Emerson’s New Ultrasonic Welding Platform Meets Challenges of Critical Small Plastic Part Assembly
DANBURY, CONN. (October 22, 2019) - 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 advanced electro-mechanical actuation system that provides unprecedented control and position accuracy. Its closed-loop force control precisely regulates even ultra-low trigger forces, enabling the GSX-E1 to perform faster, high-performance welding of delicate and intricate components. This advanced actuation system leverages over 70 years of ultrasonic application experience and combines servomechanism, software optimization, and proprietary dynamic follow-through to enable a broad range of weld forces up to 2,500 newtons.
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 control modes during a single weld. This ensures better, consistent, quality welds leading to fewer rejects. Tim Herren, Emerson’s Western Region Sales Manager for Assembly Technologies states, “I’ve never been more impressed with the controls and ergonomic interface of a welder. I’m able to optimize the welding parameters in minutes and help the customer weld thousands of parts with zero rejects…something the customer has never been able to do before.” 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, which 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-E1 features simple and intuitive software, supported by a high-definition 12-inch touchscreen HMI, which enables operators to perform faster, correct setups and reduce application testing time. This leads to faster start-up and setup times, which can reduce operator time by up to 60% 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-E1, 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 stand-alone benchtop systems to semi- and fully automated manufacturing lines with programmable options that deliver faster cycle rates. The GSX Platform is Industry 4.0/IIoT-enabled, with web services connectivity that ensures easy access for weld-data monitoring and transfer. The platform is also FDA 21 CFR Part 11 capable, so it offers the enhanced welder security, data retention, and data traceability essential to medical industry production.
“To remain competitive, manufacturers must bring products to market faster. The Branson GSX-E1 supports faster start-ups and delivers best-in-class quality control, process repeatability, traceability, and production throughput to ensure that product lines achieve the expected return on investment,” said Tarick Walton, global ultrasonics product manager, Emerson.
“In addition to its Industry 4.0 data capabilities, the GSX platform offers configurable inputs and outputs (I/O) connectivity required by automation customers, which delivers preventive maintenance capabilities plus compliance with NIST calibration standards. For example, a customer can code the welder to schedule and perform actuator lubrication, based on cycle count. When the count is achieved, the welder automatically retracts the actuator to its ‘home’ position, performs the lubrication, then returns it to its ‘ready’ position to resume production,” he explained.
For more information about the latest Branson welding solutions, visit Emerson.com/Branson.
Emerson (NYSE: EMR), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global technology and engineering company providing innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and residential markets. Our Emerson Automation Solutions business helps process, hybrid, and discrete manufacturers maximize production, protect personnel and the environment while optimizing their energy and operating costs. Our Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions business helps ensure human comfort and health, protect food quality and safety, advance energy efficiency, and create sustainable infrastructure. For more information visit Emerson.com.
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