Welding: New Heat Staking Technology for Complex Plastic Parts
Emerson’s new Branson GPX heat staking technology provides greater design freedom for joining challenging plastic parts.
A new heat staking technology that is designed to meet growing demand for complex plastic parts has been introduced by Emerson, Danbury, Conn. The Branson GPX platform, uses what is said to be a unique pulse staking technology that reportedly provides greater design freedom by enabling processors to join more complex, delicate and sensitive components to plastic moldings with superior aesthetics. (Whereas ultrasonics uses a vibration frequency to soften the plastic for thread insertion, heat staking entails the application of heat to the threaded insert, softening the plastic as it is pushed into the part.)
Electronics, automotive and medical device manufacturers must produce more creative designs to meet rapidly changing market demand. According to Emerson, this has led to an increase in challenging heat staking applications involving parts with more complex 3D geometries, closely aligned features and fragile or heat-sensitive components, such as soldered components or sensors, and using a greater number of blended, glass-reinforced, chromed and metallicized plastics.
The Branson GPX platform’s PulseStaker technology has been shown to provide instantaneous heating and cooling, with adjustable cycle times for optimized, low energy heat staking. The process creates no particulates or burn marks, and enables more delicate and sensitive parts, such as those with embedded electronics, to be joined with consistently high-performance finishes. The advanced technology is suitable for all heat staking applications, including those with thermoplastic materials and metalized coated parts. A wide range of heat staking tip designs, which can be adapted to meet any stake welding requirement, and the ability to stake multiple points simultaneously provide manufacturers with greater design freedom.
Laser welding is gaining acceptance as a specialized method for joining plastic parts that are sensitive (e.g., contain circuit boards), involve complex geometries, or have strict cleanliness requirements (medical devices). So far, most of this activity has taken place in Europe.
There were new presses of all stripes aplenty at K 2010, but the “wow” factor was supplied by automated work cells and integrated manu-facturing systems performing multiple operations before, during, and after molding.
Understand and address the likely origins of welding problems to keep production on track.