Trelleborg Sealing Solutions helps make sealing easy during automated assembly
Automated assembly should be easy. When it comes to automatic insertion of seals though, this is not always the case. Trelleborg Sealing Solutions works with leading manufacturers of assembly equipment to ensure it is as simple as possible. With them, we have developed manufacturing and surface technologies to maximize manufacturing speeds and minimize downtime, lowering overall production costs.
Trelleborg Sealing Solutions has been working in partnership with leading automated assembly equipment manufacturers such as Ohrmann Montagetechnik in Europe and AMARA in North America, for several years. Our objective has been to maximize speed and quality when seals are automatically assembled into components.
Seal developments focus on optimizing automated insertion processes
As manufacturers’ demand ever-higher velocity and yield, this has made the automatic insertion of seals even more difficult. Seal developments have focused on optimizing the insertion process of seals to make production quicker and more effective, maximizing manufacturing speed and minimizing downtime to lower overall costs.
Firstly, to ensure effective mounting of seals in automated assembly, seals must have sufficient elasticity and be dimensionally accurate. But successful insertion of seals is not just about these being perfectly flat and round. Other parameters must be considered when it comes to the design of the assembly machine itself and the technology behind the seal.
Picture shows automated assembly machines handling O-Rings.
Trelleborg Sealing Solutions and automated assembly equipment designers have concentrated machine and seal development on the following factors to achieve efficient seal mounting:
- Detection systems installed on machines including probes, light barriers and back pressure controls to automatically sense if seals are present
- Closed assembly tools to avoid applying local stresses to seals during handling which can fracture or tear seals
- Coating and surface treatment technologies to optimize friction characteristics and to avoid contamination of handling and assembly equipment
- Specification of packaging, transport and storage to DIN 7716 right up to point of assembly
- Recommendation of sealing materials that have sufficient resistance to chemicals and oils along with mechanical properties and slide behavior suited to the assembly process
Test programs solve specific automated assembly issues
An example of the way we have cooperated with automated assembly equipment manufacturers is in the identification of the optimum surface treatment of seals for automated assembly. We worked together with them, undertaking numerous test programs to solve specific issues, including one with regard to silicone coatings.
Seals are coated with silicone to improve lubrication, which initially gives excellent slide behavior. However, over time the silicone dries, friction properties deteriorate and seals tend to stick during assembly.
Dry coating for O-Rings gives superior long term properties to silicone
Trelleborg Sealing Solutions undertook tests, which clearly demonstrated this reduction in properties. They also established a coating that achieved similar friction characteristics to the silicone coating when first applied. Being a dry surface treatment though, no lowering of performance was suffered over time. In addition, there was no potential contamination of the assembly system from the coating coming off the seals, a tendency with silicone.
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