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Emerson’s New Ultrasonic Welding Platform Meets Challenges of Critical Small Plastic Part Assembly
Emerson has launched a new generation of ultrasonic welders that support the growing demand for the assembly of smaller and more intricate plastic components such as those used within medical devices and consumer electronics. The Branson GSX Ultrasonic Welding Platform is an advanced and intuitive flexible joining solution, designed to optimize and ensure quality welds, while helping manufacturers meet project timelines and deliver expected return on investments.
Plastic components across the medical, electronics, and automotive industries are becoming increasingly miniaturized, with embedded electronics, intricate designs and thinner plastic walls. Conventional welders with high or crushing weld forces inhibit safe welding of small and fragile parts. To meet this challenge, Emerson has developed an electro-mechanical advanced actuation system that provides unprecedented control and position accuracy and delivers the industry’s lowest trigger force of five newtons. The advanced actuation system leverages over 70 years of ultrasonic application experience and combines servo-mechanism, software optimization and proprietary dynamic follow-through to enable a broad range of weld forces up to 2,500 newtons. The advanced actuation system also enables the GSX to perform faster, high performance welding of very fragile and intricate components.
The highly configurable GSX welding platform enables customers to accommodate many different parts and application types by using an array of welding parameters and actuation modes during a single weld. This ensures better, consistent, quality welds leading to fewer rejects. Using a multicore processor and a linear encoder drive, the multi-tier advanced actuation system can be instantaneously adjusted based on real-time feedback. This ensures the same level of precision and repeatability across multiple welders, with post weld tolerance and part variability measured in microns.
Increasingly challenging production timelines, that must be met to ensure a project’s expected return on investment, are inhibited by a loss of operator experience and expertise. Helping to bridge any potential skills gaps, the GSX features simple and intuitive software, supported by 4 inch and 12 inch touchscreen HMIs, which enable operators to perform faster, correct set-ups and reduce application testing time. This leads to faster start-up and set up times which can result in up to 60% savings in operator time while assuring weld quality and production efficiency. Replacing a stack and tooling for a conventional ultrasonic welder can take over an hour to complete. Using the new quick stack exchange system of the GSX, which ensures tooling alignment, this procedure is reduced to less than five minutes. The ability to execute faster changeovers enables a variety of components to be welded with limited disruption to production schedules.
The modular GSX Platform forms the basis for a wide range of models to be launched over the next two years, each designed to suit the needs of specific customer applications. The platform can be configured for all customer environments, ranging from standalone benchtop systems to semi- and fully-automated manufacturing lines. By offering easy integration into digital environments, coupled with easy data transfer methods, the GSX Platform is Industry 4.0/IIoT-enabled, providing access to actionable performance and diagnostic data, supporting production efficiency and traceability that complies with industry regulatory standards such as FDA 21 CFR Part 11.
“To remain competitive, manufacturers must bring products to market faster to maximize profitability,” said Tarick Walton, global ultrasonics product manager, Emerson. “The Branson GSX supports faster start-ups and provides best in class quality control, process repeatability, traceability and increased production throughput to ensure successful delivery of a product line’s expected return on investment.”