Ultrasonic welding can handle most plastics assembly applications. Other friction-based processes, such as vibration welding and spin welding, can usually tackle the rest. However, that necessitates investing in three separate machines at considerable cost. What if one machine could be configured to perform any friction-based welding process with a simple change of tooling?
This was the inspiration of Fischer Kunststoff-Schweibtechnik GmbH, a supplier of plastics joining equipment in Berkatal, Germany. Two years ago, engineers at Fischer contacted us to determine the feasibility of a modular, flexible, plastics joining center with exchangeable welding modules and material handling support—something akin to a CNC machining center for plastics assembly. The goal was to create a machine that required minimal human intervention and that produced assemblies at a level of quality and reproducibility on par with dedicated, standalone welding machines.