Design engineers often ask us, “How strong will my staked joint be?” Usually, they’re designing a plastic assembly that needs to be staked, and they need to know how to design the part so that it will be strong enough for their application. They just want a number, like 450 N. If they know how strong one stake point will be, they can plan how many stake points they need and where to locate them. The good news is that we can estimate the answer…
Extol has recently introduced a new lamp for the ISM20 InfraStake module. This lamp is 35 W, like its predecessor, but the output is enhanced to provide shorter heat times for a faster InfraStake process. Comparison testing of the new lamp showed a notable reduction in the heat time required to stake a variety of plastic materials and colors.
About two years ago, Mark, a manufacturing engineer at AutoTrim, was researching equipment to assemble a new, high-volume door panel they were hoping to win from an OEM. Mark recalled seeing a demo of Extol’s InfraStake technology a few months prior and was drawn to InfraStake’s built-in clamping feature that ensures tight stakes. Mark was hopeful that InfraStake would be a good fit for the door panel line, but wanted confirmation that the technology could meet the cycle time, strength, and assembly tightness requirements. That’s when our Applications Lab, the first of Extol’s wide array of customer-supporting service groups, stepped in to help.
The moment is here, the process is set, the machine has cycled. How does it look? “GASP!” My staked part has FLASH!!! If you are not familiar with flash, I’m referring to the displaced plastic material from a staking or welding process that extrudes outwards and does not contribute to the strength of the joint. Flash may be observed as fine dust surrounding the joint, thin strands of plastic material in a disorganized clump, or even smooth rounded material adjacent to the weld joint. So why does flash occur in plastic staking and how can you optimize stake appearance?
Extol Launches New InfraStake Module and Software That Reduce Lifetime Operating Cost and Provide Full Quality Assurance
Extol, Inc. has again improved the way plastic products are made by launching the new IS32 InfraStake module and InfraStake Integration Software. This infrared (IR) staking product is designed specifically to stake plastic parts in automotive interiors and door panels. It also works well with other common staking applications, such as electronics and automotive lighting.
Extol has developed a new software package that controls the InfraStake process. The InfraStake Integration Software comes free with every integration package to ensure consistency across every integration of the InfraStake technology. The new IS32 module, paired with the InfraStake Integration Software, provides full quality assurance and strong stake joints by monitoring crucial process variables and graphing them for easy interpretation.