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Mechanical joining techniques

ABB offers robotic solutions for the following mechanical joining techniques.

Do you want to know more? Contact us!


Robotic Hemming

Robotic Roller hemming combines standard industrial robots equipped with a standard roller hemming head that follows the contour of the outer flanges of a sheet metal component, optimally hemming it over an inner panel which is precisely nested in a die.

Robotic Roller Hemming is increasingly popular against established hemming methods because of its flexibility, low cost investment and simply to use. It is now widely used for front and rear doors, hoods, tailgates, liftgates, wheelhouse and sunroof panels.

ABB was one of the pioneers of Robotic Hemming. ABB’s roller hemming heads and tools combined with ABB robots superior motion control is a guarantee that you invest in a high performance robotic hemming solution.


Flexible Table Top Hemming

ABB’s Table Top Hemming provides a flexible and modular solution to improve hemming quality and increase body-in-white production speed.

This can reduce traditional table top hemming cycle time by up to 50 percent.
  • Table Top Hemming process is fast and accurate
  • Space needed is less than Press Hemming
  • Multiple material can be hemmed (eg. sheet steel and aluminum)
  • Flexible and precise process control
  • Excellent hemming quality
  • Low effort trial and commission
  • Short cycle time
  • Integration of additional operations possible
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Low noise operations
  • Maximum weight of hemming blade: 25 kg per hemming unit
  • Pre hemming force: up to 38KN / stroke 27mm
  • Final hemming force: up to 100KN / stroke 100mm
  • Down holding force: 11 KN (four devices)
  • Hemming flange angle: up to 105° (tested on 110 °)
  • Hemming time: 4 seconds
  • Cycle time (Docking + Hemming + Undocking): 14 seconds


Self-Piercing Riveting (SPR)

Self-piercing riveting (or punch riveting) is a high-speed mechanical joining technique for point joining of sheet material components.

A semi-tubular rivet is driven into the materials to be joined between a punch and die in a press tool. The rivet pierces the top sheet and the die shape causes the rivet to flare within the lower sheet to form a mechanical interlock.

  • Simple, one-step process with no pre-drilled holes required,
  • Fast automated operation
  • Suitable for many different materials and materials combinations
  • No fume or heat and low noise emission
  • Joining of more than two sheets possible

ABB has delivered many body shop using SPR joining technique.


Flow Drill Screwing (FDS)

Flow Drill Screwing is a method of fastening a plurality of parts together with the aid of heat from friction.

The Flow Drill Screw (FDS) driving system is a modular, self-contained unit, which interfaces directly with the robot controller to ensure accurate and repeatable positioning. It uses a sensor system to ensure that each screw is inserted with consistent torque and depth.

  • Easy to repair joint for material-mix solutions (steel vs Al; metal vs plastic)
  • Marginally lower force is required as compared to riveting; hence simpler tools

ABB has installed many FDS systems for lightweight car manufacturing companies.



Clinching is an important joining technique in the body-in-white industry, particularly for doors and hatches.

Also, different pairings of sheet metal, including, for instance, steel and aluminum, can be joined with this method without any problems.

Clinching is a cold forming process and does not require electricity or cooling of the electrodes commonly associated with spot welding.  Also, clinching is relatively environmental friendly as it does not generate sparks and fumes. This joining technique can also be used on metals & non-metals mix as long as the materials are ductile.

Clinching process is well known by ABB and has been used for years in bodyshops.


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