Laser Splicing System Eliminates the Need for Rethreading

Author: 
Bob Michaels
Exhibiting the ability to splice materials down to 0.002 in. thick, a laser cutting and welding machine is suitable for fabricating disposable devices.

Productivity gains are essential to manufacturers of medical devices. To optimize tool uptime in stamping operations used to fabricate medical device parts, Joining Technologies has introduced a new splicing system that it says will reduce downtime and eliminate the need for time-consuming rethreading procedures.

“[Users] can benefit from our Infinite Web 355 system for at least two reasons,” remarks Dave Hudson, president of Joining Technologies. “Component manufacturers can enjoy longer oscillate-wound spools offered by coil suppliers that use our system. This means longer machine uptime between coil changes and less rethreading. In addition, by eliminating rethreading, the machine, when it is used on a stamping line, can reduce downtime and the risk of damaging tooling that can result from rethreading.”

To run the machine, an operator places the trailing edge of a threaded coil and the leading edge of a virgin coil into the system. The system then automatically laser-cuts each coil end for proper alignment, brings them together, and welds them. It enables users to avoid rethreading by splicing a new coil to an existing, already-threaded coil. Once joined, the coils move as one web through the machine, eliminating the need for additional threading. “Our system essentially creates an infinitely long web,” Hudson says. “Hence the name.”

The Infinite Web 355 system represents a quantum leap in splicing equipment technology, according to Hudson. “While our system is able to splice materials as thin as 0.002 in., other portable systems can splice materials only 0.005 in. and larger.” Another advantage of the system is its single-head configuration. “Conventional splicing equipment incorporates separate heads to perform cutting and welding operations,” Hudson says. “But the Infinite Web 355 is designed with a single head for cutting and welding metal components.”

With the ability to service multiple converting lines, the mobile, stand-alone machine requires only one electrical input and minimal operator involvement, Hudson notes. Its industrial PC–based control system features a touch screen interface, canned programs for selected alloys, and proprietary self-diagnostics to ensure optimal uptime. “The unit can handle most iron- and nickel-based alloys—steels and stainless steels—with thicknesses up to 0.040 in. and widths ranging from 0.125 to 14.0 in.,” Hudson comments. “It also achieves weld penetration of 100% and tensile strengths of 60 to 95% of the base material.”

“The system can process components for any kind of medical device that is made from coil stock,” Hudson says. “Typically, it is used to process parts for disposable devices.”
Joining Technologies Inc.
East Granby, CT
www.joiningtech.com