Economic productivity fell in the first three months of this year, the first decline since late 2015, according the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today. The figures suggest a continuation of the “productivity puzzle”, the ONS said. The puzzle refers to the flatlining of productivity since 2010, which is unprecedented in the post-war era and is not unique to Britain.

According to the ONS, if the pre-2007 trend had continued then productivity would now be 16% higher than it actually is. Wages and living standards would also be higher.


If you are in the manufacturing world, assembling products with with technology behind them or significant value add, then we can offer help for your productivity puzzles. Picking up the telephone to us is easier than solving a Rubik’s Cube, and maybe more satisfying!

Thinking about improved structural bonding of plastics? Plastics are usually characterised by inert surfaces with surface energies between 20 and 40 mN/m. In order to wet a surface, however, the surface energy of the polymer must exceed the one of the paint, ink or the adhesive. This condition can be achieved through a plasma treatment of the surface and is called activation in plasma technology.

But more important than the improved wetting are the chemical groups which are newly incorporated into the surface. This so-called surface functionalisation creates additional chemical “bonding anchors” or “bonding sites” for the adhesive.

The relative bond improvement is shown in this diagram for various plastics and adhesives based on the increase of shear force until bond failure. Depending on the substrate and adhesive, it is possible to achieve shear strengths of up to 50 MPa through an optimized treatment with the Plasmabrush PB3 Plasma Surface Treatment System from Relyon Plasma.

improved structural bonding of plastics

Relative increase of the shear strength after a short plasma treatment with dry compressed air at atmospheric pressure for the various technical thermoplastic materials: PBT (polybutylene terephthalate), PE (polyethylene, HDPE) and PA6 (polyamide). 100% corresponds to a doubling of the shear strength compared to the untreated surface.

Comparable effects are found on polypropylene (PP) and LCP polyester (LCP). It is important that the process parameters of gas flow, processing distance and the applied electrical power are adapted to the desired processing speed and material. A typical starting point that achieves a significant improvement of the bond quality is at ~200m/s working speed with a working distance of ~12 mm and the use of the Relyon Plasma nozzle A450 with 50L/min air.

We are happy to run some tests with you on your parts – why not pay a visit to our Technology Centre?

Project Treeflow 2017

June 30, 2017

Our supplier partner ViscoTec, manufacturers of our preeflow® Precision Volumetric Dosing Pump range have launched their treeflow project, choosing to donate to the Fairventures organization for each preeflow dispenser sold in 2017. Through this venture ViscoTec aim to help improve the rural livelihoods of the population in Indonesia and to protect the rainforests.

Fairventures is a non-profit organization whose headquarters are in Stuttgart, Germany. Together with its local partners, they are planting forests on degraded areas in the tropics of Indonesia. By working in cooperation with local small farmers, they are creating an economic alternative to logging and the harmful spread of monocultures. Central Borneo has been the home of the pilot program “1 Million Trees” since 2014 and aims to reforest a total of 1 million trees.

Reforestation of tropical mixed forests, with popular commercial wood, on already degraded areas in the buffer areas to the rainforest, makes a huge contribution to the preservation of the soil, an alternative income for local farmers, CO2 storage and the conservation of existing primary forests.

We are proud to support the treeflow initiative – and with your help, we can all make a small contribution to protect our environment and to improve quality of life.

With more than 90 years of experience in the development of audio electronics, beyerdynamic, based in Heilbronn, Germany, stands for innovative audio products with the highest sound quality and groundbreaking technology. The different divisions provide tailor-made solutions for professional and private users. All products are developed in Germany and are mainly manufactured by hand – from hi-fi headphones to stage microphones to conference and interpreting systems.

preeflow eco-SPRAY for beyerdynamicThe volumetric spray dispenser  preeflow eco-SPRAY, available since 2016, has established itself in the market. It has also impressed the German hi-fi headphones manufacturer, as Sebastian Haberzettl, R & D Headphones, explains:

“The eco-SPRAY can be used to spray low to high viscosity materials. When spraying with the eco-SPRAY, even small amounts, such as a few milligrams, can be volumetrically dosed. These are important aspects for the application of the thin attenuation layer on the membranes of our loudspeakers.”

The eco-SPRAY has become an important part of their manufacture of loud speakers. A special coating is applied to the speaker diaphragm, which acts as a damping layer. The coated diaphragm is used in almost all standard beyerdynamic headphones. Previously, the coating was applied by hand with a brush. It was a judgement call for the operator, with brush loading and application pressure and speed all done by eye and feel. The coating thickness and uniformity impacts on the sound quality.

Now, using the volumetric spray unit preeflow eco-SPRAY, the coating material can be applied flat and homogeneously. With the eco-SPRAY, a completely even spray can be achieved with a low spray pressure of less than one bar: the delicate speaker membrane is not damaged or dented.

beyerdynamic DT770PRO-80Ohm headphones

By mounting of the dosing system onto flexible industrial robots, spray application from different angles and positions is easily achievable. As in the previous process, the speaker component is moved by means of a turntable. Thanks to the preeflow progressive cavity technology, the dispensed amount is accurate, reliable and repeatable. The material is volumetrically pumped into the spray-chamber of the eco-SPRAY and then sprayed with straight edge definition for high-precision dosing results.

See the preeflow eco-SPRAY in action on our YouTube channel.

For more information on the preeflow eco-SPRAY and our full range of dispensing systems please contact the team.

UV/Visible light cure temporary mask for electronics - new from Intertronics

DYMAX Speedmask® 9-7001 is a temporary mask for electronics. It offers significant time saving in assembly of electronics connectors and other board level components to pcb’s. Once cured in seconds with UV/visible light, the (pink) maskant enables easy visual checks, while its low shrinkage rate ensures accurate reliable coverage.

Speedmask® 9-7001 is designed for protecting connectors and board-level areas from both solvent based and light-curable conformal coatings. Cured masks withstand wave solder and solder reflow temperatures and are easily removed in one piece, saving time and eliminating the concern of ionic contamination or residue left behind by other masking methods. After removal, the residue free surface passes SIR testing, and is highly effective in maintaining the integrity of masked areas during process.

This halogen and silicone-free maskant is compatible with gold and copper connector pins. It very quickly cures upon exposure to light, and is designed to provide protection of connectors with no discoloration or corrosion. It is extremely thixotropic and is ideal for manual or automated dispensing onto boards or components that may be difficult to mask.

Get more information!

Adhesive bonding can replace soldering in power modulesAdhesive bonding of power modules can often be an alternative to usual joining techniques. Epoxy-based adhesives can generally produce high-strength and stable connections. Whether this also applies to the high requirements in power circuits was the subject of a research project recently performed by the IMTEK Department of Microsystems Engineering and the IESY Institute of Electric Power Systems at the University Freiburg and Magdeburg respectively. Some of the project output has been published in an article in Volume 14, Issue 2, June 2017 edition of Adhesion magazine, authored by our friend Dr. Arno Maurer of Polytec PT.

The conclusion? “Overall, the project shows a significant advance in the development of adhesives for power electronics in comparison to the state of the art a few years ago.”