In just about every manufacturing arena, dispensing systems are a crucial and ever-present technology. Regardless of the specific arena, be it electronics, food and pharma, aerospace, consumer goods or automotive, dispense systems are as important, and as common as machining, welding, stamping or molding processes. In fact, one would be very hard pressed to identify a complex, manufactured product that didn’t incorporate some form of dispensing technology in the manufacturing process.
As with just about every other type of process, in dispensing, quality control is vital to an acceptable finished product. Unfortunately, quality control is often difficult to achieve in dispensing processes because “dispensing” implies the movement and application of some type of fluid. “Fluid” is a broad category and obviously includes everything from water to cold tar. Anything that can flow and be dispensed will have a viscosity measurement associated with its performance envelope. The problem with fluids as it relates to quality control is that a process parameter will be based and designed on a given viscosity performance target…BUT, viscosity changes as temperature changes, and temperatures of the work environment, the equipment, the parts and the dispensed “fluid” always changes. This makes for a constantly variable process which is a challenge for quality control people who strive to have consistency in their manufacturing process.
One of the highest profile, and highest volume dispensing processes, is in the automotive world. Of the many dispense processes that go into the construction of an automobile, seam sealing, body panel adhesives and Hem flange probably account for the most material, and as such, the most costly dispense process used in automobile manufacturing. Due to the high volume and cost, quality control, or the lack thereof, can make a huge impact on a manufacturer’s bottom line. When viscosity change negatively affects one of these processes, this could affect quality and cost in grand scale.
Enter Integrated Dispense Solutions. www.i-dispense.com Integrated Dispense Solutions, or IDS, has introduced a game changing wrinkle to the high-volume dispense world. Using proprietary software combined with a combination of uniquely applied equipment, IDS has found a way to adjust, in milliseconds, on the fly, the volume of material being dispensed in automotive adhesive assembly and sealing processes. IDS equipment typically dispenses materials that are high viscosity and even abrasive, which can play havoc with equipment and accuracy standards. Aside from viscosity change, which is, oxymoronically constant, wear and tear on equipment, from abrasive materials can also throw measurements out of whack causing quality defects. If the aperture of a dispense tip or nozzle is worn out, a higher volume of material being dispensed usually results. If material temperature changes, bead width can change drastically, compounding the problem.
Dialed-in dispense processes often require a very controlled bead diameter, optimized to flow at a rate that “keeps up” with a robot path that can make tight turns and or follow a tight groove in a part. The dispense process must work without unduly limiting the robot motion complexity or speed. The cure for most quality control issues that pop up in high volume dispensing, is to slow down and manually correct the process on a continual basis. This is obviously not efficient. The IDS system can adjust on the fly and allow the programmer to optimize robot speed and path complexity while maintaining adhesive bead shape and size regardless of variables that creep into the process. The high costs of scrap and lost time, caused by inaccuracies in the dispense path, over application or under application of material, created from poor dispense performance can be a thing of the past with the IDS technology.
IDS is winning contracts to supply equipment at an increasing rate. With clients like FCA, Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Magna, as well as many other tier and industrial customers, IDS stock is on the rise. IDS general manager, Dave Ritchie pointed out that his core team has over 200 years of combined experience in the high viscosity dispense industry. That’s impressive and not to be taken lightly. IDS is not a new kid on the block. With an impressive track record of their own, their team have roots and pedigrees from virtually every major player in the dispense industry.Located in Shelby Township, Michigan, in the heart of Automation Alley, IDS works with and integrates with every major player in the global automotive community and has their finger on the pulse of the latest trends and technology of the segment they service. They can show end users very compelling Return On Investment data that’s hard to ignore. Extremely user friendly and simple to set-up and operate, the IDS system provides value far beyond the impressive, quantifiable cost savings that go into the typical capital request calculations. Knowing that the average life-span of a typical high volume dispense system is far longer than the typical model specific process, IDS can create their systems in “modular” form to support re-use and re-commissioning for new processes as car models, and their specific manufacturing process, transition to new product line-ups.
For high volume dispense systems, give IDS a call at 248-240-2856, or check them out on-line at www.I-Dispense.com