Laser Seal De-Gating

InvotecCase Study, Machine Vision Systems, Micro Laser Processing

laser machine
Overview

Trimmed injection molded seals from a sprue using a laser cutting method that provided tight tolerances and did not pull, stretch or tear the material before cutting each gate free with no burrs.

PROBLEMS WE SOLVE

This medical device manufacturer had a seal product that needed to be trimmed from its mold sprues. These seals did not hold their shape, were extremely pliable and required tight tolerance cuts to make an acceptable assembly. The trimming process could not pull, stretch or tear the material before cutting each gate free with no burrs.

TOOLS WE USE

The irregular shape of each pliable seal was captured with a vision system to identify the gate locations that attach it to the sprue. Coordinate position off-sets were then calculated for each gate location and sent to an X-Y linear servo stage that positioned the seal below a LASER to obtain precise cuts to remove (or de-gate) the seal from the sprue. The LASER cut line follows the position feedback information delivered to the servo positioning stage from the vision inspection system.

Vision position guidance was derived with a Cognex In-Sight Vision Inspection System, a Parker linear servo X-Y positioning stage was integrated with a Photonics Industries Nd:YV04 fixed cutting position LASER. The control system included a PLC and PanelView operator interface terminal.

SOLUTIONS WE PROVIDE

The high degree of flexibility obtained using vision inspection and model specific programming for the cut line positioning allowed for a rapid change between models and a reduced tooling inventory. Programming changes provided the capability to adapt to new models without re-tooling or purchasing new capital equipment. Laser trimming eliminated the high maintenance required with traditional line-to-line, high tolerance trimming dies and provided a higher yield of acceptable seals where the profile and cut locations were known before processing.

The end result, our customer was able to complete the required trim and launch their project which would not have been feasible without our ability to implement laser guided vision in this production environment.

laser machine

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