Friday, April 29, 2011

Novel Combination Locking Cap for Prescription Drugs

New plastic locking cap uses Dukane's ultrasonic welding systems for speed, accuracy, and precision manufacturing

Cap-N-Lock LLC, Lincoln, Calif., has developed the industry’s first combination locking cap offering maximum security against unauthorized use of prescription medications. The plastic locking cap is claimed to be the safest child-proof cap, provides maximum protection against teen prescription use, and is a senior-friendly packaging option. The device uses precision ultrasonic welding technology from Dukane Corporation's Intelligent Assembly Solutions (IAS) Division for speed, accuracy, and precision manufacturing.  At the February 2011 Medical Design and Manufacturing West show Dukane demonstrated welding the cap on its new iQ servo welder in its Lean Manufacturing Cell (shown below).

iQ Lean Manufacturing Cell

The locking cap has combination dials which create a barrier to entry for young children and teens, according to Joseph Simpson, president of Cap-N-Lock LLC. The company produces the cap and two adapters which fit a wide range of the most common prescription bottles. The locking cap components, molded by Henry Plastics, Fremont, Calif., consist of eight injection molded parts made of lightweight, strong acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) plastic. Assembly and manufacturing is done by Cap-N-Lock LLC.

Locking Cap

The locking cap unit is assembled from the bottom up with the locking mechanism (dial numbers included) dropped in first, followed by a tension plate and then the lower twist-on cap. The lower housing ring is then ultrasonically welded to the main housing to complete the assembly.

The speed, accuracy, and precision of the ultrasonic welding process are critical in the production of the locking cap, according to Simpson. “The weld needs to be perfect every time to ensure a high level of quality control,” says Simpson.

Dukane worked with Cap-N-Lock from the concept stage and provided feasibility studies, design assistance, tooling, and on-site support. Dukane ultimately provided a turnkey assembly system which included custom tooling (horn), a custom nesting (holding) fixture, and a press system.

The locking cap is sold as an aftermarket product for $9.99 at Save Mart and Ralph’s supermarkets on the West Coast. It is also available at and will soon be offered at pharmacies.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dukane RFI Filter for Ultrasonic Plastic Welders

Dukane Corporation is a global provider of ultrasonic plastic welders for thermoplastic materials. Our welding equipment is designed with a high quality RFI power line filters to meet FCC and CE requirements for conducted emissions. The RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) is an unwanted noise generated by a wide variety of electronic and electrical devices. Ultrasonic welders which generate unwanted radio frequency energy greater than 10 kHz must comply with the government and safety agency requirements.  The RFI is the radiation or conduction of radio frequency energy (or electronic noise) produced by electrical and electronic devices at levels that interfere with the operation of adjacent equipment. Frequency ranges of most concern are 10 kHz to 30 MHz for conducted emission and 30MHz to 1 GHz for radiated emission.
Most electrical and electronic equipment can produce RFI noise. The most common sources include components such as switching power supplies, relays, motors, triacs and equipment such as personal computers, printers, medical instrumentation, industrial controls and electronic games.  An electrical and electronic device emits RFI in two ways: a) radiated RFI is emitted directly into the environment from the equipment itself;  b) conducted RFI is released from components and equipment through the power line cord into the AC power line network. This conducted RFI can affect the performance of other devices on the same network.

Radiated RFI is usually controlled by providing proper shielding in the enclosure of the equipment.  Conducted RFI can be attenuated to satisfactory levels by including a power line filter in the system. The filter suppresses conducted noise leaving the unit, reducing RFI to acceptable levels. It also helps to lower the susceptibility of the equipment to incoming power line noise that can affect its performance. Since no electronic equipment operates in total isolation, manufacturers must protect their own equipment from RFI noise produced by other devices functioning in close proximity or on the same power line. They are also responsible for making sure that their equipment does not transmit offending RFI noise, resulting in the malfunction of other devices.

RFI power line filter consisting of a multiple-port network of passive components arranged as a dual low-pass filter, the RFI filter attenuates radio frequency energy to acceptable levels, while permitting the power frequency current to pass through with little or no attenuation. Their function, essentially, is to trap noise and to prevent it from entering or leaving equipment. RFI is conducted through a power line in two modes. Asymmetric or common mode noise occurs between the line and ground. Symmetric or differential mode is measured from line to line.  Common Mode: Also known as line-to-ground noise measured between the power line and ground potential. Differential Mode: Also known as line-to-line noise measured between the lines of power. Power line filters are designed to attenuate either one or both modes of noise. The need for one design over another will depend on the magnitude of each noise type  present. The attenuation is measured in dB (decibels) at various frequencies of signal.

Dukane power line RFI filters are designed to meet both FCC and CISPR 11 with 5dB to10dB below the limit. They are generally built with three-pole filter networks to meet greatly varying electromagnetic environments for medical electronic and industrial control equipments.

The governments and safety agencies of major industrial countries, including the United States, Canada, and the European Union have established noise emission regulations that are focused on digital and other electronic equipment. The most important guidelines for Ultrasonic Welder are FCC CFR 47 (Parts 18) in the United States and CISPR 11 in the European Union.

FCC CFR 47 (Part 18) Industrial, Scientific, and Medical equipment (ISM), for Ultrasonic equipment. A category in which the RF energy is used to excite or drive an electromechanical transducer for the production of sonic or ultrasonic mechanical energy for industrial, scientific, medical or other none communication purposes.

The European Union also has harmonized the national regulations and has established the international standard CISPR 11(EN55011) which covers conducted emission for Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) radio frequency equipment.

The following tests were performed to determine that Dukane Ultrasonic products are in compliance with the council of Europe and technical specifications of the EMC Directive 2004/108/EC, Low Voltage Directive 2006/95/EC and Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC.

EN 60204-1    Safety of Machinery - Part 1: Specification for General Requirements.
EN 12100-1 &2    Safety of Machinery – Basic concepts, general principles for design.
ISO 13854    Minimum gaps to avoid crushing of parts of human body.

EN 61000-6-2 and EN 61000-6-4_Generic Emission & Immunity:
EN 55011:          Conducted Emissions – 150 kHz to 30 MHz
                          Radiated Emissions – 30 MHz to 1GHZ
EN61000-4-2:     Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)   4kV (contact), 8kV (air)
EN61000-4-3:     Radiated Radio Frequency Immunity –  80 MHz to 1000 MHz
EN61000-4-4:     Electrical Fast Transient Immunity
EN61000-4-5:     Surge Immunity
EN61000-4-6      Conducted Immunity – 150 kHz to 80 MHz
EN61000-4-8      Magnetic Field Immunity
EN61000-4-11    Voltage Dips, Short Interruptions and Voltage Variation Immunity

Attenuation: The decrease in intensity or absorption of electromagnetic energy. Expressed in dB.
Conducted Interference: Electromagnetic signals entering a device through direct connection.
b: The level of electromagnetic disturbances equipment causes to its environment.
Filter: Remove electrical noise or interference from the power line by cleaning up the sine wave.
Immunity: The level to which equipment is immune to electromagnetic disturbances in its environment
Impedance: Opposition to the flow of electrical current when a given voltage is applied.
Inductor: Passive component that produces a voltage proportional to the change in current.  Measured in Henrys.
Insertion Loss: The electromagnetic signal loss resulting from the insertion of a filter in a transmission line. Expressed in dB.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What method would I use for Multiple Slit Applications - Narrow Gauge or Standard Slitting?

This question can be answered different ways but let’s discuss the difference from the two methods of Ultrasonic Narrow Gauge Slitting and Standard Ultrasonic Slitting.

Narrow Gauge Slitting is when a series of Individual Slitting Modules are positioned under a Long Ultrasonic Bar Horn usually about 9” in length. Depending on the Centerlines and number of Slits will determine how Modules will be required and how many 9” horns will be required. The actual Slitting anvils are fixed/locked in the module and do not rotate and are spring loaded. The Modules are designed to allow the Slitting anvil to be repositioned to a new working surface once a wear spot occurs on the anvil and then locked back in place. This will allow you to use the full diameter of the Slitting anvil. Once the entire anvil is worn then it would be replaced with a new one. This method is commonly used when Narrow goods are required. Please see attached picture of a Narrow Gauge system these Slits are done off of one Roll approximately 36” wide approximately 21 Slits.

Standard Slitting is a single station Slitter that Slit’s one section of the Fabric. Normally uses a 1” Diameter Horn and also has a fixed anvil that is mounted on an air cylinder. These anvils also have the ability to be repositioned to maximize the working surface of the Anvil once wear occurs. The air cylinder allows for more precise control of Anvil pressure versus the Narrow Gauge spring loaded design modules. Standard Slitting is used when the Slit requirements of the Fabric are wide widths usually greater than 9” wide. Depending on the width of the Roll being slit will determine how many Slitting stations will be required. Please see picture of a UFF1 Slitter Frame.

The two methods mentioned above are typical ways of Ultrasonic Slitting and are very commonly used in the Fabric & Film market. Depending on the requirements of the application we often replace the fixed Anvil method with Individual Driven Rotating Anvils. The rotating anvils in most applications will perform better and usually increase line speeds. Using the driven anvils will require drive motors or can use one common shaft with individual air cylinders. These situations will require qualified machine Builders. Always use either a fixed anvil or a Driven anvil free spinning anvils are not recommended. Please see picture of Driven anvils on a common shaft with individual air pressure.