Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Dukane’s ISTeP – New member of Eastman Tritan Medical Toolkit

Dukane's Industrial Standard Test Part (ISTeP), a two-piece cylindrical part designed to test various characteristics of different resins and plastic welding processes, is the new addition to the Eastman TritanTM Medical Toolkit. Each application in the Medical Toolkit demonstrates key attributes TritanTM offers in the medical device and packaging markets.
Eastman TritanTM Medical Toolkit with Dukane’s ISTeP
Complex medical devices often require secondary operations to complete the assembly or fabrication process of molded or otherwise formed parts, which includes bonding, welding and various other joining methods. TritanTM offers a unique combination of toughness and chemical resistance that makes these molded or formed components well suited to secondary operations that complete the assembly or fabrication process. ISTePs made with TritanTM have been successfully assembled using a variety of welding methods including servo driven ultrasonic welding and the recently developed 2-micron laser welding process that allows joining clear unfilled thermoplastic without the need for any absorbing additives.
ISTeP is replacing the I-beam test part that was previously in the Medical Toolkit.  ISTeP’s unique design facilitates a number of testing techniques in which medical device manufacturers can evaluate performance of specific resins, joint designs and welding methods for their particular applications. The ISTeP mold is designed for even filling, preventing warping, sink marks, and ensures consistent wall thickness. The mold design also includes an insert to allow molding of numerous varieties of weld joint designs. Three tabs on the top and three on the bottom portion of the part make it easy to place it into a tensile test fixture. When the welded ISTeP comes apart during the tensile testing, the assembly will do so evenly, avoiding the so-called ‘zipper effect’. An integral port in the lower portion of the part makes it easy to insert an air tube for a static pressure test or burst testing. The ISTeP design also allows for measuring part height before and after welding, determining actual collapse distance. Following video demonstrates ultrasonic welding, pull & leak testing of ISTeP.
The ISTeP injection mold is available upon request from Dukane for firms wanting test parts molded with an alternate material available in Eastman’s family of resins. For more information on Dukane’s ISTeP and other ultrasonic welding products, contact ussales@dukane.com or call 630-797-4900 and for Eastman TritanTM contact tritanexperts@eastman.com or call 423-229-2000.



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Dukane presenting at The 46th Annual Ultrasonic Industry Association Symposium


UIA 46
The Ultrasonic Industry Association (UIA) is a unique association that brings together manufacturers of ultrasonic equipment, users of ultrasonic equipment, and academicians and researchers involved in ultrasonics. UIA has perfectly managed to blend academic and industrial world interests to boost a wonderful discipline. UIA Symposia are places where one can meet professionals, who practices various non-traditional applications for power ultrasonics. Dukane has been supporting UIA from its early days. Leo Klinstein, VP of Engineering and R&D, has represented Dukane on UIA’s Board since 2005. Annual Symposiums are one of the many ways UIA offers companies access to key influencers in the international ultrasonic community. The 46th Annual UIA Symposium will be held in Dresden, Germany from April 24th-26th of 2017. This event will offer a global focus on the latest advances in ultrasonics in Europe, US and beyond. Leo Klinstein from Dukane, USA and Thomas Daue from Smart Material Corporation /Smart Material GmbH, Germany chair the Symposium. The Monday Medical session chairs are Jay Sheehan, Integra Life Sciences, US and Klaus Van Jenderka, Physik, Sensorik und Ultraschalltechnik, Germany. The Tuesday Workshop chair is Dominick DeAngelis, Kulicke & Soffa Industries, Inc., US. Poster session chair is Margaret Lucas, University of Glasgow. The Wednesday Industrial session chairs are Leo Klinstein, and Rasmus Lou-Moeller, Meggitt, Denmark.

Presenting Dynamic Hold Capability of Servo-Driven Ultrasonic Welding

iQ Servo


Leo Klinstein, will present recent study conducted by him and his team to utilize dynamic hold capability of servo-driven ultrasonic welders during the cooling phase of the ultrasonic welding process. Ultrasonic welding of thermoplastic is widely used by many industries to fuse together two parts in a short time without introducing additional consumables such as fasteners, adhesives, or solvents. Recent development of servo-driven ultrasonic welders, as opposed to pneumatically driven welding machines, introduces unique levels of control throughout the welding cycle. This study focuses on the final phase of the welding process, i.e., the hold cycle, and the benefits that the servo-driven ultrasonic welders can provide to this final phase by controlling both hold distance and the velocity at which this final phase is accomplished.

The ultrasonic welding cycle is divided into four separate phases, contact, heating, melting of the joint detail and cooling or hold phase. Hold phase is critically important for the joint quality.  During this phase, the weld is actually formed and intermolecular bonds and final microstructure responsible for the joint strength are established.

Leo’s presentation would investigate effects of the hold phase settings on weld’s quality with the aim to alleviate the lack of scientifically based recommendations in setting the parameters of both hold distance and velocity during this phase. It would present and compare test results of not only several hold distances but also the velocities used to achieve them. Dukane’s servo ultrasonic welding equipment with patented Melt-Match® technology will be demonstrated at the event. Bob Aldaz, Zdenek Vondra and Veronica Pekarska from Dukane will also attend the symposium.

Symposium Exhibitor and Sponsor Information

There are four sponsorship packages available, each with different levels of access to exposure in the Vibrations newsletter, UIA website and more. Here is the complete information about the UIA Sponsorship Opportunities. Once you have decided your level of participation, complete the registration form for Exhibits and Sponsors.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Monitor the performance of your Vibration Welding System by utilizing Dukane's patented 'Q' Factor Technology

Dukane’s patented ‘Q' factor technology for Linear Vibration Welders is an algorithm  to help users monitor and maintain the quality of a welding system over its lifetime. ‘Q’ factor is calculated using the resonant frequency of the welding head  of the vibration welder and the time between which its amplitude reaches its peak and declines to half of its peak amplitude. In other words, ‘Q’ factor determines how many cycles of the resonant frequency does it take for the welding amplitude to decline in half. This is system’s resonance quality factor, which determines how quickly a weld fixture’s amplitude decays. The longer it takes for the weld fixture to decay, the higher is the ‘Q’ factor.
Dukane's 5000 Series Vibration welder
Dukane's 5000 Series Vibration Welder

The Plastic Industry uses linear vibration welders to weld two plastic components, by creating linear oscillatory motion of one part relative to another part. The parts are brought together by force, the oscillatory motion generates heat, which melts the adjacent surfaces of the plastic parts and creates a weld after the parts cool. The vibratory movement of one part relative to another part is generated by two electromagnets positioned between moveable and stationary part of the welder. Both electromagnets apply force along the same coordinate line, but in opposite directions. The electromagnets are energized with a 180-degree phase shift so that when the first electromagnet is energized, the second one is de-energized and vice versa.


HMI Screen showing 'Q' Factor
HMI Screen showing 'Q' Factor 
It is important to maintain the frequency of the energizing cycle at the resonant frequency of the movable mechanical part of the welder. This allows for maximum energy transfer to the parts being welded. Any decrease in the ‘Q’ value would indicate that something has deteriorated in the system and that the maximum energy is not been transferred to the plastic components. A typical value of the Q factor for a vibration welder is between 100 and 260. The higher value indicates a more robust system that runs more efficiently with fewer energy losses and is more reliable. This value is measured and stored in the machine process controller (or HMI) during factory testing. As machine ages, the Q factor is monitored and compared to the original value. A decrease can serve as an early warning of the improper tool installation or machine/tool deterioration.

Vibration welders are key  investments for many manufacturers.  Therefore, manufacturers seek ways to optimize their use and get better ROI on these machines. One of the ways to do so is to rotate tools on the same machine and weld various plastic assemblies. However, the challenge is to monitor and maintain the quality of tools and their proper installation during tooling changes. Calculating and storing the ‘Q’ value for each tool helps in monitoring proper installation. When a user changes the tool, a new ‘Q ‘value is calculated, which serves as a quantitative measure of the tool quality. Difference between original ‘Q’ value stored at the time of factory testing of the tool and the new calculated ‘Q’ value after installation at plant floor can indicate improper installation.

‘Q’ factor of a welder is a function of the quality of its springs, coils, lamination carriers, drives, and the actual upper tooling. While springs, coils, lamination carriers and drives have good repeatability and tight tolerances (since they are standard components shared among the machines), the upper tooling is unique to every part being welded. Therefore, the quality of the tooling design, manufacturing, and installation can have a significant effect on the overall welder performance.

For more information of Dukane's Vibration Welding technology and products visit http://www.dukane.com/us/PVI_VibeWeld.htm or call 630-797-4900.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

New White Paper at SPE Events - A Great Platform for Plastic Industry

iQ Series Servo driven Ultrasonic Welding System
with patented Melt-Match® and Melt-Detect™
features
Dukane is participating at two upcoming SPE (Society of Plastics Engineers) events, ANTEC® and SPE Decorating & Assembly Division Topical Conference of 2016. We are presenting a paper on “Generating Stronger and Reliable Ultrasonically Welded parts by Utilizing Advanced Melt Flow Controls of Servo Driven Ultrasonic Welding Equipment.” Chief Engineer for Advanced Technologies, Dr. Alexander Savitski and Sr. Application Engineer, Mr. Kenneth Holt will represent Dukane at these events. 

Attendees will benefit by learning the advanced control capabilities offered by the servo-driven system. Ultrasonic welding of thermoplastics is widely used by many industries to fuse together two parts in a short time without additional consumables. Development of servo-driven ultrasonic welders introduces unique levels of control.  This paper pursues previous research and investigates the capabilities of iQ Series Servo driven ultrasonic welders to produce stronger welds. The focus is to develop a more robust and controlled joining process for medical devices that increases the strength and reliability of welds without fully collapsing the joint or creating excessive weld flash.
  
During a typical ultrasonic welding cycle most of the plastic melting takes place in the energy director body, and its molten material forms a bond. Generating maximum weld strength when using pneumatic welding systems typically requires that the weld distance be set close to the nominal energy director height, so the energy director is completely melted. Failure to achieve full melt often results in lower strength, incomplete welds, and poor appearance of welded assemblies. As the actual height of the energy director varies, there is always a risk that some of the parts with a shorter energy director will have excessive flash, and if the programmed weld distance is reduced to avoid that, then there is a risk of generating non-hermetic welds. This paper investigates the effect of weld velocity profiling on developing a more robust and controlled joining process capable of achieving strong and reliable welds without fully collapsing the joint while minimizing the risk of excessive flash.  

ANTEC Indianapolis 2016
Experiments were completed in which the weld velocity was varied, and the resulting strength and appearance of the welds were evaluated against the intense requirements of the medical industry. Analysis of weld cross sections suggests that higher weld strength was associated with a linearly increasing weld velocity profile.

Details and key findings of these experiments will be shared at these events. ANTEC® 2016, produced by the SPE (Society of Plastics Engineers) is the largest, most respected, and well-known technical conference in the plastics industry. This year it will be held in Indianapolis, IN from Mar 23rdth – 25th. Dukane has been a part of ANTEC® for a significant number of years. SPE Decorating & Assembly Division Topical Conference will be held in Franklin, TN from June 5th-7th. TopCon will include more than 20 papers on the latest technologies in plastics decorating and assembly. 

Please find the white paper by visiting http://www.dukane.com/us/WP-Servo-driven-ultrasonic-welding.htm or call 630-797-4902 for more info. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Success Story about Team Work and Tenacity - Vibration Welding Toyota Tonneau Cover

Dukane feeling honored and proud to be part of this award winning team for Tonneau cover assembly on the 2016 Toyota Tacoma pickup. This winning team in eleven months designed and created a Tonneau cover that is not only flexible and light weight but also provides the required strength and security to the end user. All these unique features have made the Tonneau cover a winner in Parts Competition in Exterior Trim Category at 2015 SPE TPO Automotive Engineered Polyolefins Conference.   

SPE Trophy for the winning team 
New Toyota Tonneau cover has a trifold design, which can be easily secured or removed from the vehicle. Thermoplastic polyolefins is injection molded to form the upper and lower panel of these three folds. Injection molding was the choice, to get consistent thin wall and dimensional stability.  Further these panels are trimmed for additional weight savings. Aluminum bars, “T” nuts and nut plates are placed on the panels for required strength.  All the three panels have more weld area on the right and left side to prevent the use of a crow bar to pick up or pry open the assembly and provides security from theft.

Initially, leading suppliers of Vibration Welding technology from the plastic welding industry, including Dukane, felt that this application was a low frequency weld application. Due to the high cost of the low frequency Vibration Welders and the extra expense required to build the larger tooling, it was evident that using low frequency equipment would be a very expensive way to weld these panels.  However, Dukane’s technical experts kept an open mind and tested the application using both high and low frequency Vibration Welders, proving it could be done by a high frequency welder.  Finally, Dukane built a standard 240 Hz Dukane Vibration Welding machine and kept the cost to a minimum.

Two versions of the assemblies were designed one for short bed truck and another for long bed truck. Dukane built three panels per version which means six vibration tools to weld the six individual parts. Dukane’s customer Nyloncraft, welds these parts in batches. The quick tool change feature of Dukane’s Vibration Welders allow Nyloncraft to weld all the three panels of bed cover using the same welder. Tools are typically changed in less than ½ an hour much less than the changing of the mold tools.

Inductive part sensing capabilities of Dukane’s Vibration Welders are used to make sure that all aluminum bars, “T” nuts and nut plates are placed securely before welding the upper and lower parts. Dukane’s proprietary HMI software is programmed to look for upto 15 parts before welding the upper and lower molds of the cover panels. There is somewhere between 55 and 70 square inches of weld area on each assembly.  Some panels are larger so they are closer to the 70 square inches of weld.

Initial challenges on this project were met with team work, persistence and clear vision. The result is an award winning product that helps Toyota meet stringent CAFÉ (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards for mpg of fleet vehicles.

For more information on Dukane's Vibration Welding technology visit http://www.dukane.com/us/PVI_VibeWeld.htm or call 630-797-4902

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Intelligent Assembly Solutions for Medical Devices

Medical devices are complex by nature and designed to assist in healing the human body. Therefore, these devices have the highest quality standards and are subject to stringent regulations.   In addition, staying cost effective and employing sustainable manufacturing practices are emerging needs for Medical Device Manufacturers (MDM).  Dukane, as a provider of assembly solutions to MDM industry recognizes these requirements and provides its customers with the most advanced assembly solutions and plastic welding technology.   Dukane’s equipment options are designed to provide the best quality welds for the most complex of medical devices and components. Dukane’s welding systems are FDA compliant and offer advance process controls, which increase repeatability, deliver consistent part geometry, and reduce scrap rates. In addition, Dukane collaborates with MDM clients to provide technical expertise in assembly method selection, assistance in joint design, feasibility studies, welding systems validation and calibration.

Dukane’s iQ Series Servo Driven Ultrasonic Welder, with patented Melt-Match® technology, has a proven track-record of delivering quality results in welding medical parts like valves, ports, filters, surgical instruments and implant devices.  iQ Servo’s patented process control features like Melt-Detect™ confirms the presence of the molten material in the contact area before prompting the press to initiate downward movement. This is especially important in welding small parts and assemblies, which requires hermetic seal, as it eliminates the risk of deforming the energy director before melt is initiated, which could result in a leak path and “cold welds”.


View this video to understand Dukane's patented Melt-Detect™ feature of iQ Servo Ultrasonic Technology

The Melt-Detect™ also enables a user to accurately establish the necessary amplitude required by specific material properties and part configuration by using welder’s graphical output. This authentic approach for amplitude setting allows the user to apply just the right amount of ultrasonic energy that is needed to initiate the melt, avoiding excessive heating and material degradation in the weld. This is especially important for building filter assemblies, where excessive amplitude is associated with tiny pin-holes occurring in the filter media.

Medical Devices and Components Assembled using Dukane's Welding Technologies
In addition, iQ Servo technology eliminates the variability associated with pneumatic press components resulting in improved process repeatability and accuracy, which results in fewer rejects for manufacturers. The elimination of compressed air in Dukane’s ultrasonic welding systems significantly simplifies equipment installation and lowers manufacturing cost.

Watch Dukane's Laser Welder in action

Dukane’s Laser welding systems are capable to weld clear-to-clear and clear-to-colored parts, including typical tube-to-tube-and tube-to-port assemblies. In general, the laser welding technique is dependent on the upper component being transparent to the laser and having the presence of an absorbing agent in the lower component.  This configuration limits the process applicability for manufacturing medical devices when a "clear-to-clear" or a "clear-to-colored" assembly is required. Dukane engineers have successfully overcome this obstacle by integrating a recently developed 2-micron laser. This laser produces a beam which is greatly absorbed by clear polymers and enables a highly controlled melting through the thickness of optically clear parts. This has resulted in a greatly improved and simplified technique for laser welding of clear polymers for the medical device industry, which now can fully capitalize on benefits of this advanced Laser assembly process.

For more information on Dukane’s Welding technology and technical expertise call 630-797-4900 or visit http://www.dukane.com/us/AP_Med.htm


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Servo driven Ultrasonic Welding technology provides sophisticated results in assembling Mini Medical Device

A leading medical device manufacturer uses Dukane’s iQ Series Servo Ultrasonic Welding System to produce high-quality results in assembling small, delicate Test Strips.  These Test Strips are used to measure a person’s Total Cholesterol, HDL, Glucose and Triglycerides.  Assembling small medical devices, like these Test Strips, requires precise, repeatable and consistent process control.  The Test Strips are made of two thin layers of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) film.  Between the two PET layers is a mesh membrane infused with the diagnostic chemical.  

Prior to investing in Dukane’s iQ Servo Ultrasonic Welder technology, the biggest challenge for this manufacturer was misalignment of the thin PET films during the assembly process.  Scrap rate was more than 30%.  The iQ Series Servo Ultrasonic Welding System with patented Melt-Match® technology solved the assembly alignment problems and provided accurate, repeatable and reliable process.  By using the digital process control from the iQ Series Servo Ultrasonic Welders, they have produced 20+ million Test Strip assemblies in less than three years while reducing their scrap rate to less than 5%.  

iQ Series Servo Ultrasonic Welding System
Multiple parameters are available for defining the weld cycle sequence for iQ Servo systems.  For this application, the iQ Servo system is programmed to trigger the weld cycle using minimal force.  As each weld cycle is initiated, the ultrasonic horn descends towards the assembly at a fast rate of speed.  Then, approximately 1.0 mm above the assembly, the horn slows down to a programmed, controlled speed prior to coming in contact with the Test Strip.  This is when the iQ Series Servo Melt-Match® feature is initiated.  This is best described as when the system reaches the programmed trigger force value on the Test Strip, the horn’s downward movement stops and the ultrasonics start vibrating the horn to soften the PET material.  Next, the system’s load cell detects a programmed drop in force, indicating that parts have begun to melt.  At that point the weld cycle downward motion re-initiates to further compress the parts.  Part welding continues for a programmed distance or energy value at a determined collapse speed.  With the weld speed precisely controlled in addition to using Melt-Detect™, unnecessary force is reduced on the thin film that would otherwise distort it.  This, in turn, results in improved weld quality.

In the final stage of the weld cycle, the iQ Servo system also gives the flexibility to program Dynamic and/or Static Hold.  Dynamic Hold will have the horn further compress the parts after the ultrasonics has been turned off.  Static Hold has the weld horn hold its final end-of-weld position for a given amount of time.  In this application, Static Hold has been programmed.  This gives the materials enough time to solidify without misalignment.  Once the Static Hold time has been completed, the horn then returns to its home (or Top of Stroke) position ready for the next weld cycle. This was the most helpful feature for these thin PET Test Strips.

Another major advantage of using iQ Servo system is the ability to duplicate a known process on multiple iQ Servo Systems without any variation in weld results. In this application, this feature was of major benefit for the manufacturing company. They were able to install multiple iQ Servo Systems for their growing need without investing extra time or effort in fine-tuning the process for each welder.

Dukane’s extensive product line of servo-driven technology and our professional sales and engineering team will collaboratively work with customers to provide the best solution for their given application. For more information on iQ Series Servo Ultrasonic Welder and other Ultrasonic Welding products visit http://www.dukane.com/us/ or call 630-797-4900.