FRIMO Ensures Good Connections - Report
5. TechDay - Plastics Joining in Hamburg
06 / 2015 - FRIMO’s 5th TechDay for customers and business partners took place in Hamburg on June 11, 2015 with the motto “Once Joined, Never Separated”. Over 150 participants from over 60 different companies- both foreign and domestic- visited the event and took the opportunity to learn more about not only plastic joining, but also other topics such as lightweight construction, surfaces, and PU processing. The guests had the opportunity to discuss development and implementation possibilities with speakers and participants, as well as the challenges that must be faced in applying these technologies. Uwe Krause, FRIMO Hamburg’s plant manager, was thrilled with the positive response. “We are proud to say that many innovative production solutions are made by FRIMO. This shows the great expertise of our employees. To ensure it stays this way, we hope to further develop our expertise in a market- and customer-oriented way by networking with partners. The high level of interest is pushing us to pursue this path rigorously in order to remain a reliable technology and solution partner for our customers around the world.”
Participants included specialists and key decision-makers, most of whom were from the automotive or automotive supplier industries. Experts in raw material production and from universities, and other fields were also in attendance. The automobile industry was strongly represented with OEMs such as BMW, Daimler, Ford, Porsche, Renault-Nissan, VW, and Volvo, as well as Tier 1 suppliers, material producers, and technology specialists. The multifaceted program offered visitors the perfect opportunity to receive concise and comprehensive information from one source. Specialists with extensive experience in joining plastics shared their expertise from various perspectives. Lectures from experts in the industry (ContiTech MGW GmbH, Trexel GmbH), from universities (IKV – RWTH Aachen and TU Chemnitz) and from FRIMO, accompanied a trade exhibition and technology show with live demonstrations at the FRIMO site in Hamburg, providing an interesting mix of theory and practice.
After a comprehensive market overview by Mrs. Suveni Sooriyapiragasam (IKV), which also encompassed challenges encountered, for example, during the welding of high-performance plastics and lightweight construction components, Sönke Hinz and Helge Barkhoff (FRIMO) gave an overview of current contact welding (ultrasonic welding, hot plate welding and heat staking) technology. In addition to a briefing on FRIMO’s product portfolio and a presentation of concrete applications, the program focused on the new flexibility, which, thanks to modular construction and the implementation of tool cassettes, enables extremely easy and rapid tool changes to be achieved in the newest generation of tools and machinery. In recent years, infrared welding has become more important as an innovative and effective component-joining solution in non-contact welding. In addition to the significant benefits of absolutely particle-free joining and the very high strength of the welding seams, this technology allows the varied demands on plastic joints to be fulfilled. This is especially true for safety-related components as well as air- and oil-ducting components, for example in the engine compartment, where strengthened polyamides are used. For this reason, lectures by Albert Merz (FRIMO), Marios Constantinou (TU Chemnitz) and Robert Schampera (ContiTech) were primarily dedicated to the opportunities associated with this comparatively new welding procedure.
In the next session, various technical aspects were addressed. In his lecture “Optimal Construction”, Martin Buthmann demonstrated how important it is to consider weldability from the beginning during component development. Only an optimal design of welding seam geometries allows for a balance of tolerances and guarantees high process stability with reliable welding results. A series of cooperative test results on welding MuCell components were presented publicly for the first time in a joint lecture by TREXEL (Harald Heitkamp) and FRIMO (Michael Auerswald). MuCell components are produced through the injection molding of microfoams and offer a whole array of positive characteristics. A significant factor in this is weight reduction, where component structure also makes particular demands on the welding process. Last but not least, Thorsten Geldmacher from FRIMO provided an insight into the new world of control engineering. This contributes significantly to increasing process efficiency. Another market innovation also presented was an intelligent infrared camera for quality monitoring during the welding process. What makes this camera intelligent is that it contains an integrated computer through which the customer can smoothly transfer parameters and results via interface to the machine controller (PLC) or to data systems- a commodity not previously available.
In a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Michael Thielen, Prof. Dr. Michael Gehde (TU Chemnitz), Thilo Stier (innovation management at materials specialist Akro-Plastic), Robert Schampera (ContiTech) and Detlev Böl (FRIMO) discussed the future of plastics welding. The experts agreed that, essentially, the entire spectrum of joining processes is required on the market, but that the trend towards non-contact processes is continuing to grow. Thermoplastic materials are gaining market shares and material hybrids, driven by the lightweight construction trend, are presenting new challenges to the welding process. Organic plastics can be welded just like standard thermoplastics in terms of their specific property profiles. There was also a consensus that users would be well advised, in addition to focusing purely on components and their design geometry, to incorporate welding elements into the component at an early stage.
At the “Technology Live” exhibition, visitors finished the day off by viewing welding procedure demonstrations directly on-site. Demonstrations included quality assurance using the new infrared camera, as well as the welding of door panels using infrared and ultrasound welding and heat staking. Detlev Böl, head of the Plastics Joining division at FRIMO, was proud to say that the relatively new FRIMO site in Hamburg can already look back on 250 successfully delivered welding machines, as well as more than 1,000 sold mobile ultrasound welding stations.
About FRIMO (www.frimo.com)
Additional production and sales locations belong to the FRIMO Group, with over 1,200 employees in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, as well as numerous international representatives. The FRIMO Group was again distinguished for excellent service. FRIMO has received the SPE Award, known as the “Oscars of the Plastic Industry”, 22 times already. In 2014, FRIMO was recognized with the JEC Innovation Award in Atlanta for their cooperation in the project “Street Shark” (www.street-shark.com).The work of the FRIMO Group for the plastics processing industries includes a broad range of technologies, including polyurethane processing, flexible trimming, punching, pressing and forming, thermoforming, laminating, edgefolding, joining, and gluing. System solutions for large-series fiber-reinforced plasticsprocessing (composite technology) are also part of the business. For this purpose, FRIMO offers its customers tailor-made tools, machines, and production systems as individual or complete solutions from a single source.
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