Design Engineering

Laser welder automates small-parts assembly

By DE Staff   

Automation General Sustainability Automotive Medical assemblies components emerson Plastic welder

Emerson has announced its new Branson GLX-1 Laser Welder, which meets the demand for joining small, complex or delicate plastic components and assemblies. Its small footprint and modular design make it compatible for use in ISO-8 cleanroom environments, while an integral automation controller simplifies installation and interfaces with production robotics.

The precise, servo-based actuation controls of the GLX-1 welder allow for greater freedom to design and join components with three-dimensional contours in small-part applications for the medical market, such as catheters and wearables with microfluidic parts, as well as sensors in the electronics, automotive and appliance markets.

The new welder can join high-performance and blended polymers and components with critical or complex 3D joint geometries or preassembled parts without risk of damage due to heat or vibration. Laser welds are completed without flash or part marking, giving parts a superior aesthetic appearance.

To support device makers’ increased interest in closed-loop product recycling, the GLX-1 can also safely and nondestructively “un-weld” plastics used in common medical devices and wearables. This disassembly capability enables reclamation and reuse of valuable internal components while enhancing sustainability initiatives and reducing waste.

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An advanced servo-driven actuator provides precise, repeatable, closed-loop downforce control, from low to high levels. An optional, closed-loop pneumatic control is also available. The results are rapid weld cycle times that support high-volume, high-quality production in a range of applications. Efficient and accurate tool changeover is ensured, thanks to a radio frequency identification (RFID) function that recognizes and matches weld recipes with correct production tooling.

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