Automated assembly systems
Custom-designed automated assembly systems from The Arthur G. Russell Company, Inc. can accommodate comolded and coextruded components as well as complex multimaterial products that typically present material-handling challenges for bulk sorting and automated assembly. The systems feature variable processing speeds, enabling materials with different physical characteristics to be handled as they require. Adaptive feeding and handling systems specifically designed for each component’s nature prevent assembly problems that might arise with traditional feeding and assembly techniques, according to the company. Thus, these systems support the manufacture of multimaterial devices with components that incorporate regrind material or that offer such performance advantages as high core strength, optimized sound or vibration absorbency, and light weight.
The Arthur G. Russell Company, Inc.
Needle assembly system
An insulin needle assembly system developed by Kahle Automation can produce more than 1400 finished assemblies per minute. The high-efficiency line, designed for optimal cleanroom space utilization and high-volume production with full batch traceability, handles needles in various configurations and lengths and in gauges as small as 32G. It provides for the feeding and assembly of four components and the handling and application of six fluids, including in-line mixing and monitoring of three fluids necessary for product lubrication. The system also performs various printing and welding operations required to complete the assembly. To ensure 100% testing of critical device attributes in validating the components, the assembly system is equipped with eight in-line quality inspection stations and four integrated functional and destructive sampling inspection stations.
Servo-controlled ultrasonic welding systems
The expanded iQ line of servo-controlled ultrasonic welding systems from the Dukane Corp., Ultrasonics Div. consists of high-frequency 30-, 40-, and 50-kHz welders intended for smaller medical device parts such as valves, ports, filters, and implant components. A larger, 15- and 20-kHz, press platform is also available for bigger medical parts. The welders employ a proprietary new technology that precisely controls the collapse speed profile during the weld. This control capability allows deeper penetration of ultrasonic propagation into the bond area and creates a larger heat-affected zone, thus resulting in good repeatability, strong welds, and easy validation calibration. The smaller press system, with a power output of 600 to 1800 W, is suited for high-throughput, high-speed automation. The larger platform provides a higher clamping force and ranges from 3300 to 5000 W.
Dukane Corp., Ultrasonics Div.
St. Charles, IL
Desktop soldering systems
Desktop Bonder tabletop hot-bar reflow soldering systems from Miyachi Unitek Corp. are capable of performing reflow soldering, heat-seal bonding, anisotropic-conductive-film bonding, hot-bar bonding, and heat-staking operations for medical device assembly. The systems employ pneumatic bonding heads featuring proprietary pulsed-heat thermode technology that accelerates heating and cooling cycles to minimize the length of processing cycles. The thermode is an element that maintains coplanarity and resists the tendency toward deformation, which is characteristic of some bonding processes. A power supply for pulse-heated, selective soldering, conductive adhesive bonding, and thermocompression bonding provides targeted heating and controls temperature. Another design feature is the elimination of voltage drop: Current flows front to back rather than left to right, preventing damage to the parts being soldered. This series of soldering systems includes product-handling features to accommodate a range of applications and higher-throughput or higher-volume requirements.
Miyachi Unitek Corp.
Ultrasonic welding machines
The HiQ line of ultrasonic welding machines from Herrmann Ultrasonics Inc. includes the entry-level Logic all-digital system, the Vario unit with a choice of pneumatic drive modules featuring different stroke and cylinder diameters, and the flexible Dialog, which is based on a new pneumatic drive system. Various options and features allow users to configure the machines to suit individual requirements. Standard features of these systems, such as a proportional valve for force measurement and control and an encoder for displacement measuring, are complemented by higher levels of generator power than were previously available, according to the company. The machines additionally have ergonomics and safety controls that comply with the new EU Machine Directive, and other optional components facilitate compliance with the safety standards established in EN 13849 that take full effect at the beginning of 2012. They also offer user-friendly touch screen controllers that are all Unicode-capable for operation in multilingual work environments.
Herrmann Ultrasonics Inc.
Published in MPMN, June/July 2011, Volume 27, No. 5
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