The Select Coat SC-280 film coater for automated selective and precision application of conformal coating materials offers a fluid-transfer efficiency of better than 99%, which maximizes material utilization. Manufactured by Nordson Asymtek, the system selectively coats complex circuit boards in seconds, applying the coating material as a controlled, uniform film rather than an atomized spray. The material is directed under low pressure through a stainless-steel fluid path prior to reaching the point of atomization. This method eliminates the possibility of overspray and minimizes the masking and possible rework necessitated by conventional conformal coating processes, according to the company. Featuring a single-valve design and available in circulating and noncirculating versions, the coater handles viscosities of less than 100 cP and produces coatings 0.5 to 8 mil thick from solvent-based materials.
Robotic Feeding System
Designed as a compact alternative to bulky bowl feeding systems, the TaskMate flexible feeding system from ESS Technologies Inc. does not require custom engineering and can be configured to handle a variety of products without component changeover to accommodate different part sizes. The small-footprint programmable system incorporates a high-speed multiaxis robot with an in-house-designed end-of-arm tool (EOAT). It also includes an impulse-based flexible feeder integrated with a machine vision system made by the robot manufacturer. The feeder flips or recirculates parts into the robot’s pick zone, from which they are picked regardless of orientation. Suitable for pick-and-place assembly operations, the EOAT can be designed to handle products of almost any configuration.
ESS Technologies Inc.
Bar Code Reader
Fiber-Laser Cutting Systems
CL-900-series laser cutting systems from Cincinnati Inc. combine a solid-state fiber-laser source with a 12,000-in./min linear-motor axis drive system. Intended for sheet-metal processing, the easy-to-use systems cut mild steel at rates faster than those achievable using conventional lasers, according to their manufacturer. They come with bed sizes of 5 × 10 ft and 6 × 12 ft and with a PC-based control interface that includes the manufacturer’s programming and nesting software. In addition, they are equipped with a Webcam for monitoring the cutting process. The fiber laser can eliminate the CO2 laser maintenance costs associated with laser gas, internal optics, glassware, blowers, and vacuum pumps. And by delivering the beam via a flexible glass fiber, the systems eliminate the need for external mirrors, bellows, and a beam purge gas as well. Fiber lasers also concentrate more energy on the processing zone than other technologies, resulting in agile, high-efficiency, high-volume cutting of intricate shapes and design features.
Diode Laser Bars
Introducing diode laser bars in two new wavelengths, Dilas Diode Laser Inc. provides laser-beam sources covering the spectrum between 1 and 2 µm in 1064, 1210, 1320, 1470, 1550, and 1940-nm wavelengths. These fiber-coupled diode laser modules are based on conduction-cooled diode laser arrays and generate output power of 12, 25, 40, and 100 W by means of a standard single-core 600-µm fiber with a numerical aperture below 0.22 and an SMA-905 fiber connector. Easily integrated into OEM equipment, the sealed modules can be incorporated into all of the manufacturer’s packages, ranging from single-bar configurations to large-scale stack modules that can contain hundreds of high-power bars. They offer wall plug efficiencies exceeding 40%.
Dilas Diode Laser Inc.
Laser Structuring System
The Fusion3D 1100 laser structuring system from LPKF Laser & Electronics is designed to create 3-D circuits by scanning laser-activated resin. Also used to structure molded interconnect devices in small-volume production, the easy-to-install system can be incorporated into any work environment because of its compact size. The system employs laser direct-structuring technology and molded-interconnect-device technology to combine mechanical structures and electronic circuits in a single 3-D part. Molded-interconnect-device technology consists of circuit traces embedded into molded thermoplastics to create an electrical pathway. In laser structuring, the circuit pattern is written directly on the molded piece, and conductive paths are plated by means of electroless technology, adhering only to areas where the plastic has been activated by the laser beam.
LPKF Laser & Electronics
The Fisnar DV509 heavy-duty pneumatically operated dispensing valve for medical device assembly applications is offered by Intertronics. A lightweight diaphragm valve designed for precise flow control of low- to medium-viscosity liquids, this device can run around the clock. Its PTFE diaphragm separates wetted parts from the air supply, a design feature that makes the valve suitable for dispensing cyanoacrylates, reagents, UV adhesives, paints, inks, solvents, glues, electrolytes, alcohol, and other volatile substances. Offering flow rates up to 5 ml/sec and precise shots as small as 0.0001 ml delivered at speeds to 200 cpm, the dispensing valve can apply dots, lines, arcs, and circles for gaskets and for potting, filling, and shielding components. Variants with stainless-steel and ultra-high-molecular-weight polymer bodies and diaphragms are also available.
Kidlington, Oxon, UK
Benchtop Plasma Cleaner
Plasma Etch Inc. has designed the PE-50 XL benchtop plasma cleaner to have all of the features of the predecessor PE-50 model while offering a larger working area of 8 × 8 × 4 in. to allow the processing of larger manufactured items. The workspace is an implosion-proof welded-aluminum vacuum chamber. Suitable for cleaning medical devices, the easy-to-operate, environmentally friendly system can be employed in a range of facilities, including production and testing areas, R&D departments, and laboratories.
Plasma Etch Inc.
Carson City, NV
Spectrum Technologies’ high-speed, high-specification laser wire strippers belonging to the Sienna 700 series are designed for precision medical device applications such as the manufacture of ultrasound cable assemblies and probes. Offered as an advancement over earlier strippers in the series, these wire processors feature such performance capabilities as optical motion up to 10 in./sec, strip position accuracy of ±0.008 in., and strip-quality repeatability. A new touch screen human–machine interface facilitates programming of power, speed, depth of focus, and pattern combinations. In addition, high-precision control software enables interpolated movements that allow such complex patterns as diagonals and curves to be stripped on single-core wires, twin leads, twisted pairs, multiconductors, and shielded and ribbon cables. The manufacturer has improved interconnectivity by providing an Ethernet connection. USB connection and memory card slots enable job uploading and downloading from a laptop or PC.
Offered by Kurt Manufacturing Co., the MaxLock 350 multiaxis work-holding vise provides the Anglock design feature for minimizing stationary jaw deflection. The vise is suitable for clamping parts, enabling users to achieve continuous, high-precision, high-speed five-axis machining of complex pockets, contoured surfaces, and intricate 3-D features. Designed to keep part lift to a minimum, the vise holds workpieces rigidly for close-tolerance repeatability in all axes and to ensure repeatable accuracy. It also delivers up to 10,000 lb of clamping force at 60 ft-lb of input torque. Constructed from precision-machined steel components, the modularly designed system features a 0.625-in. stroke and can be adjusted to handle any clamping length. In addition, it comes with 8-, 12-, 18-, and 24-in.-long screws and offers jaw opening capability between 0.5 and 15.5 in. It is designed for flexible, quick alignment, has a guard to keep chips out of the clamping mechanism, and comes with optional accessories.
Kurt Manufacturing Co.
PartMaker Version 2011 software from PartMaker Inc. is suitable for programming CNC milling machines, lathes, wire-type electrical-discharge machines, mill-turn centers, and Swiss-type lathes. Capable of remembering the tool, material, and process data necessary for machining individual part features efficiently, the knowledge-based machining system can be used in such applications as the manufacture of implantable orthopedic devices. The software supports productivity by placing an emphasis on tool management functions. For example, the developer created the patented Visual Programming Approach for programming multiaxis lathes with live tooling, a technique designed to accelerate learning and enhance ease of use. The software includes an optional module for 3-D-model design and repair, better tool inventory management, automated programming of bar-fed mills, an improved documentation wizard, and faster
Fort Washington, PA