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May 1, 2000

7 Min Read

Booth S-3968

npe11.jpgWhat's Hot! Branson will introduce new equipment for each of the joining technologies it offers.

* The IRAM (Infrared Assembly Method) Laser Assembly System is based on the idea of passing light/laser radiation through one plastic component and designing the second component to absorb the laser light. By adding a small amount of an absorbent filler to the second component, energy is absorbed at the interface. This absorption results in heating and melting of the interface and with the application of a controlled clamp force, the parts are joined. The major breakthrough in IRAM technology is the ability to illuminate the entire welding surface simultaneously as compared to heating a single spot and moving the IR spot across the welding zone.

IRAM is said to have certain advantages over current methods for welding plastics. The most important of these is weld quality. Because the process is non-invasive, the parts typically have excellent cosmetic properties. Since there is no relative motion between the parts, no excitation or vibration, or large heated platens, only the weld area is heated and melted. Because the process can be easily controlled by varying the power of the IR beam, it is possible to accurately control the power dissipation within the weld. The end result is less flash and no particulate.

Another advantage is that the process has the ability to weld materials (including dissimilar material combinations) that have not been conducive to other welding technologies. These include polycarbonate, acrylic, polystyrene, ABS and elastomers.

Other benefits cited include speed and flexibility. A typical cycle time ranges between 3 and 5 sec, compared to hot plate welding which has a typical cycle time of 20 to 40 sec.

IRAM is also a 'pre-assembled' method. This means that the parts are placed into the machine in the same position and orientation as the final, assembled position. For some applications it is critical to allow sub-components to be held in place during the welding process without becoming dislodged.

Some of the initial applications being considered for IRAM are parts such as instrument panel clusters, reservoirs and marker lights for the automotive industry, as well as medical filters and electronic devices.

* The 2000f/aef ultrasonic welding system is said to offer superior control and multiple operating modes. The 2000f systems feature digital force setting, force stepping and digital velocity control. Conventional welding modes (distance, time, energy, energy compensation and peak power) are included. The system includes a user interface with a four-line vacuum fluorescent display designed for ease of use in setup, operation and troubleshooting. The system also has enhanced data capabilities for configuration and information management. Also included is an improved power supply with Branson's closed-loop circuitry.

The 2000f systems are available in 20, 30 and 40 kHz. The power supplies have increased power output for all frequencies: 20 kHz units are rated at 1100, 2200 and 3300 watts; 30 kHz units at 1500 watts; and 40 kHz units at 400 and 800 watts.

The system is designed for use in manual, semi-automated or fully automated operations. It can be used with most material handling devices and can be interfaced with external devices and controls (i.e., PLCs and PCs). The actuator can be mounted directly to a machine frame, with a fixed support on a column or hub, or as a stand-alone system on a base with ergonomic light-force palm button switches.

* The Series 40 welding system incorporates either a 900 or 2000 Series ultrasonic welder, a Camco indexer, system controls and an operator loading station. It is expandable to include dual welders, pick-and-place and/or leak testing capabilities.

It is capable of welding, staking, inserting, swaging or spot welding thermoplastics. Automatic cycling and air eject keep the operator's hands free for loading.

* The MC 10 ultrasonic welder has a servo-driven actuator under closed-loop control. With this configuration, Branson adds velocity control to the list of technologies it offers. The MC10 provides a solution to difficult-to-weld resins such as those with a low viscosity. The combination of closed-loop control and a servo driven actuator is said to allow control of the melt flow viscosity, leading to stronger welds, less flash and less particulate.

* The Ultrasonic Radial Actuator system is said to efficiently process thermoplastic textiles and films at speeds up to 1000 ft/min. It can function at a different speed than the anvil, which eliminates the dragging and puckering that sometimes occurs at high speeds. It is a compact, rigid 20 kHz unit that allows easy integration into assembly lines or other assembly equipment.

* The new M Series Model M624H vibration welder is a mid-range model in a series of high-power linear vibration welders. Unit employs the company's new two-phase digital drive, which is said to deliver higher power to the parts being welded.

* Model HV-15S hot plate welder uses a vertical heat platen, coupled with servo-driven holding fixtures, to give users greater control over weld results than is possible with conventional mechanical stops. Other features include a small footprint, a safety door, an automatic part pick-up, multiple zone temperature control and quick-change tooling.

* The SWServo2 Dual Servo spin welder, in which servos control both the spin and actuator down-stroke, creates a system capable of welding circular parts with accurate control. Unit also has 'angular spin' capability, a reciprocating angular motion that is said to allow parts with wires or other attachments that cannot be freely rotated to be welded.

A free-standing operator interface allows for the following adjustments: revolutions per minute, revolutions per cycle and hold time. The controller also monitors revolutions per minute, revolutions per cycle and motor torque for quality control reporting. Unit is designed for use in manual, semi-automated, or fully-automated operations.

Existing Products On Display will include:

* KVT Technologies, a subsidiary of Branson, has developed subassemblies and control systems for HDPE fuel tank finishing applications. Hot plate welding and chipless boring units will be displayed demonstrating key technologies utilized in typical fuel tank finishing machines. Advanced machine controls and a large variety of machine concepts will be featured in a touch screen graphic display unit.

* The Mini II vibration welder is a 3 x 3 ft system designed to accommodate and quickly weld small or irregularly-shaped thermoplastic parts up to 7 x 9 in. It can be mounted on casters and rolled over to a molding machine. The control package includes a meltdown option, a touch-pad to replace control knobs and a 50% increased drive force. An anodized brass frame and smoked acrylic enclosure house the unit and enable the user to view the operation from all angles. Additionally, its open design allows routine maintenance to be done quickly and easily.

* Model VW-4UH Ultra Hy-Line linear vibration welder is designed to weld parts up to 60 x 23 in. The compact unit employs the company's electromechanical vibrator and new digital drive controller. Windows NT-based software is included. Other features include a hydraulic lift and clamp system, which has two proportional valves to control the speed of the lift table and the clamp force applied to the parts, a linear displacement transducer for table positioning and meltdown, a self tuning frequency program, and SPC capabilities.

* Model 910-BCA in-line clamshell packaging system is said to eliminate the need for manual loading and unloading. Parts are simply scanned through. Adjustments for different configurations are easily made.

* Model FS-180 ultrasonic fabric sealing system seals knitted, woven and non-woven thermoplastic fabrics without adhesives, chemical binders, staples, needles or thread. The stand-alone system has been redesigned with the sealing anvil positioned above the work area, which allows the operator to more easily view the bond as it is created. Circle 197

Booth Personnel Rodger Martin

Key Contact Bonnie Stephens ­ Tel: 203-796-0400; Fax: 203-796-9838;
Web Site: www.Branson-PlasticsJoin.com 

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