From parking sensors on cars through to smart phones and electrical toothbrushes, sensitive electronic components need protection against the penetration of undesirable substances. Special casting resins are used for this purpose. The "Mini-Dis" desktop machine made by bdtronic now allows high-precision metering processes in a very small space - thanks, among other things, to the Festo modular handling platform.
Casting resins, which consist of one or more components, protect high-quality electronic components against undesirable penetration by dirt and moisture. Precise and reliable metering technology is essential for the automatic application of these resins. bdtronic GmbH, a company located in Weikersheim in the Federal German State of Baden-Württemberg, is one of the world's leading suppliers of metering systems, including complete systems for the automation of the assembly and production of electronic components.
Complex casting patterns
bdtronic has now worked with Festo in a groundbreaking project to expand its product portfolio. The new "Mini-Dis" from bdtronic, based on the modular handling system from Festo, opens up a further field of application in the front-end processing of electronic and telecommunications products. The Festo system incorporates a CECC-X controller which allows curved travel paths, thus making it possible to produce complex casting patterns. Designed as a space-saving and flexible desktop application, the new complete solution from Festo allows cost-effective production of extremely short production runs.
The mini dispensers are used with semiconductor products and circuit boards, with the electronic components of numerous automotive modules and sensors, in medical technology and with smart phones. The mini dispensers process single- or two-component materials with an epoxy, polyamide, silicon or acrylate base and solder pastes in the µl range. Across the world, several thousand different casting materials are used. This is, however, no problem for the flexible and adaptable machines from bdtronic.
Precision and reliability
With regard to the metering technology itself, two criteria are especially important: precision and process reliability. To achieve these, bdtronic works closely with its clients' experts. Within the company's own application and technical centre, intensive testing is carried out for each product of the interaction of casting resins, metering technology and the components to be processed. One of the greatest challenges in the metering process is the optimum preparation of the casting resins. These must first be homogenised and then evacuated. In this way, it is possible to avoid even the smallest air enclosures.
An important criterion for bdtronic in the selection of handling systems for metering is an interpolated actuator control system which allows radii and thus flexible contours to be travelled. Only in this way is it possible to define precise metering points, create intricate patterns and fully encapsulate components of different shapes.
Compact and very flexible
This was achieved with the new desktop application by using a Festo controller CECC-X with "Soft-Motion" functionality. A key role is played by the programming language Codesys, with which the BD-Tronic software engineers have already been working for a long time. Since the CECC-X can be integrated via Codesys, it was very simple to incorporate it into the company's component family.
A further important criterion is easy reading-in and fast processing of CAD data. With its compact dimensions, the controller is a perfect match for the mini H gantry EXCM-30, which offers a wealth of functionality for working loads of up to 3 kg. This mini H gantry fully covers the complete working area since it can travel to any desired position within this.
Competency from a single source
Festo has designed its modular handling platform as a kit of perfectly-matched standard components. The bdtronic "Mini-Dis" use a mini H gantry EXCM-30 as a kinematic mechanism together with the controller CECC-X. Software can also be supplied on request. The provision of a large number of functions within a very small space avoids the problems of both under- and over-dimensioning. The controller software, based on Codesys, offers the most important basic functions required in order to program travel paths even without a deep knowledge of programming. The controller interfaces allow the connection of compact USB cameras, sensors, actuators and valves. All of this means high efficiency with a considerable saving of time and money.
Supplied ready to install
Fully assembled and tested, the ready-to-install system solutions are delivered right to the machine – together with all the design data and circuit diagrams, and of course with a comprehensive functional and fixed-price warranty. Users receive not only hardware in the form of a ready-to-install subsystem but a complete value-creation package. Complete solutions of this kind ease the burden on customers' technical personnel, keep system design costs low, simplify the procurement process and reduce process costs.
Festo is a global player and an independent family-owned company with its headquarters in Esslingen am Neckar, Germany. The company supplies pneumatic and electric automation technology to 300,000 customers in the field of factory and process automation in over 200 industries. Worldwide, Festo's 17,800 staff in 61 companies generated a turnover in 2014 of some € 2.45 bn. Each year 9% of this turnover is invested in research and development. Festo supplies around 30,000 catalogue products in several hundred thousand variants and some 10,000 tailor-made customer solutions each year to customers in 176 countries all around the world. 1.5% of this learning company’s turnover is invested in basic and further training. However, training services are not only provided for Festo’s own staff – Festo Didactic GmbH also supplies basic and further training programmes in the field of automation technology for customers, students and trainees.