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Systems integration and compact size will be central themes of welding exhibits at NPE, where a wide range of new products will be displayed. There are new developments in most welding categories but the focus is on laser, ultrasonic, and infrared heating technologies.
In ultrasonic welding, Sonics & Materials is introducing the new XPress welder, an integrated unit with a microprocessor-controlled power supply built into the press. This saves space by eliminating a separate control box and cuts cost. Similarly, Telsonic Ultrasonics Inc. is launching the new IPA 3503 self-contained ultrasonic welding system, which integrates the power supply, actuator, controller, and other elements. Such compactness facilitates integration of ultrasonic welding into automated manufacturing lines or into custom ultrasonic systems with multiple welding heads.
Dukane’s new series of IQ ultrasonic welders has a digital power supply that is half the size of current models and an onboard ethernet connection that permits remote monitoring and troubleshooting. Dukane will also unveil a multi-point control system with special circuitry that doesn’t allow the ultrasonics to be activated when there is movement in the stack. This safety feature reduces the chance for fatigue and premature failure. Branson Ultrasonics will unveil the 2000X Series with new capabilities such as enhanced communications, remote networking, increased power, and a digital power supply.
A special ultrasonic seam welder from Stapla Ultrasonics will debut at NPE. It bonds films such as OPET, PP, and PE that are less than 0.006 in. thick. In trials, the 20-kHz unit has welded films as thin as 0.001 in. The process can run continuously at up to 50 ft/min.
Extol Inc. is claiming higher productivity for its new Model 1524 servo-driven hot plate welder with programmed force and distance control. The high-speed welder boasts a 50% cycle time reduction versus typical pneumatic and hydraulic versions.
In laser welding, Leister Technologies LLC is launching the Novolas Basic AT, a simple, inexpensive, entry-level system that is not intended for stand-alone use but for integration into automated systems. Unlike other laser welders, it relies on the main automation cell controller rather than its own separate controller. LPKF Laser & Electronics is showing the new LW-Power RT, a stand-alone laser system with two-station rotary table for shorter cycles.
Also in the limelight are new infrared welding systems, including Branson’s first of this type, the Model IR15V. Forward Technology is introducing the VHIR-1445, a vertical unit with hydraulic motion control. It joins parts up to 14 x 45 in. or multiple smaller parts. It boasts ultra-rigid construction that ensures part-to-part alignment as well as longer life for the infrared emitters and fast transitions between melting and welding steps for greater joint strength.