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Pickup: Oil shaft seals are
picked up via robotic magnet in preparation to dispense UV FOG sealant. The
magnetic spindle arm will rotate the seal under a dispensing tip to assist
the formation of a smooth, complete liquid gasket bead around the exterior
of the seal.
“Hernon was approached by a tier
1 automotive component manufacturer to replace the process of using a solvent
based sealant to seal the joint between oil shaft seals and housing. The goals
of the project included removing solvents from the process, reducing the mess
associated with the current process, reducing health risks to employees and
speeding up the application process.”
Bob Sollien, Hernon® Southeast US Sales Manager
Hernon® developed the UV FOG
process as an answer. The first part of the development process was to create a
sealant capable of replacing the customer’s current solvent based sealant.
Hernon’s full service laboratory designed UV FOG formulas with a mix of several
different photo-initiators to capture a large spectrum of UV light and promote
thorough curing. Viscosity had to be tightly controlled to ensure that the
sealant would not drip or run during dispensing while still forming a smooth,
consistent bead. The sealant also needed to meet stringent compatibility
standards with oil, transmission fluid and other liquids from combustion
engines tested at operational heat levels.
The formula was tested in
Hernon’s in-house laboratory in conjunction with Hernon’s in-house machine shop.
The tests checked both physical and chemical properties against customer
requirements and for compatibility with dispensing systems, including the
possible motions and materials that would be employed during dispensing. Once
all specifications were met, samples of the final formula were sent to the
customer for further on-site evaluation.
The UV FOG sealant is designed to
work in concert with carefully calibrated UV LED curing lights built by Hernon®
and set to an optimal wavelength for triggering the embedded photo-initiators
in the sealant that start the crosslinking process. One of the key capabilities
of the sealant that make it right for this specific process is that it can be
cured to a desired tackiness by adjusting the time and intensity of UV
exposure. If you were to touch the finished sealant bead, you would
feel the bead is soft and slightly sticky. This allows the bead to adjust its
form to precisely fill the gap between gasket and housing.
Dispensing: UV FOG sealant
is dispensed as a liquid in a smooth, precise bead. The magnetic spindle
arm rotates the oil shaft seal allowing a stationary dispensing tip to
complete a bead around the exterior of the seal.
Curing: A bead of UV FOG is
cured in place using Hernon's lens focused UV LED curing lights. Multiple photoinitiators withing the formula are
triggered by specific ranges of the UV spectrum to begin the cross linking
process. The end result is a gasket bead that matches the component
“This machine is a great example of Hernon’s Total Solutions
approach.” Says Sollien, “It is the perfect marriage of chemistry and robotics
in a single project.”
With no solvents used in the UV
FOG Sealant, the customer concerns about solvent and coloring agent evaporation
contaminating the air were addressed completely. The mess became a thing of the
past and with the e purchase of a few machines, the customer was able to
increase production in a sustainable way.
Laser-inspection: A cured bead of UV FOG material is
laser inspected against pass/fail metrics. The exact location of the bead,
it’s width, height and whether it is continuous or intermittent are all
checked against specified parameters to ensure every single part meets
quality assurance standards.
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