Leister process uses diode laser welding
ANAHEIM, CALIF. - Leister Technologies LLC of Schaumburg, Ill., introduced a micromask process for diode laser welding of plastics.
The process can deal with fine and elaborate 100-micron-wide lines, welding different structures on one part with localized heating and without inducing stress in the thermoplastic resin. The process includes an automated vision system for precise alignment of the mask and parts. Leister demonstrated the process at the recent Medical Design & Manufacturing in Anaheim.
Generally, the light from a high-power, semiconductor-equipped laser passes through a transparent plastic and onto a bottom laser-absorbent material where the light is transformed into heat. The controlled heat penetrates, softens and melts the clamped-together parts and creates a weld the company claims is vibration- and particle-free, hermetically sealed and gas-tight.
Diode laser welding represents an alternative to vibration welding. Both types of equipment generally cost in the range of $100,000 and usually are more expensive than ultrasonic welding units.
Micro Molding invests in tooling technology
BOYNTON BEACH, FLA. - Micro Molding Technologies LLC of Boynton Beach has invested about $200,000 for molds and automated equipment for a micro multiple tools system.
The MT system, operational Oct. 1, can balance the needs of small, dissimilar parts through creative use of RJG cavity pressure controls. The system uses a common mold base accommodating four to eight modular round pockets, each measuring 3.25 inches in diameter. The system can function with any combination of customers and parts.
Some limitations exist. Part size is restricted to those fitting into the palm of a person's hand. Material choice must be a standard nylon or acetal engineering resin. And cosmetic part applications are limited.
Some customers knew about such a system's potential from experiences elsewhere, and their expectations of lower prices drove the project. Now, vendors' hardened-steel tooling costs half that of a standard tool, and unit pricing is 20-50 percent lower than conventional molding, President Michael Bentz said in a telephone interview.
``Customers expect the same quality at a reduced price,'' he said. Customers share machine time vs. regular custom molding practices.
Bentz and Blaine Priebe, vice president of technology, developed the system, which permits creation of a process template as a bible for reproduction of a part.
Micro Molding runs MT system jobs on four Nisseis, two each of 85 and 150 tons, out of the plant's total of 16 presses.
Micro Molding has made automotive interior parts and electrical connectors among jobs run during the system's first two months of operation. About a dozen customers have opted to use the system.
Micro Molding began operations in early 1998, employs 50 and projects 2001 sales of about $4 million.
B. A. Die Mold installs 200-ton Engel press
AURORA, ILL. - To boost its first-run and sampling capacity, B.A. Die Mold Inc. recently installed a 200-ton Engel injection molding machine.
B. A. Die Mold specializes in runnerless, threaded and unscrewing molds and has had a 50-ton Boy machine on site. The new machine will allow for larger molding applications, according to President Alan Petrucci. The Aurora company also offers design and product development, rapid prototyping and modeling services.
B. A. Die Mold was founded in 1968, and moved to its present 16,000-square-foot home in Aurora in April 2000. It has 20 employees. Marketing manager Cyndi Petrucci said the new machinery was added to honor requests from its customers for more sampling and first-run capabilities.
She said B. A., which stands for ``best available,'' serves opticial, automotive, electrical, plumbing and housewares customers.