According to the IFR (International Federation of Robotics) World Robotics Report 2015, there are 16,935 robots in the UK. There are 1,200 large UK manufacturing companies and 87,000 SMEs – between 10,000 and 20,000 of these are potential candidates for robotic automation. The latest forecast from the IFR says that by 2019, more than 1.4 million new industrial robots will be installed in factories around the world. In the race for automation in manufacturing, the European Union is currently one of the global frontrunners: 65% of countries with an above-average number of industrial robots per 10,000 employees are located in the EU.

“Automation is a central competitive factor for traditional manufacturing groups, but is also becoming increasingly important for small and medium-sized enterprises around the world”, says Joe Gemma, President of the IFR.

The number of industrial robots deployed worldwide will increase to around 2.6 million units by 2019. That’s about one million units more than in the record-breaking year of 2015. Broken down according to sectors, around 70% of industrial robots are currently at work in the automotive, electrical/electronics and metal and machinery industry segments. In 2015, the strongest growth in the number of operational units recorded was registered in the electronics industry, which boasted a rise of 18%.

“After a long period of lagging behind the rest of the world, the UK is finally starting to see a growth in the take-up of robotic automation, as businesses start to recognise their competitive potential,” says Mike Wilson, who is President of the British Automation and Robot Association.

Productivity benefits include:

  • speeding up a volume manufacturing process
  • making a process more flexible and reduce batch sizes and reduce changeover times
  • making a process more reliable, more repeatable, more consistent
  • making a process safer, or more ergonomic

We help technology manufacturing businesses automate their material dispensing, curing and surface preparation processes. Recognise your competitive potential.

The preeflow® eco-SPRAY’s reliable, extremely precise and repeatable dosing results are finding new applications; for example, it can spray solder paste. A series of trials testing the capabilities of the preeflow eco-SPRAY for the application of solder paste had excellent results.

eco-Spray for abrasive solder paste dosing

Manual application of solder paste (left) vs. eco-SPRAY (right)

Solder pastes are mixtures of solder powder and flux agents, which enable soldering of different metals and alloys. They can be highly abrasive towards dispensing equipment due to the high proportion of metal solids contained in them, and can have challenging rheologies. As a result, material and dispensing options must be carefully considered to optimise the process.

When spraying a material with a high proportion of solids, we can adjust factors such as air pressure, distance of the nozzle from the substrate and robot travel speed in order to achieve a uniform coating with a clean edge. For this specific trial, solder paste was atomised with a spraying width of 1.1 cm, and a consequent volume of 0.13 ml, with a mean deviation from the average of only 1.1%. No wear was detected to the eco-SPRAY dispensing equipment despite the abrasive nature of the paste, and it could be sprayed continuously or intermittently.

These results mean new opportunities for the application of soldering paste, with better process stability and reduced material consumption.

DYMAX Speedmask® 9-20479-B-Rev-A UV/light cure temporary masking agent is specifically designed to meet the needs of the electronics industry, where its fast cure and simple removal will improve productivity in printed circuit board assembly.  It is formulated for the protection of pcb connectors and other components, either during the soldering process, or during conformal coating. This temporary mask for pcbs also features a particularly tight viscosity tolerance which aids in maintaining good process control during application. And it’s blue in colour, so you can see where you have applied it.

Speedmask 9-20479-B-Rev-A maximises production speed as it cures in seconds under UV/visible light and is solvent and silicone free. It is benign to gold or copper finishes on connector pins or other components. It is extremely thixotropic – flowing easily and consistently with all forms of manual, semi-automatic or fully automated dispensing and then forming a stable coating prior to a fast light cure. It is easily and quickly removed by peeling, leaving behind no ionic or silicone contamination.

It joins our portfolio of temporary masking products for electronics and surface finishing applications. We have talked before about how productivity enhancements flow from these kinds of materials. This infographic illustrates the advantages of using Dymax UV cure liquid maskants in temporary masking for electronics, including an example of a 30% process improvement.

Araldite 2028-1 is a transparent, two-part polyurethane adhesive developed by Huntsman Advanced Materials for the bonding of a wide range of plastic and metal materials across a multitude of applications:

  • Automotive: Turn signals, brake lights, mirrors
  • LED industrial lighting
  • Sport: Surfboards, equis, recreational boats
  • Advertising Sector: Stands, advertising panels, logos, signage
  • Electronics: Encapsulation of electronic circuits, transformers, sensors
  • General Industry : Accessories for umbrellas, filters, handicrafts, water meters
Araldite-2028-1 industry applications

Araldite 2028-1 supersedes the previous version Araldite 2028, benefiting from improvements in UV resistance, shear strength, peel strength and resistance to thermal ageing. The 1:1 mix ratio polyurethane adhesive cures rapidly at room temperature creating a clear bond.

  • Open time: 6 minutes at 23 ° C
  • Handling strength/Curing time: 30 minutes (to achieve a shear strength greater than 1 MPa)
  • Full cure: 8 hours (to achieve a tensile shear strength greater than 10 MPa and a peel strength of 6.6 N/mm)

Araldite 2028-1 is supplied in cartridges 50 ml with a static mixing nozzle.

Araldite-2028-1

Download the ARA 2028-1 Product Data Sheet for more information and visit our Araldite 2000+ product page to see other products in the range – we stock these products for next day delivery.

 

Advances in wearable technology are coming thick and fast. Even that most conservative of investor, Warren Buffet, has seen fit to put his weight behind the wearable tech industry.

With these advances comes multiple benefits, none more so than in the medical field. We all understand the idea of smart watches and other gizmos which measure our exercise and steps. Medical device manufacturers are also designing products which measure many other types of critical patient data, tracking their health in real-time. Going further, the wearable can be an active medical device which gives treatment on the fly.

NeuroMetrix created a wearable called Quell, which is designed to reduce pain.

One of the advantages is that patients are no longer inhibited by the monitoring or treatment systems. We have seen a number of our customers talking to us about the wearable technology which they are developing in order to increase patient mobility. There is a conflict between being tied down by the instrumentation, and getting up and moving about which is good for the patient.

Packing functionality into the wearable medical device is a challenge for designers. The electronics are small/thin in geometry, and will need protection from both the environment and physical impacts and shocks.  We have been talking to customers about structural bonding with adhesives, electronic circuit protection with potting compounds or encapsulants, thermal management, and connectivity with electrically conductive adhesives.

Exciting times!

Low lint dry industrial wipesWe have added a new wipe to our range of cleaning products, which offers robust performance and excellent absorption. The ADH1616 Low Linting Dry Industrial Wipe is a strong and durable wipe composed of a non-woven polyester cellulose. It can be used dry, to absorb liquids or spills, or with a solvent like IPA. You won’t have to worry about contamination from binders or optical brighteners, as these wipes are manufactured without additives like these.

You may already be familiar with our  pre-saturated IPA wipes, available in individual sachets or resealable pouches. The ADH1616 wipe provides the same performance in a dry format. Offered in a resealable pouch, the ADH1616 wipe is available from stock for next day delivery and is an economical choice for a wide range of cleaning applications.

ADH1616 Dry Industrial Wipes evaluation packs are available, just give us a call to request yours or for more information on the ADH1616 wipe or any of our cleaning products feel free to get in touch.

Low lint dry industrial wipes 1