Joining in

Written by: Tom Shelley | Published:

Advances in bonding, welding, joining and fastening will be explained in greater depth at Eureka’s ‘Joining Technologies’ Design Day next month

Eureka’s newest Design Day, which covers technologies in fastening, joining and adhesives, takes place at the Kaetsu Centre in Cambridge next month.
Joining Technologies – held on 21 May 2008 – follows the format of previous Design Days: a morning of technical presentations, then an afternoon of hands-on workshops, in which delegates can learn more about a range of joining techniques in small, informal groups.
Participants include TWI, which will cover two ground-breaking new technologies – micro friction stir welding and Comeld.
Lunch and coffee breaks allow plenty of time for networking and informal consultation with event sponsors – including adhesives supplier Henkel Loctite and German fasteners manufacturer Arnold Umformtechnik.
Bob Goss, senior technology specialist at Henkel Loctite, will guide delegates through principles of adhesive bonding.
The first element covers thread-locking, and includes practical advice – including exercises – on how best to add adhesives to a thread lock and make a stronger bond.
Cylindrical part bonding, or ‘retention’, is also an important part of Loctite’s approach. A number of examples will be included, such as bonding a handle of a golf club. Goss says that his workshop in particular will be tailored to specific industries – so can be modified depending on the needs of each group.
Finally – moving on to his area of special expertise – is a session on plastics and rubber bonding, which will split into two areas: cyanoacrylates (or ‘superglue’); and a demonstration of UV curing. Delegates will be able to stick two parts together and hold them under UV light – and see the results.

Fasten seatbelts
Arnold, meanwhile, will explain how fasteners can help to design out cost – using a case study from the most cost-conscious industry of all – automotive.
“For the automotive industry, simply reducing the cost of a part is not enough,” says the company.
It cites a recent study by the Fraunhofer Institute, which says production processes – rather than materials – are the main drivers of cost.
“For component suppliers this is an opportunity to step back from the pressure on unit prices – by implementing intelligent concepts.”
Arnold has put this to work in its ‘Effective Programme’, which has three pillars: innovative technology; an ‘assortment policy’ that simplifies the number of small parts needed; and a logistics system that is intelligent enough to cope with this.
Automotive supplier Mahle recently reported cost reductions of 80% after it switched from conventional screws to self-tapping screws and involved its suppliers in its own design process at an early stage.
“The screws provide process reliability and the number of separate process steps is significantly reduced,” said Otto Mehrer, production manager at Mahle’s filter plant in Ohringen, Germany.

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