In this article we explore how automated adhesive dispensing systems improve efficiency when used in the industry.
Robotics and automation are proven ways to improve efficiency in a business. As Industry 4.0 begins to spread throughout global industries, workers are able to handle higher responsibility jobs, production rate is increased, and the margin of human error in processes is removed.
Manual and Automated Dispensing
When it comes to dispensing adhesives onto substrates, there is two main ways of going about things: manually and automatically.
Manual dispensing requires a worker to operate a dispenser gun to squeeze the adhesive onto the working surfaces. The efficacy of this method depends on the accuracy and competence of both the worker and the gun. As a result, the quality of the applications are inconsistent. It can also be a time-consuming task if the adhesive is to be applied repeatedly onto many different surfaces. It is, however, the cheaper and easier way of doing things.
Automated dispensing utilises highly specific desktop units or robots which can dispense fluids, such as adhesives, accurately, consistently and in exact proportions. The main drawbacks are the greater initial cost of buying the machinery, and the sufficient training required to set them up. Key advantages to automated dispensing systems are cost-effectiveness and time savings.
More crucial benefits of automated dispensing systems are described in the section below.
Advantages of Automated Adhesive Dispensing
Automated systems can be programmed to be precise down to the millimeter, ensuring that the adhesive is poured in exactly the right spots.
Automated dispensers allow constant high quality outputs. Due to the high repeatability and consistency, and the lack of human interference, the margin of error is massively reduced and costs are saved.
Internet of Things
With the rise of Industry 4.0, manufacturers are able to interlink their processes via a central hub. This enables a consistent workflow, mass gatherings of data on each piece of machinery, and efficient identification of problems. Automated dispensing systems can fit into a centralised network such as this quite easily, allowing for an improvement of efficiency.
Increased Rate of Production
Automated systems are able to produce results without the side effects of fatigue or tiredness. As a result, production rate is massively increased at lower costs.
Automated dispensing systems can be programmed to dispense adhesives in various different patterns, such as: dotted lines, beads, circles and arcs.
Automated Adhesive Dispensing Systems in the Industry
One industry which particularly benefits from automated dispensing systems is the electronics industry. As microchips and electronic components continue to get smaller and more densely packed, the need for more precise, intricate and consistent dispensing becomes more significant. Thankfully, automated dispensing is able to provide a solution to the challenges posed by the highly exact and repeated bonding required in electronics manufacturing. Furthermore, the applications in the electronics industry also lead to those in the aerospace, medical and automotive industries.
Standard automated dispensing system units in the industry are desktop units, with work areas ranging from 200mm x 200mm or 400mm x 400mm. They are easy to operate as they only need to be loaded with the appropriate adhesive, positioned, and started. Desktop units can also easily be moved between stations and used to handle different adhesives day-by-day. Additionally, they can be fitted with cameras which use machine vision to measure, model and analyse the product and its working surfaces. The units can then use this data to determine the exact positioning, quantity, and dispensing pattern of the adhesive.
Assembly line robots with automated dispensing abilities also exist to tackle the same issues. These are suitable for applications of larger and more industrial scales, such as automotive manufacturing.