Ultrasonic welding is a manufacturing process that joins two different materials (often metal and plastic) – through the application of high-frequency vibrations. This process is widely regarded for its efficiency, consistency and cost-effectiveness, but like many manufacturing processes, issues can arise. Understanding these potential problems before you get started–and knowing how to resolve them–can help you effectively utilize the process for the best outcome possible.
- Equipment Issues: Not all ultrasonic welding equipment is the same; you will need to carefully consider whether the equipment you have is well suited to your desired application. Certain ultrasonic welding machines can be so powerful that they may cause damage to smaller, more fragile components. Review available equipment to determine if it’s right for your project.
- Material Changes: During design and development of your product, you may decide to make changes to the materials you’ve selected for your application. While these material changes can be beneficial to the overall project, it’s important to take any material adjustments into account before you begin welding. Even slight variations between materials can lead to significantly longer processing times and more difficult welds. But don’t worry, you don’t have to have all the answers to these challenging questions. That is why we recommend working with professional engineers who can provide advice about choosing the right materials.
- Unsuitable Parameters: Process controls are essential for safe, effective ultrasonic welding, but these parameters are not always given a high priority. Regardless of whether your product will be used as an automotive part or a disposable item, it’s essential that you set precise parameters and stick to them. When you have reliable parameters in place, it is much easier to identify the source of issues in production as they arise. Trying to find out what caused a defect or deformity when you have lax parameters can be nearly impossible.
- Design Flaws: Sometimes, ultrasonic welding issues come down to a simple flaw in a part’s design. Even the most carefully designed parts won’t always translate effectively to production. This is why the DFM, or Design for Manufacture, review is so important to the product development process. By catching any potential flaws early, steps can be taken to correct these issues long before production begins, saving you both time and money during manufacturing.
Have questions about whether KASO’s ultrasonic welding services are right for your parts? Talk to our experts at KASO Plastics for advice about materials, design, and manufacturing processes to ensure the best end result for your products.