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Author Archives: Griffin Hawkinson

  1. The Facts About Hot Plate Welding

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    What is Hot Plate Welding?

    Hot plate welding is a method of joining thermoplastic parts in a permanent, molecular, and frequently hermetic bond. During the process, a heated table called a platen is heated to a specific temperature. Next, the two joining surfaces are brought into contact with the platen for a precise amount of time in order for them to melt before being joined together. A proper hot plate welded joint will be just as strong, if not stronger, than other areas of the part.

    Almost any thermoplastic material can be joined using hot plate welding, which has led it to be a frequently chosen solution for numerous applications. In cases where uniform weld flash, hermetic seals, or multiple parts per cycle are necessary, hot plate welding is frequently chosen as the preferred method.

    What Is the Process of Hot Plate Welding?

    Hot plate welding is a direct thermal contact process that creates a clean joint. This process allows nearly any shaped part to be joined together while eliminating the need for glues, adhesives, and solvents. It can be performed horizontally or vertically, and it can be used with complex geometric shapes, curved surfaces, and internal walls.

    As mentioned above, hot plate welding utilizes a heated platen. Once heated to a specific temperature, the plastic parts that are being welded are pressed against the plate to melt and soften the joint interface. To complete the weld, the melted parts are immediately pressed together.

    Hot plate welding

    Hot plate welding is a very forgiving process where parts are bent or deformed due to the injection molding process. If parts are taken out of the mold at high temperatures, the contractions of the plastic while cooling can bend or deform the parts. In a hot plate welding process, the parts welded are pressed against a metal plate that has the desired shape. From there, the plastic melts and takes the form of the hot plate so any deformation is corrected for a perfect result. This is particularly useful as the parts get bigger because it is more difficult to maintain tight tolerances.

    With some type of plastics, the adherence of the melted plastic to the hot plate becomes a problem. To solve this the hot plate is sometimes coated with Teflon or other materials that prevent adherence. Another option is bringing the hot plate to a position very close to the part so that radiation from the plate can melt the material without actually touching it, thus not having the opportunity to adhere.

    In our machines, we analyze the size and shape of the part and include as many heat zones as needed on the heat plate to obtain a uniform melted surface on the plastic parts. Each heat zone has independent temperature control. Another feature is that the movements of the parts and the heat plate are servo-controlled giving the process precise dimensional control of the melted material surface and the final pressing position of the welded components. We can also make the heat plate horizontal or vertical depending on the characteristics of the parts to be welded. We have made machines with different welding plates in different positions that weld at the same time. This applies to parts like automotive intake ducts that have many PCVs ports and connections that need to be welded in different locations and orientations.

    When to Use Hot Plate Welding

    There are several welding methods to consider when joining plastics; however, there are certain circumstances where hot plate welding is the preferable solution. If you are working with large components, or if the product has a complex geometry, hot plate welding would be the most effective joining method. It’s also an excellent choice for applications that don’t tolerate loose particulate or applications requiring a high-strength or hermetic seal.

    In addition to these instances, many components can benefit from the low-stress, high-strength nature of hot plate welding. It is an effective method for small parts with simple geometries, and it is frequently used with injection-molded components. It is also ideal for joining plastic pipes in applications where a completely leak-proof seal is required.

    Hot Plate Welding Solutions from AMD

    Advanced Manufacturing Development (AMD) offers welding automation packages tailored to each customer’s exact specifications. Our knowledgeable engineering team can offer weld process recommendations that optimize your productivity and functionality. If your application involves plastic materials, our hot plate welding machines can provide a solution that fully meets your needs.

    AMD is located in Texas, where our team of over 100 engineers creates expert automation solutions. We deliver excellence in manufacturing and can provide customers with the best possible prices through the use of our Mexican manufacturing facility. For more information on the welding solutions we offer and how we can meet the needs of your application, please contact us today.

  2. What Can Vision Measuring Systems Accomplish?

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    Numerous industries rely on vision measuring systems as part of quality assurance processes. Vision measuring systems use a camera, lighting source, and intelligent detection software to closely measure the work performed in various processes to ensure it was completed within acceptable parameters. For example, the automotive sector might use a vision measuring system to measure the sewn seams found in automobile upholstery for seam quality and color.

    As a world leader in metrology, Advanced Manufacturing Development (AMD) can provide you with a vision measuring system to help you ensure the products you manufacture are of the highest quality. Each of our system’s components are designed using the latest computer-aided design (CAD) techniques, ensuring the best performance from your new system. We use only the best materials and components available to facilitate flawless performance and long service life from the equipment we produce.

    We equip each system with powerful, built-in vision probes for a crystal clear view and precise measurement each time. Our design incorporates contact probes to further extend the equipment’s measuring capabilities. AMD’s dedicated analysis software efficiently measures and interprets results, so your plant can keep pace without sacrificing impeccable quality.

    What Can Vision Measuring Systems Accomplish?

    Vision measuring machines — also known as video measuring machines or optical measurement systems —help you identify potential defects faster and with better accuracy. These measuring systems help manufacturers across numerous industries to meet measurement goals and verify the quality of their processes. Machines are available with different optical zoom capabilities and sensor options for measuring two-dimensional and three-dimensional parts.

    In the automotive industry, vision measuring systems verify that complicated assemblies are aligned properly before they leave the plant. By taking detailed measurement and analyzing the results, these machines allow you to measure every detail and certify that the component meets internal and industry standards. Common applications include the automated assembly of electric vehicle motors, as well as the seats, windows, and many other components of the vehicle.

    Vision Measuring Systems Solutions

    Manufacturing relies heavily on complex miniature components that require careful measurement. An increasing demand for accuracy in production will require manufacturers to invest in technology that reduces operator error and lowers defect rates. As technology advances, expect increasingly intelligent optical measuring systems to emerge that feature minimal measurement programming, high-resolution field-of-view measuring, and increasingly intelligent automated capabilities.

    If you are looking to invest in a vision measuring system for your facility, evaluate your options based on the technology, knowledge, and expertise available to you from the manufacturer. Vision measuring systems are highly customizable to the needs of numerous industries and applications, so make sure you find a machine that is tailored to the needs of your team and your operation.

    Vision systems can do much more sophisticated measurements like checking all the components are present, that there is no pollution in a process, parts are assembled in the right order, etc. In these types of systems, you do not get an actual measure of a part, but you do get information that lets you determine if a part is good or bad.

    AMD Vision Measuring Systems

    At AMD, our systems and personnel are up to date with the latest functions and trends in metrology solutions and technology. We ensure your new vision measuring system continues to operate accurately and efficiently with regular software updates. During our sales process, our team is happy to provide you with benchmarks and sample reports so that you can evaluate the track record of our systems prior to purchasing. We want you to have complete peace of mind that our machines and team will provide you with uncompromising quality and support. Check out our other test systems we manufacture.

    AMD has been creating cutting-edge manufacturing solutions since 1996. We have the products and experience to help your facility meet the demands of the modern world. Contact our team to learn more about our vision measuring systems.

  3. Is Ultrasonic Welding Right For Your Application?

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    What is Ultrasonic Welding?

    Ultrasonic welding is a process for joining together thermoplastics and nonferrous metals. Workers carry out this process on ultrasonic welding machines, loading parts into the device automatically. Once loaded, an ultrasonic sonotrode produces high-frequency vibrations to gently melt the two pieces of material together. After finishing the process, the worker then removes the newly formed unit. More than one sonotrode may be used in this process depending on the size and shape of the components being welded.

    Advantages of Ultrasonic Welding

    Ultrasonic welding’s use of high-frequency vibration provides a safer alternative for joining materials together. Due to the lack of heat required for the process, it does not carry the risk of burning that a torch would. Ultrasonic welding keeps the welding precise by melting only the points necessary to create a near-seamless joint between the two parts.

    ultrasonic probe testing welding steel for defect inspection ; quality control or assurance ; industrial equipment background

    The ultrasonic welding machines used in these processes are exceptionally user-friendly, robust, and simple to maintain. The parts used on these machines are modular in design, allowing for easy integration and replacement in the event of malfunction. Spare parts are readily available and tested for quality, which significantly decreases equipment downtime and operation standstills.

    In terms of manufacturing, ultrasonic welding has many advantages in relation to automation. Ultrasonic welding machines have a high processing speed that prioritizes efficiency without compromising on the quality of finished products. Depending on the complexity of the weld, cycle times can easily reach up to 60 cycles per minute and beyond with individual welding times lasting between 80 and 450 milliseconds. Additionally, the lack of a warm-up period for an ultrasonic welding machine means less time spent waiting for a machine to be ready for use.

    When is Ultrasonic Welding Needed?

    The main use for automated ultrasonic welding is the joining of plastics, particularly for electronic connector assemblies and other high frequency/high energy applications. Ultrasonic welding is gentle enough to work with both harder plastics and more delicate materials like foam. This makes it possible to join together different parts that might otherwise be destroyed with other bonding methods. Additionally, assemblies involving soft metals or those with lower melting points can benefit as well, as the low temperature of ultrasonic welding is less likely to damage the material or cause it to undergo undesirable reactions.

    Learn More Today

    The uses and benefits of ultrasonic welding are quite numerous, offering a safe and simple way to join soft or rigid plastics and other materials such as foam and nonferrous metals. Ultrasonic welding machines are designed for quality output and easy upkeep, ensuring smooth operations with minimal downtime.

    Advanced Manufacturing Development is one of the premier companies providing made-to-order turnkey welding automation packages. We tailor each order to the needs of the customer, and we are able to make modifications to equipment and programming as desired, with features like touch screens, camera systems, and much more available upon request.

    For more information, or to get started on your automated ultrasonic welding solution, contact us today.

  4. What You Need to Know About Laser Marking Systems

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    Laser marking leaves a permanent mark on a surface using a concentrated beam of light. Laser marking includes a wide range of applications that use UV light, green laser, continuous-wave, pulsed, and fiber technology to create concentrated light energy. Fast and easily automated, laser marking can permanently label a range of materials, from paper to steel.

    Numerous industries rely on lasers to mark goods and parts with graphics, identification codes, lettering, and machine-readable data like barcodes. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the many applications for laser marking and how incorporating a marking system into the production line provides a competitive advantage for manufacturers.

    How Laser Marking Systems Are Applied

    As the demand for part identification and traceability grows in product design and development, laser marking proves to be an essential and growing component in various industries. Manufacturers and other industries rely on marking machines for direct part labeling and identification applications. Often these identifiers must comply with government regulations and international industry standards.

    Laser marking systems can reliably mark surfaces with minimal shape limitations, including curved, soft, hard, flat, convex, and concave surfaces. Marking systems offer an ideal direct part-marking solution for almost any automated production line. Custom laser marking solutions can integrate into virtually any process flow, providing an ability to easily apply logos, text, numbers, graphics, dates, and other markings.

    The following materials are ideal for laser marking:

    • Plastics
    • Copper
    • Aluminum
    • Titanium
    • Stainless Steel
    • Steel
    • Cardboard
    • Paper
    • Wood
    • Ceramic glass
  5. The Ins and Outs of Helium Leak Testing Equipment

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    Leak testing is critical to manufacturing quality assurance practices and functionality testing for a broad range of pressurized equipment. While there are many leak detection methods, helium vacuum tests offer superior sensitivity and accuracy for identifying common leaks and micro-leaks.

    Why Use Helium Leak Testing and Detection Equipment?

    Leak detection equipment offers a means to detect leaks and verify leak-tightness in vacuum conditions. Technicians often employ helium as a test gas because this small and light molecule provides a wide detection range in vacuum tests between 102 and 1013 Pa · m3/s. Helium leak testing and detection equipment offer precise quantitative and repeatable results with fast cycle times. The inert, non-flammable nature of helium also contributes to its popularity in leak testing.

    Manual sniffing or spraying offers one of the simplest ways to find leaks, though this process can be time-consuming. Automatic leak detection solutions facilitate a much higher-detection speed with minimal operator input. Helium leak detectors obtain extra data that traditional leak detection methods like bubble testing or pressure drop will not.

    Ultimately, helium leak detection offers the best chance of successfully detecting every leak, improving the efficacy of quality assurance and functionality testing processes.

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