Since its founding, Urgent Plastics Services (Rochester Hills, MI) has specialized in the rapid prototyping of injection-molded plastic components. Emphasis is on fast turnarounds and delivering parts that are close to production-like quality, while using production-like processes.

The company has a fully equipped in-house mold and pattern shop, a carbon graphite machining and grinding center for producing electrical discharge machining tooling, an array of ram-type die sink and wire electrical discharge machining systems, plus computer numerical control, and manual machining and milling machines. The prototype facility also boasts its own injection-molding department, with machine capabilities from 75 to 1,500 tons.

The company has acquired a linear vibration welding system for completing prototype plastic parts.

The Model VW/6L linear welder from Branson Applied Technologies Group (Danbury, CT) is now being used to assemble and fuse multicomponent prototype parts. The welding system is flexible and is quickly set up. Those two qualities are required for prototype work.

With the new system, Jeffrey Peterson, general manager, expects the company will be better able to produce prototypes that are more consistent with client requirements. "Because the linear vibration welder is also a production tool," Peterson says, "it allows us to provide prototype assemblies that come closer to duplicating production parts as to physical properties. Plus, we¿re able to provide reliable data, such as cycle Arial and tooling designs, with regard to the process, that assure the crossover to production can be simpler and faster."

The welding system features a large-capacity, 45- by 20-inch work envelope that can handle entire vehicle cockpit dash and instrument subassemblies. The system can also be fixtured to assemble several smaller, different components, such as coolant bottles for cars, ink and toner cartridges, and vacuum cleaner parts.

The linear welding process uses rapid vibration to generate frictional heat between the two surfaces to be joined. When the surfaces¿ temperatures reach the melting point of the plastics, the linear motion is stopped. A clamping force is then applied until the two surfaces become one. The clamping pressure is programmable so that the parts are not distorted. And in many cases, dissimilar materials can be joined.

For more information on linear vibration welding, call 203-796-0400, visit