Dukane Corp. Announces Expansion of Servo-Controlled Ultrasonic Welding Line

New Small Press and Large Press Models Meet Diverse Needs of Medical Market

ANAHEIM, Calif., - Dukane Corp.'s Ultrasonics Division has expanded its novel line of iQ servo-controlled ultrasonic welding systems for medical applications and other high-value components. New small press high-frequency welders (30, 40, and 50 kHz) are targeted for smaller medical parts such as valves, ports, filters, and implant components. Meanwhile, a larger press platform (15-kHz and super 20 kHz) targets larger medical applications like pressure vials. These new welders also employ the company's new Melt Match technology which delivers greater repeatability, stronger welds, easier validation calibration, and lower manufacturing cost versus standard pneumatic welders. Dukane made the announcement here at the 2011 Medical Design & Manufacturing West exhibition Feb. 8-10.

"We've expanded our iQ servo welding line beyond the existing 20 kHz model and now offer wide-ranging capabilities and flexibility to meet the unique and diverse requirements of our customers," says Michael Johnston, national sales and marketing manager.

The smaller press system ranges from 600 to 1800 watts and is well suited for higher throughput and high-speed automation. The larger press platform provides higher clamping force and ranges from 3300 to 5000 watts.

The new models complement Dukane's newly launched line of iQ servo-controlled ultrasonic welding systems which are an industry first. They use Dukane's Melt Match technology, a unique method that precisely controls the collapse speed profile during the weld. Collapsing too slow may cause material degradation while collapsing too fast may result in cold forming. Melt Match is unique because it precisely matches the collapse speed during the melt phase. As a result, the ultrasonic propagation penetrates deeper into the bond area and the affected heat zone is larger, resulting in superior bond strength. This contrasts to typical pneumatic welders that continue to travel during the hold phase, unlike a servo-controlled welder that can either stop and/or continue to collapse a specified distance and speed during the hold phase.
This high repeatability results in fewer rejects for manufacturers. In fact, testing shows that the average standard deviation of the bond strength for filter housing parts welded on a servo unit was 1.8% compared to 6.6% for those welded on a pneumatic machine.

The iQ servo-controlled welders also offer more consistent part height unlike pneumatic welders whose continuous travel during the hold phase may affect part height. The iQ servo welder "controls the entire process," according to Johnston, and thus the collapse standard deviation of the iQ welder is three times better than that of a pneumatic machine.

Melt Match technology is driven by Dukane's new patented iQ series digital power supply, the fastest in the industry. It boasts a data processing rate of 0.5 ms which is twice as fast as competitive systems. The technology also offers an important advantage for OEMs such as medical device manufacturers who must verify that weld process controls are in tolerance. The iQ unit incorporates a true programmable servo drive mechanism for speed control. As s result, validation of the servo motion is simplified. This compares to pneumatic welders that attempt to control the weld speed via air pressure through a proportional valve device. This can be problematic because actual collapse speed during welding is a variable and validating the air pressure does not ensure that collapse speed is accurate and consistent, according to Dukane.
The family of iQ servo welders are FDA compliant and feature a robust mechanical design and ultra-rigid support base. There are no operator-accessible settings and all mechanical adjustments require a tool. The elimination of compressed air helps to reduce clean room air filtration and significantly lowers manufacturing cost.

About Dukane Corp.'s Ultrasonics Division

Dukane Corp.'s Ultrasonics Division, headquartered in St. Charles, Ill., is a leading supplier of ultrasonic, vibration, spin, thermal press, and hot-plate welders for OEM and commercial plastic assembly markets. Key end-use markets include medical, automotive, consumer electronics, appliance, and packaging. Dukane is an ISO 9001:2000 certified manufacturer. More information is available by calling (630) 797-4902 or visit http://www.dukane.com/us.

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