Product Spotlight: Fast and Flexible Assembly and Printing

Bigger and better best describe new lines of assembly equipment. Equipment manufacturers have ramped up the power range, allowing larger parts to be joined in faster cycle times with greater flexibility. New printing systems for flexible film offer higher resolution and easy operation.

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May 1, 2003 by Canadian Plastics

THE HIGHEST POWER ultrasonic assembly system commercially available will be introduced at NPE this year by Branson Ultrasonics Corp. The 6000 Watt system provides the ability to weld larger parts, enables faster welding cycles and accommodates continuous processing. The company will also demonstrate a 3-headed sequencing system, which it says is a cost-effective way to perform multiple ultrasonic operations where overall cycle times are not important.

Two linear vibration welders will also be featured at the Branson booth. The Mini II has the smallest footprint in the industry (3 ft. x 4 ft.) and is capable of welding parts 7 in. long by 9 in. wide. As well, the M Series Model M624H welder will be demonstrating the welding of a nylon6/MuCell intake manifold. The M Series comes with a new digital drive which allows the delivery of higher power and the ability to weld parts up to 70 sq. in. A touch screen graphic user interface incorporates high-level control technology, including SPC, alarm history and amplitude/pressure profile. The M Series can be easily reconfigured and retooled to accept multiple applications.

The company will also demonstrate the SWServo2, a precision servo-driven spin welding system for welding parts with a circular interface. Servos control both the spin and actuator downstroke. The SWServo2 also has Angular Spin capability — a reciprocating angular motion that allows the welding of parts with wires or other attachments that restrict full rotation. The unit provides full control over the spin axis and the z axis and features a touch-screen interface with weld data and graphing features.

Branson Ultrasonics 905-475-4640

HIGH RESOLUTION PRINTING of packages is possible with FlexPrint. This state-of-the-art flexographic printing system provide high-resolution single- and two-color printing on Tyvek paper and all types of plastic film. The unit is available with both traditional friction drive and new servo drive motors. Three different models provide print areas from 14 in. to 24 in. and print speeds up to 40 cycles per minute. FlexPrint comes with an Ink Management System as standard equipment. The unit can be machine bed or top mounted and is easily retrofit on all horizontal form/fill/seal packaging machines.

Bell-Mark Corporation 973-882-0202

A NEW NON-CONTACT welding process produces minimum thermal stress. Leister’s Novolas laser welding/soldering systems utilize diode laser technology that is especially suited for joining plastic materials with different optical absorption at the laser wavelength. The laser system eliminates the need for consumables and is ideal for joining thermoplastic materials without producing particulates, contaminates or vibration. In welding, light penetrates the transparent component and is absorbed by the non-transparent component, where it is converted into heat. The two plastics melt at the interface and welding is effected by applying external pressure with a clamping fixture.

“We are able to handle most customer requests for application development of laser welding of plastic by utilizing Leister Laser’s fully equipped laser laboratory in Illinois,” says Paul Subject, president of Stanmech Technologies Inc., Canadian representative of Leister Laser.

Stanmech Technologies Inc. 905-631-6161

MULTI-COLOR IMAGES are easily produced by Cassco Machines’ HPS 100 Series systems. The multi-color heat transfer systems are designed to produce high-quality single- or multi-color images on a wide variety of substrates and parts. The systems, which can be easily integrated into automated manufacturing cells, are capable of printing numbers, bar codes, OCR characters and decorative images.

In factories where space is at a premium, multi-color heat transfer can be applied by a machine which is only 5 in. wide and is mounted on rails for easy maneuvering around equipment. The process is ideal for unattended operation as it requires no inks, solvents or thinners.

Cassco Machines 416-445-3790

THE NEW K1 ULTRASONIC plastic welding system incorporates advanced technology originally developed to support high-precision ultrasonic metal welding applications in the automotive, appliance and electronic industries. The K1 system combines Stapla’s plastic welder with a state-of-the-art controller.

The welder has an operating frequency of 20 kHz and a wide operating range of 3000 W. The generator, once programmed, permits one-button operation. The K1 combines precision with flexibility to control time, energy and both absolute and relative weld depth. The system features a user-friendly controller with a key switch on the input panel for selecting the operation level, an indexed exchange system for welding tools, and self-calibrating force measurement. Automatic data adjustment assures repetitive welding results. Other key features include self-diagnostics, automatic tool protection and an optional touch screen PC control unit.

Stapla Ultrasonics Corp. 978-658-9400


Gentex Corporation and Branson Ultrasonics have partnered to commercialize a patented new technology for laser welding clear, colored and opaque thermoplastics. The process, called Clearweld, uses near-infrared absorbing material systems to convert laser energy into heat. A thin layer of these materials applied at the interface of two pieces of plastic to be joined absorbs the light, acting as a focal point for the laser. Localized heating of the substrates occur at the joint interface, producing an instant weld with no material deformation. The result is a weld that is free of particulates, flash and unwanted color. The process, which will be demonstrated by Gentex at NPE, is ideal for micro-fluidics to electronic packaging applications.

Gentex Corp. 570-282-8631

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