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Macro Sensors LVDTs Replace Proximity Sensors in Control Systems of Heat Staking Machinery Used in Manufacture of Thermoplastic Assemblies

4 February 2014

Macro Sensors LVDT Linear Position Sensors are replacing proximity sensors in the automated control systems of hot air, heat staking machinery used by many high technology and manufacturing industries in the manufacture of thermoplastic assemblies.  In this automated assembly process, super heated hot air melts plastic studs, softening them so they can be formed into specific shapes when driven by a cold stake. Through this safe and economical, direct contact method, two dissimilar pieces of plastic and other materials can be joined into one secure assembly.

As the stake used in the heat staking machinery is pneumatically actuated, Macro Sensors LVDT Linear Position Sensors provide feedback to the absolute position of the stake depth to ensure repeatable and robust stake joints. Output signals from the LVDTs are fed into a programmable logic controller (PLC) that alerts operators should limits fall out of parameters to ensure correct alignment.

The position of the proximity sensors previously used in this application had to each be manually adjusted by a technician in response to a design or tooling change. As some tools have many heat stake zones, these manual adjustments could become very time consuming. Since Macro Sensors HSER 750 Series LVDT Linear Position Sensors are mounted in-line and available in absolute measuring ranges of up to 20 inches, physical adjustments of the sensors are no longer necessary and can be quickly achieved through the PLC program. This convenience results in fewer technician man hours and greater production uptime resulting in an accelerated return on investment. 

Macro Sensors HSER 750 Series Linear Position Sensors are also hermetically sealed, making them impervious to dirt and other corrosive elements that may be present in the machine.  Sensor coil windings are sealed against hostile environments to IEC standard IP-68 while the housing, bore liner, and end washers are TIG welded, providing a hermetic seal free from oxidation-producing faults that may cause leakage. And as sensors are DC powered, there is no need for external AC LVDT signal conditioners. 

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