is set in advance, elapses (step S408: NO). Then, when the temperature of the one-end side of the shaft body 110 has reached the set temperature and the set time has elapsed (step S408: YES), the control computer 5 ends the supply of electrical current from the energization controller 3c to the induction coil 3. Thus, the induction heating of the shaft body 110 ends (step S409). By undergoing this induction heating, the one-end side of the shaft body 110 is brought to a plastically deformable softened state due to the generation of heat.

[0047] When the induction heating of the shaft body 110 ends, the control computer 5 once again controls the second work arm 102 so as to separate the high-frequency induction heater 3 from the press unit 1. Thereby, the first high-frequency induction coil 3b starts moving from the heating position shown in FIG. 7 toward the retracted position shown in FIG. 1 (step S410 in FIG. 3). The movement of the high-frequency induction heater 3 by the second work arm 102 continues until the first high-frequency induction coil 3b reaches the retracted position (step S411: NO). Furthermore, when the first high-frequency induction coil 3b reaches the retracted position, the second work arm 102 stops the movement of the high-frequency induction heater 3 (step S411: YES). Thus, the shaft-body heating process ends.

[0048] Next, the intermediate forming process is performed (step S5 in FIG. 2). The intermediate forming process is performed based on the control flow shown in FIG. 4. In the intermediate forming process, the control computer 5 controls the servo press 9. Thereby, as indicated by a white arrow in FIG. 9, the servo press 9 lowers the press head 9b, which is at the standby position, toward the press position (step S501 in FIG. 4). As described above, in the servo press 9, the press head 9b is capable of extending and contracting relative to the press main body 9a while the speed, the pressure, or the like is appropriately changed by the servomotor. Consequently, when lowering the press head 9b from the standby position toward the press position, the control computer 5 lowers the press head 9b first at a first speed. In addition, at this time, the control computer 5 sets the pressure of the press head 9b to a first pressure.

[0049] Thus, by virtue of the press head 9b being lowered toward the press position and thereby the first holding die 151 and the head-part forming die 152 approaching one another, the shaft body 110, which is held by the first holding die 151, advances into the second recessed part 152a of the head-part forming die 152 as shown in FIG. 9. Then, by virtue of the shaft body 110 coming into contact with an inner-circumferential surface of the second recessed part 152a, the servo press 9 detects that the head-part forming die 152 has come into contact with the shaft body 110 and therefore sends a first contact detection signal to the control computer 5. The control computer 5 judges whether the head-part forming die 152 and the shaft body 110 have come into contact with one another based on whether the first contact detection signal has been received. Consequently, until the first contact detection signal is received (step S502: NO in FIG. 4), the control computer 5 lowers the press head 9b at the first speed and at the first pressure. On the other hand, when the control computer 5 receives the first contact detection signal (step S502: YES), the control computer 5 lowers the press head 9b toward the press position while gradually decreasing the speed from the first speed. At the same time, the control computer 5 gradually increases the pressure from the first pressure.

[0050] Thereby, the press head 9b further descends toward the press position while plastically deforming the one-end side of the shaft body 110 using the head-part forming die 152. Furthermore, in the intermediate forming process, by virtue of the press head 9b reaching the press position, the first holding die 151 and the head-part forming die 152 come into contact with one another. In addition, by virtue of the servo press 9 detecting that the first holding die 151 and the head-part forming die 152 have come into contact with one another, the servo press 9 sends a second contact detection signal to the control computer 5. The control computer 5 judges whether the first holding die 151 and the head-part forming die 152 have come into contact with one another based on whether the second contact detection signal has been received. Consequently, until the second contact detection signal is received (step S503: NO), the control computer 5 continues to lower the press head 9b. On the other hand, when the second contact detection signal is received (step S503: YES), the control computer 5 holds the shaft body 110, using the first holding die 151 and the head-part forming die 152, at a prescribed holding pressure (step S504). It is noted that this holding pressure is set in advance by the control program.

[0051] Thereby, as shown in FIG. 10, a first head part 11a is formed, by the first cavity C1, on the one-end side of the shaft body 110. In addition, the shaft part 11b is formed by the portion of the shaft body 110 that is received within the first recessed part 151a. Thus, the intermediate piece 111, in which the first head part 11a and the shaft part 11b are formed, is obtained from the shaft body 110. The first head part 11a is formed with a diameter larger than that of the shaft part 11b. In addition, the shaft part 11b is formed integrally with the first head part 11a and extends in the axial direction.

[0052] The holding of the shaft body 110 by the first holding die 151 and the head-part forming die 152 continues until a hold time, which is set in advance by the control program, elapses (step S505: NO in FIG. 4). Consequently, in the intermediate forming process, the heat of the shaft body 110, which was heated in the above-mentioned shaft-body heating process, and in turn the heat of the intermediate piece 111 obtained from the shaft body 110, is absorbed by the first holding die 151 and the head-part forming die 152, which constitute the intermediate die 15. Furthermore, when the hold time has elapsed (step S505: YES), the control computer 5 controls the servo press 9 so as to displace the press head 9b toward the initial position, as indicated by the white arrow in FIG. 11 (step S506 in FIG. 4). Thereby, as shown in FIG. 11, the intermediate piece 111 is removed from the intermediate die 15. Thus, the intermediate forming process ends. It is noted that, although not shown in the drawings, the removal of the intermediate piece 111 from the intermediate die 15 is performed by the third work arm 103.

[0053] Next, in place of the intermediate die 15, the user mounts the fastening die 17 on the press unit 1 (step S6 in FIG. 2). As shown in FIG. 12, the fastening die 17 comprises the second holding die 171 and the head-part forming die 152. That is, in the present working example, the head-part forming die 152 serves both as part of the intermediate die 15 and as part of the fastening die 17. Consequently, in the present working example, with regard to the exchange of the intermediate die 15 with the fastening die 17, it is sufficient merely to exchange the first holding die 151 with the second holding die 171. A third recessed part 171a, which is capable of holding the first head part 11a of the intermediate piece 111 and has a semispherical shape, is formed in the second holding die 171. The second holding die 171 is mounted on the second pedestal 75 of the support member 7 in the state in which the third recessed part 171a faces toward the press head 9b side. Thereby, the third recessed part 171a and the second recessed part 152a face one another. In addition, in the fastening die 17, a second cavity C2 is formed between the second recessed part 152a and the second workpiece W2. It is noted that the shape of the second recessed part 152a is not limited to a semispherical shape and can be designed as appropriate. In addition, the third recessed part 171a can be designed appropriately in accordance with the shape of the second recessed part 152a. Furthermore, the mounting of the intermediate die 15, the fastening die 17, or the like on the press unit 1 may be performed using the third work arm 103, some other work arm, or the like.

[0054] Next, a shaft-part heating process is performed (step S7 in FIG. 2). In this shaft-part heating process, the shaft part 11b is heated in the noncontacting state while the shaft part 11b is inserted through the through holes W10, W20 of the first and second workpieces W1, W2. When performing the shaft-part heating process, as shown in FIG. 12, the user prepares the intermediate piece 111, which was obtained by the intermediate forming process, and prepares the first workpiece W1 and the second workpiece W2, which are to be fastened. The through holes W10, W20, through which the shaft part 11b can pass, are formed in the first and second workpieces W1, W2. The diameter of the first head part 11a is larger than that of each of the through holes W10, W20. Furthermore, the control computer 5 sends a control signal to the third work arm 103. Thereby, the third work arm 103 conveys the intermediate piece 111 to the second holding die 171 and places the first head part 11a in the third recessed part 171a. Thus, the first head part 11a is held by the third recessed part 171a. Thereby, the intermediate piece 111 is brought to the state in which the side of the shaft part 11b opposite the first head part 11a, that is, the other-end side of the shaft part 11b, extends toward the second recessed part 152a of the head-part forming die 152. In addition, the third work arm 103 conveys the first workpiece W1 to the intermediate piece 111 and passes the shaft part 11b through the through hole W10. Thereby, the first workpiece W1 is placed on the second holding die 171. Furthermore, while conveying the second workpiece W2 to the intermediate piece 111 and aligning the through hole W10 and the through hole W20, the third work arm 103 passes the shaft part 11b through the through hole W20. Thus, the first workpiece W1, the second workpiece W2, and the intermediate piece 111 constitute a first assembly A1. It is noted that, by virtue of the third work arm 103 holding the second workpiece W2 even after passing the shaft part 11b through the through hole W20, the third work arm 103 continues to hold the first assembly A1. In addition, although the shapes of the through holes W10, W20 are shown in an exaggerated manner in FIG. 12 to FIG. 16 to facilitate the explanation, the through holes W10, W20 and the shaft part 11b are formed with substantially the same diameter.

[0055] Next, the same as in the shaft-body heating process, by virtue of the control computer 5 controlling the servo press 9, the press head 9b is displaced from the initial position to the standby position (refer to FIG. 12 and FIG. 13). When the press head 9b reaches the standby position, the control computer 5 sends a control signal to the second work arm 102 and, as shown in FIG. 13, thereby moves the first high-frequency induction coil 3b to the heating position. By virtue of the first high-frequency induction coil 3b reaching the heating position, the other-end side of the shaft part 11b is received within the recessed part 31a formed in the tip part 31 of the first high-frequency induction coil 3b. It is noted that, in this situation, too, the first high-frequency induction coil 3b and the shaft part 11b do not contact one another.

[0056] Furthermore, by virtue of the control computer 5 sending the control signal to the energization controller 3c and then the energization controller 3c starting the supply of electrical current to the first high-frequency induction coil 3b, induction heating of the shaft part 11b by the first high-frequency induction coil 3b is started. In addition, the temperature sensor detects the temperature of the shaft part 11b. Then, the same as in the shaft-body heating process, by virtue of the set time since the temperature of the other-end side of the shaft part 11b reached the set temperature elapsing, the induction heating of the shaft part 11b ends. Thus, the other-end side of the shaft part 11b is brought to the plastically deformable softened state owing to the generation of heat.

[0057] In addition, when the induction heating of the shaft part 11b ends, the same as in the shaft-body heating process, the first high-frequency induction coil 3b is moved to the retracted position. Thus, the process of heating the shaft part by the first high-frequency induction coil 3b ends.

[0058] Next, a fastening process is performed (step S8 in FIG. 2). When the fastening process is performed, the same as in the intermediate forming process, the control computer 5 controls the servo press 9 so as to lower the press head 9b, which is at the standby position, toward the press position, as indicated by the white arrow in FIG. 14. At this time, too, the control computer 5 first lowers the press head 9b at the first speed and sets the pressure of the press head 9b to the first pressure.

[0059] Thus, by virtue of the press head 9b descending toward the press position, the other-end side of the shaft part 11b advances into the second recessed part 152a of the head-part forming die 152. Thereby, the servo press 9 detects that the head-part forming die 152 has come into contact with the shaft body 11b and therefore sends a third contact detection signal to the control computer 5. By virtue of the control computer 5 receiving the third contact detection signal, the same as in the intermediate forming process, the control computer 5 lowers the press head 9b toward the press position while gradually decreasing the speed from the first speed. At the same time, the control computer 5 gradually increases the pressure from the first pressure.

[0060] Thereby, the press head 9b further descends toward the press position while plastically deforming the other-end side of the shaft part 11b using the head-part forming die 152. Furthermore, by virtue of the press head 9b reaching the press position, the second workpiece W2 and the head-part forming die 152 come into contact with one another in the fastening process as shown in FIG. 15. In addition, by virtue of the servo press 9 detecting that the second workpiece W2 and the head-part forming die 152 have come into contact with one another, the servo press 9 sends a fourth contact detection signal to the control computer 5. By virtue of the control computer 5 receiving the second contact detection signal, the first assembly A1 is held by the second holding die 171 and the head-part forming die 152 at the prescribed holding pressure until the prescribed hold time elapses. It is noted that the holding pressure and the hold time at this time are the same as in the intermediate forming process. It is noted that the holding pressure and the hold time may be set differently in the intermediate forming process and the fastening process.

[0061] Thus, a second head part 11c is formed by the second cavity C2 on the other-end side of the shaft part 11b. Thereby, the fastener 11 is obtained from the intermediate piece 111. As mentioned above, because the shaft body 110 that forms the intermediate piece 111 is made of CFRTP, the fastener 11 is also made of CFRTP. In the fastener 11, the second head part 11c opposes the first head part 11a, and both sandwich the shaft part 11b. In addition, the same as in the first head part 11a, the second head part 11c is formed with a diameter larger than that of the shaft part 11b and larger than that of each of the through holes W10, W20 of the first and second workpieces W1, W2. Thereby, as shown in FIG. 16, the shaft part 11b, which is inserted through the through holes W10, W20, is retained from both sides by the first head part 11a and the second head part 11c. Thus, the first and second workpieces W1, W2 are fastened by the fastener 11.

[0062] In addition, until the hold time elapses, by virtue of the fastener 11 and the first and second workpieces W1, W2 being held by the second holding die 171 and the head-part forming die 152, in the shaft-part heating process, the heat of the heated intermediate piece 111 and, in turn, the heat of the fastener 11 is absorbed by the second holding die 171 and the head-part forming die 152, which constitute the fastening die 17. Then, when the hold time has elapsed, the control computer 5 controls the servo press 9 so as to displace the press head 9b toward the initial position. Thereby, the third work arm 103 removes the first and second workpieces W1, W2, which have been fastened by the fastener 11, from the fastening die 17 (step S9 in FIG. 2). Thus, the fastening process ends, and the work of fastening the first workpiece W1 and the second workpiece W2 is complete.

[0063] Thus, with this fastening apparatus, the shaft-body heating process and the shaft-part heating process are performed by the first high-frequency induction coil 3b, which is capable of induction heating. Consequently, in the shaft-body heating process, the one-end side of the shaft body 110 can be directly and locally heated in a non-contacting manner by induction heating using the first high-frequency induction coil 3b. At this time, the softened resin tends not to adhere to the heat source. Consequently, with this fastening apparatus, when heating the shaft body 110, there is no need to heat the intermediate die 15. Thereby, compared with the heated shaft body 110, the temperature of the intermediate die 15 is low; and, in the intermediate forming process, the heat of the intermediate piece 111 obtained from the shaft body 110 can be absorbed by the intermediate die 15. Consequently, the intermediate piece 111 can be cooled quickly. In addition, in the shaft-part heating process, the other-end side of the shaft part 11b can be directly and locally heated in a non-contacting manner by induction heating using the first high-frequency induction coil 3b. At this time, the softened resin tends not to adhere to the heat source. Consequently, with this fastening apparatus, when the shaft body 11b is being heated, there is no need to heat the fastening die 17. Thereby, compared with the intermediate piece 111, in which the shaft part 11b has been heated, the temperature of the fastening die 17 is also low; and in the fastening process, the heat of the fastener 11, which was obtained from the intermediate piece 111, can be absorbed by the fastening die 17. As a result, with this fastening apparatus, the intermediate piece 111, the fastener 11, and the like can be cooled quickly. That is, according to this fastening apparatus, each process, from the shaft-part heating process to the intermediate forming process, the shaft-body heating process, and the fastening process, can be performed rapidly.

[0064] Therefore, according to the fastening apparatus of working example 1, the work of fastening the first workpiece W1 and the second workpiece W2 using the fastener 11 made of CFRTP can be performed rapidly.

[0065] In particular, as shown in FIG. 5, each carbon fiber CF in the shaft body 110 extends from the one-end side to the other-end side in the axial direction. Consequently, by virtue of undergoing the intermediate forming process and the fastening process, each carbon fiber CF in the fastener 11 extends from the first head part 11a to the second head part 11c via the shaft part 11b, as shown in FIG. 16. Consequently, the first and second head parts 11a, 11c and the shaft part 11b can be suitably reinforced by the carbon fibers CF. Consequently, for example, even in the situation in which a large load acts upon the first workpiece W1, the second workpiece W2, or the like, the first and second head parts 11a, 11c tend not to be deformed by the first workpiece W1, the second workpiece W2, or the like, and the fastening of the first workpiece W1 and the second workpiece W2 tends not to be released. Thereby, according to this fastening apparatus, the first workpiece W1 and the second workpiece W2 can be securely fastened by the fastener 11, which is made of CFRTP.

[0066] In addition, by virtue of the other-end side of the shaft part 11b being locally heated in the shaft-part heating process by induction heating using the first high-frequency induction coil 3b, the first head part 11a, which has been already formed in the intermediate forming process, tends not to be affected by the heat of the shaft part 11b. Consequently, even if the shaft part 11b is inductively heated, the first head part 11a tends not to be thermally deformed thereby, and therefore the quality of the fastener 11 when the first workpiece W1 and the second workpiece W2 have been fastened can be increased. In addition, by virtue of the other-end side of the shaft part 11b being locally heated by induction heating using the first high-frequency induction coil 3b, the first workpiece W1, the second workpiece W2, and the like tend not to be affected when the shaft part 11b is being inductively heated.

[0067] Furthermore, with this fastening apparatus, even in the situation in which the shaft body 110 is inductively heated in the shaft-body heating process, and even in the situation in which the shaft part 11b is inductively heated in the shaft-part heating process, the inductive heating is performed by a single first high-frequency induction coil 3b. Thereby, in the shaft-body heating process and the shaft-part heating process, compared with the situation in which separate high-frequency induction coils are used, it is possible to simplify the configuration of the fastening apparatus.

[0068] In the fastening apparatus of working example 1, it is possible to perform the work of fastening the first workpiece W1 and the second workpiece W2 using the fastener 11 also by the methods described below in modified examples 1, 2.

(Modified Example 1)



[0069] In modified example 1, induction heating of the shaft body 110, which is in the state in which it is inserted through the first workpiece W1 and the second workpiece W2, is performed in the shaft-body heating process by the first high-frequency induction coil 3b in the noncontacting state. Other processes are the same as in modified example 1. In this situation, too, functions and effects the same as those in the working example 1 can be achieved.

(Modified Example 2)



[0070] In modified example 2, the intermediate piece 111, which has been formed in advance, is prepared in the preparing process. Thereby, in modified example 2, it is unnecessary to mount the intermediate forming die 15 on the press unit 1. In addition, in modified example 2, the shaft-body heating process and the intermediate forming process of working example 1 can be omitted. Furthermore, in modified example 2, the shaft part 11b is heated in the shaft-part heating process in the noncontacting state while the shaft part 11b of the intermediate piece 111 is inserted through each of the through holes W10, W20 of the first and second workpieces W1, W2. Thereby, in modified example 2, the work of fastening the first workpiece W1 and the second workpiece W2 using the fastener 11 can be performed more rapidly.

(Working Example 2)



[0071] In the fastening apparatus of working example 2, the high-frequency induction heater 3 comprises a second high-frequency induction coil 3d, which is shown in FIG. 18, instead of the first high-frequency induction coil 3b. The second high-frequency induction coil 3d is also one example of a "high-frequency induction coil" in the present invention. A tip part 32 and a tip part 33 are formed on the second high-frequency induction coil 3d. The tip part 32 has a shape the same as that of the tip part 31 in working example 1. The shapes of the tip part 33 and the tip part 32 are symmetric. That is, a recessed part 32a is formed in the tip part 32, and a recessed part 33a is formed in the tip part 33. The recessed part 32a and the recessed part 33a are capable of enveloping the shaft body 110. The tip part 32 and the tip part 33 are provided spaced apart and capable of receiving the first workpiece W1 and the second workpiece W2 therebetween and are disposed lined up in the axial direction of the shaft body 110 and, in turn, in the axial direction of the fastener 11. In addition, in this fastening apparatus, the energization controller 3c (refer to FIG. 1) is capable of supplying electric power to the second high-frequency induction coil 3d. Other structural elements in this fastening apparatus are the same as those in the fastening apparatus of working example 1, identical structural elements are assigned the same symbols, and detailed description related thereto is omitted.

[0072] With this fastening apparatus, the work of fastening the first workpiece W1 and the second workpiece W2 using the fastener 11 is performed by the fastening method below. First, the same as in the fastening apparatus of working example 1, the user inputs necessary work data via the keyboard 5c. Then, the user sends control signals, using the control computer 5, to the first and second work arms 101, 102 and thereby starts control of the first and second work arms 101, 102. At this time, the first work arm 101 rotates the press unit 1 in the rightward direction by 90° from the state shown in FIG. 1 and holds the press unit 1. That is, in the press unit 1, the servo press 9 is brought into a horizontal state in the left-right direction. In addition, the second work arm 102 positions the high-frequency induction heater 3 upward of the press unit 1 while holding the high-frequency induction heater 3.

[0073] Next, as shown in FIG. 17, the user mounts the fastening die 17 on the press unit 1. That is, the user mounts the head-part forming die 152 on the press head 9b. At this time, the head-part forming die 152 is set to the state in which the second recessed part 152a faces the second pedestal 75 side of the support member 7. In addition, the user mounts the second holding die 171 on the second pedestal 75. At this time, the second holding die 171 is set to the state in which the third recessed part 171a faces the head-part forming die 152 side. A third cavity C3 is formed between the second recessed part 152a and the first workpiece W1. In addition, a fourth cavity C4 is formed between the third recessed part 171a and the second workpiece W2.

[0074] Next, the shaft body 110, the first workpiece W1, and the second workpiece W2 are prepared. Then, the third work arm 103 is controlled by the control computer 5, and the shaft body 110 is inserted through the through hole W10 of the first workpiece W1 and the through hole W20 of the second workpiece W2. Thereby, the first workpiece W1, the second workpiece W2, and the shaft body 110 constitute a second assembly A2. Next, the third work arm 103, while holding the first workpiece W1, disposes the second assembly A2 between the head-part forming die 152 and the second holding die 171 within the work space 7d. At this time, the third work arm 103 disposes the second assembly A2 between the head-part forming die 152 and the second holding die 171 in the state in which the shaft body 110 in the second assembly A2 is orthogonal to the up-down direction, that is, in the state in which the shaft body 110 opposes the second recessed part 152a and the third recessed part 171a. It is noted that, in FIG. 17 to FIG. 20, too, although the shapes of the through holes W10, W20 are shown exaggerated to facilitate the explanation, the shaft body 110 and, in turn, the shaft part 11b, is formed with substantially the same diameter as that of each of the through holes W10, W20. Consequently, when the second assembly A2 has been disposed between the head-part forming die 152 and the second holding die 171, the shaft body 110 is prevented, with high reliability, from falling out of the through holes W10, W20.

[0075] Next, the shaft-body heating process is performed. In the shaft-body heating process, the shaft body 110 is heated in the noncontacting state while the shaft body 110 is inserted through each of the through holes W10, W20 of the first and second workpieces W1, W2. The control computer 5 displaces the press head 9b from the initial position to the standby position by controlling the servo press 9. In addition, the control computer 5 sends a control signal to the second work arm 102 so as to lower the high-frequency induction heater 3 and, as shown in FIG. 18, move the second high-frequency induction coil 3d to the heating position. Thereby, with regard to the second high-frequency induction coil 3d, one-end side of the shaft body 110 is received within the recessed part 32a, which is formed in the tip part 32, and the other-end side of the shaft body 110 is received within the recessed part 33a, which is formed in the tip part 33. It is noted that, in this situation, too, the second high-frequency induction coil 3d and the shaft body 110 do not contact one another.

[0076] Then, by virtue of the control computer 5 sending a control signal to the energization controller 3c and then the energization controller 3c starting the supply of electrical current to the second high-frequency induction coil 3d, induction heating of the shaft body 110 by the second high-frequency induction coil 3d is started. Thus, the one-end side and the other-end side of the shaft body 110 are simultaneously heated by the second high-frequency induction coil 3d. Consequently, the shaft body 110 is brought into a softened state, in which both ends are plastically deformable, by the generation of heat. Then, the same as in the fastening apparatus of working example 1, by virtue of the set time since the temperature of the one-end side and the other-end side of the shaft body 110 reached the set temperature elapsing, induction heating of the shaft body 110 ends. Thereby, the second work arm 102 moves the second high-frequency induction coil 3d to the retracted position. Thus, the shaft-body heating process ends.

[0077] Next, the control computer 5 controls the servo press 9 and, as indicated by the white arrow in FIG. 19, moves the press head 9b, which is at the standby position, to the press position. At this time, too, the control computer 5 first moves the press head 9b at the first speed and sets the pressure of the press head 9b to the first pressure. In addition, as indicated by the black arrow in the same drawing, in accordance with the movement of the press head 9b to the press position, the third work arm 103 causes the second assembly A2 to gradually approach the second holding die 171.

[0078] Thus, by the movement of the press head 9b toward the press position, the one-end side of the shaft part 110 advances into the second recessed part 152a of the head-part forming die 152, and the other-end side of the shaft part 110 advances into the third recessed part 171a of the second holding die 171. Then, simultaneous with the head-part forming die 152 coming into contact with the one-end side of the shaft part 110, the second holding die 171 comes into contact with the other-end side of the shaft part 110. Thereby, the same as in the fastening apparatus of working example 1, the servo press 9 detects that the head-part forming die 152 has come into contact with the shaft part 110 and therefore sends the first contact detection signal to the control computer 5. Then, when the control computer 5 receives the first contact detection signal, the control computer 5 controls the servo press 9 in the same manner as in the fastening apparatus of working example 1 and thereby moves the press head 9b toward the press position while gradually decreasing the speed from the first speed. At the same time, the control computer 5 gradually increases the pressure from the first pressure.

[0079] Thereby, the press head 9b further moves toward the press position while plastically deforming the one-end side of the shaft body 110 using the head-part forming die 152. In addition, the other-end side of the shaft body 110 is also likewise plastically deformed by the second holding die 171. Then, as shown in FIG. 20, by virtue of the press head 9b reaching the press position, in this fastening apparatus, the first workpiece W1 and the head-part forming die 152 come into contact with one another, and the second workpiece W2 and the second holding die 171 come into contact with one another. In addition, by virtue of the servo press 9 detecting that the first workpiece W1 and the head-part forming die 152 have come into contact, the servo press 9 sends a fifth contact detection signal to the control computer 5. When the control computer 5 receives the fifth contact detection signal, the control computer 5 controls the servo press 9 so as to hold the second assembly A2, by the second holding die 171 and the head-part forming die 152, at the prescribed holding pressure until the prescribed hold time elapses. It is noted that the holding pressure and the hold time at this time are the same as in the fastening apparatus of working example 1.

[0080] Thus, the first head part 11a is formed by the third cavity C3 on the one-end side of the shaft body 110, and the second head part 11c is formed by the fourth cavity C4 on the other-end side of the shaft body 110. In addition, the shaft part 11b is formed between the first head part 11a and the second head part 11c. Thus, the fastener 11 is obtained from the shaft body 110. Thereby, in this fastening apparatus, too, the first and second workpieces W1, W2 are fastened by the fastener 11, and thereby the work of fastening the first workpiece W1 and the second workpiece W2 is complete. In addition, in this fastening apparatus, too, the heat of the fastener 11 is absorbed by the second holding die 171 and by the head-part forming die 152, which constitute the fastening die 17.

[0081] Thus, in this fastening apparatus, there is no need to mount the intermediate die 15 on the press unit 1; and in the fastening process, the fastener 11 can be directly obtained from the shaft body 110 without going through the intermediate piece 111 stage. Consequently, with this fastening apparatus, compared with the fastening apparatus of working example 1, the work of fastening the first workpiece W1 and the second workpiece W2 by the fastener 11 can be performed more rapidly.

[0082] In addition, in this fastening apparatus, it is possible to simultaneously perform induction heating of the one-end side and the other-end side of the shaft body 110 in the shaft-body heating process using the single first high-frequency induction coil 3b. Consequently, compared with the situation in which a high-frequency induction coil that inductively heats only the one-end side of the shaft body 110 and a high-frequency induction coil that inductively heats only the other-end side of the shaft body 110 are used, the configuration of this fastening apparatus can be simplified. Other functions in this fastening apparatus are the same as those in the fastening apparatus of working example 1.

[0083] The above explained the present invention in accordance with working examples 1, 2 and modified examples 1, 2, but the present invention is not limited to the above-mentioned working examples 1, 2 and modified examples 1, 2, and it is understood that appropriate modifications can be applied within a scope that does not depart from the gist thereof.

[0084] For example, in the fastening apparatus of working example 1, the intermediate piece 111 alone may be mass produced in advance by the repetitive performance of the intermediate forming process prior to the performance of the shaft-part heating process.

[0085] In addition, with the fastening apparatus of working example 1, regardless of whether the one-end side of the shaft body 110 reaches the set temperature, induction heating of the shaft body 110 may be ended based upon just the elapsing of the set time. In addition, regardless of whether the temperature of the other-end side of the shaft part 11b has reached the set temperature, the induction heating of the shaft part 11b may be ended based upon just the elapsing of the set time. This applies likewise to the fastening apparatus of working example 2.

[0086] Furthermore, in the fastening apparatus of working example 2, the high-frequency induction heater 3 may comprise a high-frequency induction coil that inductively heats only the one-end side of the shaft body 110 and a high-frequency induction coil that inductively heats only the other-end side of the shaft body 110.

[0087] In addition, in the fastening apparatus of working examples 1, 2, the intermediate die 15, the fastening die 17, or the like may be configured such that they can be cooled by a coolant.

[0088] Furthermore, the shaft body 110 and the intermediate piece 111, and, in turn, the fastener 11, may contain a plurality of intersecting carbon fibers CF.

Industrial Field of Application



[0089] The present invention can be used in an assembly apparatus of a vehicle, etc.

EXPLANATION OF THE REFERENCE NUMBERS



[0090] 
3b
First high-frequency induction coil (shaft-part heater, shaft-body heater, high-frequency induction coil)
3d
Second high-frequency induction coil (shaft-body heater, high-frequency induction coil)
9
Servo press (shaft-body pressure-applying apparatus, shaft-part pressure-applying apparatus)
11
Fastener
11a
First head part
11b
Shaft part
11c
Second head part
15
Intermediate die
17
Fastening die
110
Shaft body
111
Intermediate piece
151
First holding die (intermediate die)
152
Head-part forming die (intermediate die, fastening die)
171
Second holding die (fastening die)
CF
Carbon fiber
W1
First workpiece (workpiece)
W2
Second workpiece (workpiece)
W10, W20
Through hole



Claims

1. A fastening method that fastens a plurality of workpieces, through which through holes are formed, using a fastener, comprising:

a preparing process that prepares an intermediate piece, which is made of a fiber-reinforced resin and comprises a first head part and a shaft part formed integrally with the first head part and extending in an axial direction;

a shaft-part heating process that heats the shaft part in a noncontacting state while the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces; and

a fastening process that forms a second head part opposing the first head part using a fastening die and thereby fastens the workpieces using the intermediate piece as the fastener by applying pressure to the heated shaft part in the state in which the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

wherein:

the fiber-reinforced resin is a carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin; and

the shaft-part heating process is performed using a high-frequency induction coil capable of induction heating.


 
2. A fastening method that fastens a plurality of workpieces, through which through holes are formed, using a fastener, comprising:

a preparing process that prepares a shaft body, which is made of a fiber-reinforced resin and extends in an axial direction;

a shaft-body heating process that heats the shaft body in a noncontacting state without inserting the shaft body through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

an intermediate forming process that forms an intermediate piece, which comprises a first head part and a shaft part formed integrally with the first head part and extending in the axial direction, using an intermediate die by applying pressure to one-end side of the heated shaft body in the state in which the shaft body is not inserted though each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

a shaft-part heating process that heats the shaft part in a noncontacting state while the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces; and

a fastening process that forms a second head part opposing the first head part using a fastening die and thereby fastens the workpieces using the intermediate piece as the fastener by applying pressure to the heated shaft part in the state in which the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

wherein:

the fiber-reinforced resin is a carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin; and

the shaft-body heating process and the shaft-part heating process are each performed using a high-frequency induction coil capable of induction heating.


 
3. A fastening method that fastens a plurality of workpieces, through which through holes are formed, using a fastener, comprising:

a preparing process that prepares a shaft body, which is made of a fiber-reinforced resin and extends in an axial direction;

a shaft-body heating process that heats the shaft body in a noncontacting state while the shaft body is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

an intermediate forming process that forms an intermediate piece, which comprises a first head part and a shaft part formed integrally with the first head part and extending in the axial direction, using an intermediate die by applying pressure to one-end side of the heated shaft body in the state in which the shaft body is inserted though each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

a shaft-part heating process that heats the shaft part in a noncontacting state while the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces; and

a fastening process that forms a second head part opposing the first head part using a fastening die and thereby fastens the workpieces using the intermediate piece as the fastener by applying pressure to the heated shaft part in the state in which the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

wherein:

the fiber-reinforced resin is a carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin; and

the shaft-body heating process and the shaft-part heating process are performed using a high-frequency induction coil capable of induction heating.


 
4. A fastening method that fastens a plurality of workpieces, through which through holes are formed, using a fastener, comprising:

a preparing process that prepares a shaft body, which is made of a fiber-reinforced resin and extends in an axial direction;

a shaft-body heating process heats the shaft body in a noncontacting state while the shaft body is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces; and

a fastening process that forms a first head part, a shaft part formed integrally with the first head part and extending in the axial direction, and a second head part opposing the first head part using a fastening die and thereby fastens the workpieces using the shaft body as the fastener by applying pressure to both end sides of the heated shaft body in the state in which the shaft body is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

wherein:

the fiber-reinforced resin is a carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin; and

the shaft-body heating process is performed using a high-frequency induction coil capable of induction heating.


 
5. A fastening apparatus that fastens a plurality of workpieces, through which through holes are formed, using a fastener, wherein:

an intermediate piece, which is made of a fiber-reinforced resin and comprises a first head part and a shaft part formed integrally with the first head part and extending in an axial direction, is used;

comprising:

a shaft-part heater capable of heating the shaft part in a noncontacting state while the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

a shaft-part pressure-applying apparatus that applies pressure to the heated shaft part in the state in which the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces; and

a fastening die that forms, from the heated shaft part, a second head part opposing the first head part, and in which the intermediate piece serves as the fastener;

wherein:

the fiber-reinforced resin is a carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin; and

the shaft-part heater is a high-frequency induction coil capable of induction heating.


 
6. A fastening apparatus that fastens a plurality of workpieces, through which through holes are formed, using a fastener, wherein:

a shaft body, which is made of a fiber-reinforced resin and extends in an axial direction, is used;

comprising:

a shaft-body heater capable of heating the shaft body in a noncontacting state without inserting the shaft body through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

a shaft-body pressure-applying apparatus that applies pressure to one-end side of the heated shaft body in the state in which the shaft body is not inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

an intermediate die that forms, from the heated shaft body, an intermediate piece comprising a first head part and a shaft part formed integrally with the first head part and extending in the axial direction;

a shaft-part heater capable of heating the shaft part in a noncontacting state while the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

a shaft-part pressure-applying apparatus that applies pressure to the heated shaft part in the state in which the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces; and

a fastening die that forms, from the heated shaft part, a second head part opposing the first head part, and in which the intermediate piece serves as the fastener;

wherein:

the fiber-reinforced resin is a carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin; and

the shaft-body heater and the shaft-part heater are each a high-frequency induction coil capable of induction heating.


 
7. A fastening apparatus that fastens a plurality of workpieces, through which through holes are formed, using a fastener, wherein:

a shaft body, which is made of a fiber-reinforced resin and extends in an axial direction, is used;

comprising:

a shaft-body heater capable of heating the shaft body in a noncontacting state while the shaft body is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

a shaft-body pressure-applying apparatus that applies pressure to one-end side of the heated shaft body in the state in which the shaft body is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

an intermediate die that forms, from the heated shaft body, an intermediate piece comprising a first head part and a shaft part formed integrally with the first head part and extending in the axial direction;

a shaft-part heater capable of heating the shaft part in a noncontacting state while the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces;

a shaft-part pressure-applying apparatus that applies pressure to the heated shaft part in the state in which the shaft part is inserted through each of the through holes of each of the workpieces; and

a fastening die that forms, from the heated shaft part, a second head part opposing the first head part, and in which the intermediate piece serves as the fastener;

wherein:

the fiber-reinforced resin is a carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin; and

the shaft-body heater and the shaft-part heater are each a high-frequency induction coil capable of induction heating.


 
8. The fastening apparatus according to claim 6 or 7, wherein the shaft-body heater and the shaft-part heater are a single high-frequency induction coil.
 




Drawing








































Search report







Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description