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Indexing plates allow to automate plastic part welding

Сase studies

 

For more than 40 years, LSP Products Group Inc. has been developing innovative polymer products for the plumbing industry. With a manufacturing plant featuring 11 injection molding machines, LSP molds most of their wholesale plastic plumbing parts in the USA.

With the targeted development of two new innovative small-size plumbing products that were to be produced in ultrasonic and spin welding operations, LSP was looking for solutions to replace their manual assembly line processes and ineffective conveyor options.

Since the welders have applied force pressure and small part size, rotary indexing tables present a perfect option for small progresssive production. LSP’s Director of Manufacturing Engineering, Marshall Henningsen, and Manufacturing Engineer, Jim Ross soon began to investigate value-added possibilities by contacting industry leading specialist for rotary tables and automation, WEISS North America Inc. Discussions soon began on optimal index table engineering solutions for LSP’s ultrasonic and spin welding machine designs.

Originally, LSP was planning on building and implementing their automation internally on their own chassis, however,the WEISS sales and engineering team provided them with a 3D CAD model of a WEISS chassis along with a unique configuration proposal based on its TC (150/220) Series tables. The proposed WEISS chassis allowed LSP to readily implement their own automation for two machine designs.

A key design element that both machines had to address was overcoming the large downward forces (400 lbs.) from the servo-driven welders, to melt plastic that was exacted onto the index table’s tool plate in repeated production. To overcome this, an anvil back-up support was designed underneath to absorb the intense loads from the welders−ultimately promoting longer production life for the tables and plates.

The cornerstone to achieving each chassis system’s production goals, was implementing WEISS’ third generation configuration TC heavy duty rotary indexing tables−TC150 (six station) and TC220 (eight station).

Both tables feature a hard coat anodized plating finish on the aluminum jig plate. This coating is essential in providing superior durablity versus the intense downward force pressure subjected on the anvil that supports the plate.

Delivering the highest reliability and precision, the robust series features standard stationary post, center standard through hole, high-load bearing, and large cam followers with needle roller bearings for the following LSP polymer plumbing part product applications:

LSP is producing a new, in-line hammer arrester made out of polymers vs. traditional copper. The patented, first of its kind in-line polymer hammer arrester can be integrated into water connectors such as washing machines, ice makers, dishwashers or directly into the plumbing sytems piping to smooth out the pressure flucuations associated with modern appliances.

Utilized for greasing, inserting components and ultrasonic welding operations in six stations, the WEISS chassis system includes the TC150 index table (32“ diameter, ¾“ thickness), tool plate, machine frame, and an anvil back-up support for the tool plate. In production of their new, engineered polymer push-to-connect valve to be used in plumbing industry applications such as toilets, faucets, etc.−LSP leveraged the WEISS eight station chassis system. The semi-automated system includes the TC220 index table (42“ diam, 3/4“ thickness), tool plate, machine frame, and an anvil back-up support for the tool plat.

Production features seven assembly stations and a servo spin welder station that uses radial motion to apply over 300 lbs. of force pressure to friction-weld plastic part halves. WEISS designed the anvil support located underneath the center of the tooling head, to effectively offset the force applied to the parts and the table during repeated station component spin welding. In addition, the robust rotary table platform provides accurate, level, locations for pick and place automated assembly of the polymer quarter turn valve.

WEISS completed and shipped the smaller TC150-6 station unit in April 2015, and the larger TC220-8 station unit in October of 2015. Both units are nearing completion of advanced production of the innovative LSP polymer plumbing parts. Notably, the inclusion of the anvil back-up support will ensure advanced longevity for the system’s core index table and tool plate against repeated welding production force pressures.

 

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