Matchmaking is a unique skill, and in the world of assembly, few people do it better than equipment suppliers. Day after day, these experts use their extensive experience and knowledge to exactly match the right machine to a specific assembly application.
One of the best things that you can do, both for the design of your product and the success of your business, is to make design choices that keep your assembly options open.
October 1, 2018
Two of the most popular methods for assembling plastic parts into finished products are adhesives and ultrasonic welding. But how can a manufacturer differentiate between these two options? What questions should product design and manufacturing teams ask when deciding why and when to select these assembly methods?
How well an assembled plastic part performs depends a great deal upon how its component pieces are joined. Those made of strong, hard plastic may be fastened together or bonded. Thermoplastic pieces allow for even more options, including screws and rivets, various types of adhesives or welding, staking and being snap-fit.
Additive manufacturing is no longer just for prototyping. More and more, the technology is being used to make production-ready parts. That's forcing engineers to begin thinking about joint designs and assembly processes.
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.
When the average person opens up a refrigerator and grabs a too-warm soda can or bottle, his initial reaction is one of disappointment. But, if that person is an assembler of harnesses for this type of appliance, his initial thought is: Check the evaporator fan wiring harness.
On construction jobsites throughout the world, contractors rely on the spirit level to make sure surfaces are truly flat (horizontal) or plumb (vertical). This type of level—so named because it contains a vial of alcohol (spirit) with a bubble in it—has been used for centuries and remains very popular.
Plastics and polymer composites are essential to a wide range of safety and performance parts in cars today. In fact, the use of plastic and polymer composites in light vehicles has increased from less than 20 pounds per vehicle in 1960 to 334 pounds per car in 2015.