The success of a product comprised of plastic parts depends not only on the functional design of the product, but also on how the parts are assembled.

Unfortunately, choosing an assembly method is not always easy: Engineers have many more options for assembling plastic parts than metal ones. Thermoplastics can be joined using ultrasonic welding, vibration welding, spin welding, hot-plate welding and laser welding. They can be bonded with solvents or adhesives or fastened with screws or rivets. And, they can simply be snapped together.

All these techniques have their advantages and application niches. The trick is designing the parts to match the technique. What are the ideal dimensions for an energy director to facilitate ultrasonic welding? How thick should a snap-fit part be so that it flexes without cracking? You can get answers to these questions and many more during ASSEMBLY magazine's next webcast, "Designing Plastic Parts for High-Speed Assembly," which will be held Wednesday, Sept. 3.

Featuring consultant and author Paul A. Tres, the webcast will be air at 1 p.m., Eastern time. The presentation will last approximately 1 hour, including introductory remarks, the presentation itself and a live, 15-minute question-and-answer session. Sponsored by InterTech Development Co., this webcast will teach engineers how to design plastic parts that can be economically assembled without compromising performance goals. Material selection, joint design, assembly techniques and snap fits will be covered.

A fellow of the Society of Plastics Engineers, Tres is the author the seminal textbook Designing Plastics Parts for Assembly (Hanser Gardner, 2003), now in its sixth edition. A consultant with Engineering Training Services Inc. (Bloomfield Hills, MI), Tres has presented lectures on plastics assembly in 12 countries, and he presents an annual seminar, "Automotive Plastic Parts Design," at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor).

To register for this event, click here.

To review the full schedule of ASSEMBLY magazine's Online University webcasts, past and present, click here.