M18 Smoke Grenade Fuze Torque System
Prior to reaching the Fuze Torque System, the smoke grenade cans are assembled with smoke pellets, starter patches are applied and the cap is sealed to the top of the can. The can then passes through the painting process and is stenciled with the relevant information regarding the smoke color, precautions and lot identification.
At this point, the grenade can is placed onto a conveyor that transports it to the loading station of the Grenade Fuze Torque Machine. The grenade loading station automatically places two grenade bodies simultaneously onto a custom-tooled precision indexing carousel conveyor.
This carousel conveyor indexes the cans to the next station where two cans are simultaneously rotated in front of (2) line scan cameras. These cameras check the silk screened nomenclature printed onto the can. After checking the silk screening, the cans are indexed into the placement station for the fuzes.
If any of the grenades fail inspection at this or any of the following stations, the grenade will be indexed to the reject removal station for removal from the machine. No other operations will be performed on the grenade after it has been rejected by an inspection station.
The fuzes are manually removed from their packaging and placed onto custom carrier fixtures that transport the fuzes to the automated placement station.
An automated pick and place manipulator picks 2 fuzes from the carrier fixtures and places them into custom-designed tooling that suspends them over the smoke grenade with the threaded nose of the fuze aligned with the threaded hole in the can lid. If a grenade was rejected by one of the line scan cameras, the automated fuze placement station will not put a fuze in the fixture above that grenade. The carousel indexes the grenades and fuzes into the torque station.
Pneumatic grippers, mounted to two independent servo-driven slides, advance and grip the two grenade cans from the underside and screw the body of the grenade onto the fuze to a preselected torque.
After the fuze has been torqued to the grenade, the fuze is automatically checked at the following stations for the presence and angle of the fuze pin and the pull ring, the presence or absence of the sealing washer, and the construction and position of the hinge pin in the fuze. If the vision stations accept the assembled smoke grenade, the grenade is allowed to proceed to the pack-out area. If the assembled grenade is rejected at any station, it is removed from the line at the reject station and held for further manual inspection.