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Welding, Bonding & Assembly at NPE 2003

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New approaches to joining plastic parts will attract attention at this NPE, where an array of new models of many types will be at work and several new suppliers will be on hand. About a dozen new welders will be displayed, most in the ultrasonic, laser, and infrared heating categories. In laser welding, options not available before in North America are being offered by Dukane, as well as by German suppliers, Laser Quipment and MS Plastic Welders.

Highly visible at this NPE are systems for joining automotive assemblies. A new vibration welder from Branson Ultrasonics will join reduced-density nylon 6 air-intake manifolds made with Trexel Corp.’s MuCell microcellular foam technology. Bielomatik will show a robotic cell for assembling automotive fuel tanks. And MS Plastic Welders will show an ultrasonic welder that integrates into a production cell for assembly of entire instrument panels.

A large spread of specialty joining equipment is also set to debut, including a Wegener butt welder that’s said to be a breakthrough for combining sheets at right angles into boxes and tanks. And Leister Process Technologies will display an overlap heat-welding system for joining roof membranes and geomembranes, as well as a hot-air welder for fabrics and tarpaulins.