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Custom Engineering

Custom Mobile Work Cells

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For information on custom assembly systems,
please contact our Sales department:
Tel: (630) 797-4900
Fax: (630) 797-4949

About our Specialized Equipment Group


Turnkey solution with iQLinQ and Multi-Point Control

 

Ergonomic Work
Cell for tough to
load applications

 

Progressive Assembly Work Cell  with sound enclosure

 

Dual Ultrasonic Heads with 4-position Rotary Indexer
 

 

Ultrasonic 2-position Rotary Table Work Cell

 

Heat Staking Work Cell

 

Triple Ultrasonic Heads in a Full-Front Opening Work Cell

 

Two Ultrasonic Heads Positioned Horizontally with Pneumatic Part Clamp Work Cell

 

       

Work Cell Innovations

 

Lean Manufacturing
Cell

 

Two Position Assembly Station

 

Dual Welder Rotary Work Cell

 

       

Servo-Control X-Y positioning System

 

Turnkey Ultrasonics Workcells

 

6-Axis Robotic Work Cells

 

Heat Staking Work Cell

 

       

 

Dual Station Ultrasonic Work Cell
 

Continuous Feed Tube Seal Cell Unit
 
 

Specialized Equipment Group

We are known throughout the industry for our willingness and ability to meet our customers' specialized needs. The design of our products encourages innovation so that any configuration, from standalone, single-station systems to fully integrated automation, is possible.

Our capabilities include:

  • Integration of our assembly equipment into new or existing machinery
  • Custom system design and construction
  • Custom software development

Our flexible approach:

  • Work with your preferred machine builder
  • Partner with specialized machine builders
  • Build custom machines to your specifications at Dukane

Regardless of the method, working with Dukane's Specialized Equipment Group has many advantages:

  • We are a large and stable resource
  • We do basic research and we manufacture machines
  • We are experts in thermoplastic assembly and ultrasonic welding
  • We have the knowledge, experience, and expertise to recommend the best technology, the correct process, and the proper equipment for the assembly task
  • We have the people, products and demonstrated technical service and support to serve your assembly needs worldwide

From simple to complex, Dukane can design and build an assembly system for your application(s). Many of the systems we build feature servomotors, optical part sensors, indexing tables and sound enclosures.


Custom Engineering Examples


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Turnkey solution utilizing Dukane’s iQLinQ™ and patented Multi-Point Control module

  • Six point ultrasonic work station utilizes iQ Series Auto Plus Ultrasonic Generators, patented  Multi-Point Controllers (MPC), and iQLinQ™ for communicating with the main machine interface.
  • iQLinQ™ is a solution which simplifies communication between Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and Ultrasonic Generators and provides the ability to program the generators from the main HMI via Ethernet.
  • Dukane’s patented MPC provides each weld station (point) with the ability to have its own unique recipe.
  • Fixture indexes to three precise positions to allow for multiple probe welding in limited space.
  • Slide fixture is mounted on top of a tubular steel table with a one-inch thick Blanchard ground top surface.
  • Light curtains allow for single touch activation from either opto touch switch.
  • Part presence sensors in the fixture provide Poke Yoke style assembly checks, to prevent improper assemblies.


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Ergonomic Work Cell with unique tooling designed to weld tough to load applications

  • Tooling and fixture of this machine designed to meet the welding requirements of an angled part. The ergonomic design makes it easy for the operator to load the parts.
  • Vacuum designed in the tooling detects parts' presence and flattens part surface prior to welding, these features aid in improving weld quality.
  • Part is welded from three sides using three 20 kHz probes systems that are powered by Dukane’s iQ Series LS/E Ultrasonic Generators.
  • Each generator has the ability to control its individual weld process by energy. This allows the machine to utilize the flexibility and space savings of machine mounted probes with the process control of a press.
  • Light curtains allow for cycle start initiation by the use of one opto touch button.
  • Frame constructed of tubular welded steel with 1 inch Blanchard ground top and mounted on sturdy and convient rolling locking castors for floor space flexibility.

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Dukane designed and constructed progressive assembly work cell with sound enclosure

  • Work cell utilizes two 15 kHz rigid mount iQ probe systems with 10” of total stroke.
  • Each probe system is controlled by iQ Series LS-E Ultrasonic Power Supply via the iQ platform.
  • Dukane’s LS/E Ultrasonic Power Supply has a built in Ethernet port which eases controlling and monitoring each unit from the Allen Bradly 1000 series HMI
  • LS/E generator provides a closed loop welding process even in a probe platform by utilizing weld by energy.
  • Fullwave 15 kHz horns perform the work on this challenging application.
  • Dukane’s tooling engineers have set the industry benchmark by utilizing the latest FEA software available and had simplified designing complicated horns
  • Ergonomically designed and manufactured fixtures with rigid slide system easily moves to the operator for ease of loading parts and then moves under the welder for reduction of the welder's stroke.
  • Tooling can easily and quickly be changed out thanks to the quick tooling change concept designed into the upper and lower tooling plates.
  • Machine is constructed from tubular steel frame and 1 inch thick steel Blanchard ground top.
  • Fork truck tubes and robust guarded castors in the base makes it easy to move and place.
  • Sound enclosure mounted on top of the base has engineered sound cancelling foam in the interior of the robust panels, which provides noise reduction during the ultrasonic welding process.
  • Light curtains with single palm button activation enables operator to move to the next operation during the weld cycle and reduces cycle time.
  • Front sliding door provides a sealed enclosure and second method of safety during the process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dual Ultrasonic Heads with Four-position Rotary Indexer and Automated Unload Work Cell

This is a highly efficient work cell with its two weld stations is designed to weld two-piece handles, two at a time. At the load station, the operator places two bottom part halves into the lower nest. Next, two upper part halves are put on top of the bottom part halves. At the touch of the whisker switch the weld cycle starts. A Camco precision rotary indexer moves the table to weld station one, then to weld station two. A highly polished contoured horn and fixture assure that there will be no part marking during the weld process.

Then the table indexes to the unload station where an integrated pneumatic vacuum device automatically separates good and bad parts based on the welders' process control outputs. An included bad part bin collects the discarded parts. The table is then positioned back to the operator load station, and a new cycle can begin.

Work cell control is accomplished with the Allen-Bradley PanelView 600 color touch screen HMI coupled with an expandable A-B CompactLogixâ„¢ PLC. Ultrasonic signals at the dual welding heads originate with Dukane's two 20 kHz thrusters that are teamed with the reliable, advanced Dukane DPC IV process controllers.

Supporting the weld stations is a solid, steel table with a top one-inch thick and Blanchard ground. Forklift tubes and robust leveling feet are included for easy, secure positioning. Polycarbonate panels in an extruded aluminum frame are above the table, and they surround the work stations. The operator can see the well-lit interior of the work cell through the clear front access door panel. Safety features include lockable front and rear access doors, a light curtain that guards against unintended contact with the work cell's interior, and two abort switches. Options include sound deadening and interlocking doors.


Ultrasonic Two-position Rotary Table Work Cell

Custom engineered for optimum efficiency, this work cell features an economical, manual two-position rotary table. A shot pin operates for accurate positioning and precision weld placement. The table's two fixtures allow the operator to load a part in one fixture, while welding takes place in the other.

At the heart of the work cell are two of Dukane's iQ Series components. They are the HMI industrial touch screen PC, and the 20 kHz Advanced Press System with rigid support column. A built-in automatic film system positions film between the ultrasonic horn and the part to be welded. The film promotes superior welding with no marking on visible “class A” surfaces.

The table itself is solid, welded steel with a one-inch thick

Blanchard ground top having extreme rigidity and a highly polished surface. Rugged leveling feet are standard. The sides of the work cell have an extruded aluminum frame and black polycarbonate panels. The front access door is clear and allows the operator to easily see the whole work area. For additional safety, sound deadening is available as an option.

A part presence sensor integral to the controls makes operating the work cell easier. It means that a part must be in place, ready to weld, before the machine will operate. Controls include the Opto-Touchâ„¢ cycle initiation switch, an abort switch enabling the operator to end a cycle at any time, and a bright, three-color status light (yellow - part in place; green - good part; red - fault/bad part).
 


 



Heat Staking Work Cell

Specially made for the appliance industry, this work cell is designed to attach metal clips to the back of a cosmetic front panel. The heat staker simultaneously heat stakes two posts on each of eight clips securely attaching them to the panel.

The process starts when the operator manually loads a panel into the fixture, and then loads eight clips onto the panel. The lower nest is made of urethane to ensure that there is no marking on class "A" surfaces. Next, four DE-STA-CO clamps are manually positioned to hold the parts in place. Then the work table is moved into place, and one DE-STA-CO clamp is closed to hold the table in position. (Pneumatic clamps and an automated pneumatic slide table is available as an option.) Part sensing detects that all clips are in place, and eight heat staking heads extend (The head has a 5" stroke.) to form the posts. Watlow temperature controllers monitor the temperature of each staking tip, and an after staking feature allows the staked heads to cool. This insures the stakes are solid before the staking heads retract. The operator manually repositions the table, and removes the completed part.

Control is provided by an Allen-Bradley Panelview 700 color touch screen HMI interface. The device can be password protected and is linked to the expandable A-B CompactLogix™ PLC. In addition, there is easy access to an Opto-touch switch to begin a cycle, and to two abort switches if the operator needs to stop the process quickly

The work table is a solid, one-inch thick extruded aluminum piece with a Blanchard ground top giving the table superior rigidity. The sides of the work cell have an extruded aluminum frame and clear polycarbonate panels. The front and rear access doors are key-lockable. (Interlock doors are an option.) A light curtain protects the operator, while a Smog-Hog filtration system removes fumes. The control cabinet can be locked to prevent tampering with any of the process settings. Rugged leveling feet with swivel casters are standard.
 



 


 

Triple Ultrasonic Heads in a Full-Front Opening Work Cell

This work cell with its three weld stations is ideally suited for joining large appliance parts ultrasonically. Work cell dimensions are approximately: 8' tall by 5' wide and 4' deep.

Typically the operator puts a bottom part half into the custom tooled aluminum lower nest. Part positioning is made easier by Delrinâ„¢ blocks that are incorporated into the fixture. Next, the upper part half is put on top of the bottom part half. DEL-SA-CO clamps hold the parts in position. (Optional pneumatic clamps are available.) The operator touches the single Opto-Touchâ„¢ cycle initiation switch to continue the process.

An Allen-Bradley CompactLogixâ„¢ PLC is teamed with three dependable Dukane Dynamic Process Controller (DPCâ„¢) systems that power their ultrasonic heads to complete precision programmed welds. The completed assembly is removed, and the work cell is ready for another cycle.
Workstation safety is enhanced by using two individually controlled interior work lights. Two abort switches - one next to the Opto-Touch switch, and one on the control panel - enable the operator to end a cycle at any time, and a bright, three-color light (yellow - part in place; green - good part; red - fault/bad part) indicates part status. A light curtain is standard helping to prevent operator injury in the loading area. When equipped with optional sound deadening baffles, strain on the ears is diminished.

This work cell has a full-front opening door giving substantial access to the interior. The door is hinged along one side (the entire height of the door) and can be safety interlocked as can all of the doors on the work cell. If any of the doors were to open while a cycle was underway, the cycle would be aborted immediately.

In addition, when the door is closed, a clear polycarbonate portion of the door (approximately 51” by 22”) is raised (pneumatic cylinder assists) before a cycle begins giving access for loading or work inside the cell. When the operator starts a cycle, this clear section lowers to close.

The base of the work cell is a solid, steel table with a one-inch thick Blanchard ground top. Forklift tubes and robust leveling casters are included for quick, secure positioning. Polycarbonate panels in an extruded aluminum frame surround the work area. Panels are finished in accordance with customer specified paint color.
 


 


Two Ultrasonic Heads Positioned Horizontally with Pneumatic Part Clamp Work Cell

This custom-engineered work cell performs two welds in sequence on a single part. Also, pneumatic part-in-place clamping devices secure the two halves during the welding process.

Key components of this work cell are Dukane's dual 20 kHz horizontally mounted ultrasonic welders. These are matched with advanced DPC IV process controllers. One feature of the process is that bad part logic forces a pneumatic clamp to hold the unacceptable part in place until an external reset is completed. This means parts with inferior welds can be separated from the acceptable parts.

Control is provided through a customer-specified push button HMI that is teamed with an expandable Allen-Bradley CompactLogixâ„¢ PLC. A whisker switch makes it simple to initiate a cycle, while manual jog controls, an automated mode, and lighted status indicators are other typical features.

Positioned above and around the table is an extruded aluminum framework with solid polycarbonate doors/panels. However a clear, polycarbonate access door in the load area allows the operator to view the parts being welded in the well-lit interior. Each of these four doors is key lockable. Optionally, the doors can be configured to interlock. The table top is one-inch thick, Blanchard ground, solid, welded steel with superior rigidity and exceptional finish. Forklift tubes, locking casters, and robust leveling feet are standard and make for easy positioning of the work cell.

Safety features include a bumper safety switch built into the leading edge of the load area door, and two abort switches that provide an extra measure of control to stop a cycle at any time. Sound deadening is available as an option.


 

 

Work Cell Innovations Improve Parts Assembly

Dukane's Custom Systems Group developed a work cell solution employing a combination of elements to improve parts assembly with creative results.

The basis for the work cell is a machine that used the Dynamic Process Controller (DPC) and the Multi-Probe Control. This equipment insures independent control of amplitude, weld energy, weld time and parts limits for each point to be welded. Dukane 30 kHz rigid-mount probes with boosters and high gain contoured horns are included as well.

A programmable vision system detects the presence and correct placement of any clips, fasteners, gaskets, etc. An HMI with intuitive menu structure allows the operator to monitor and control the overall processing of parts. In addition, the work cell has a programmable precision servo position stage.

The cell structure consists of solid bridge construction to minimize deflection of the cell frame. Fork tubes are used so that a forklift can easily re-position the work cell. Adjustable probe mounts allow for accurate parallelism with the part to be welded. These mounts help reduce weld inconsistencies. Finally, industry standard safety systems (light curtains as an example) are integrated into the work cell.
 

 



 

Lean Manufacturing Cell designed for the manual assembly of plastic components to accommodate Ultrasonic, Spin or Heat Staking applications. The main features of the cell are size, safety, ergonomics and robust construction.

The Lean cell has a small foot print, while still providing significant workspace for the application. The unique compact safety enclosure is only as large as the equipment inside, leaving more table workspace for staging parts while the equipment cycles. Safety was the driving factor in the design of this work cell. Features like OSHA approved anti-tie down activation switches and all electronically interlocked panels are standard. Pneumatics include an OSHA lock out device and filter regulator with soft start dump valve, providing an extra level of protection during equipment maintenance and setup.

All interactions are within the ergonomic reach zone of a sitting operator, which include user interface placed in operator's line of sight, part load area is obstruction free and open on all three sides thanks to the unique door design and an operator foot rest is provided.

Press Release

 


 

 

Two Position Assembly Station for plastic assembly can be used for heat staking, spin welding or ultrasonic assemblies. The machine can handle larger plastic assemblies 12 x 6 x 8 inches and has a rotary two position pneumatic reciprocating table, allowing the operator to load the machine while welding.

The assembly station has a push button interface and PLC control or an optional HMI touch screen interface. Other features include lexan guarding with lockable doors, casters with leveling feet, dust enclosure for generators, light curtain and vertically sliding pneumatic door.
 

 


Dual Welder Rotary Work Cell has a 40" dial on a Camco indexer and two-up tooling, thus double the throughput. The work cell includes part placement and color detection. Miss-loaded parts are automatically returned to the operator. A three-position pneumatic pick-n-place removes completed assemblies and separates suspect bad parts. Two 3000 watt DPC IV Plus systems provide precise weld process controls and consistency feedback. The weld area is fitted with a vacuum to eliminate particulate. The work cell is equipped with an Alan Bradley touch screen user interface with detailed error codes. Quick-change weld nests prevent incorrect parts from being loaded and part orientation errors. The work cell has a compact 60" x 72" footprint.

 


Servo-Control X-Y positioning System for Plastics Assembly was developed by Dukane for a project requiring multiple posts welded on a large automotive instrument cluster. The Machine includes a precision, servo-controlled x-y positioning stage with +/-.001 repeatability. The stage includes provisions for up to three quick-change nests. Each nest can contain up to 99 weld points, three part presence sensors, nest vacuum and pneumatic clamps. Weld positions are programmed via the touch screen and can be called up at will for partial assembly tasks. The pictured system includes the ultrasonic welder DPC level IV 2200-watt thruster with time, distance and energy controlled welding plus weld quality monitoring modes.

Download movie of Servo-Control X-Y Positioning System
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File Size:  25 MB
 

 


Turnkey Ultrasonics Workcells handles automotive door assemblies. A solid structural bridge eliminates deflection and accepts ultrasonic, thermal or spin-welding thruster heads. Each thruster has easy access and is independently adjustable. The welding process remains visible because of the open-guarding design. Operator controls include part presence feedback for each component, Good/Bad part signals, Cycle Complete signal and manual operation of individual thrusters.
 
 

6-Axis Robotic Welder was built in less time than a conventional multi-headed design. The robotic arm provides a wide range of welding application flexibility. The system features quick-change fixtures with a changeover time of less than two minutes. Fixtures can contain multiple part nests and two groups of clamps, multiple part sensors and two nest vacuum systems. Fixture ID features automatically recall the correct robot program as the fixture is installed (accepts up to five fixtures, each with multiple nests). A mini-thruster on the robot arm automatically compensates for part thickness variation or part warpage, increases the maximum allowable weld pressures without overloading the robot, and provides digital control of the weld pressure via simple touch-screen commands, without having to understand the robot programming language. Manual ultrasonic horn changeover takes less than five minutes. With horn zeroing tooling incorporated into the fixtures, Dukane can provide tooling accompanied with a robot program as new applications arise.

Download movie of 6-axis Robotic Welder
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File Size:  16 MB
 


 

Dual Station Ultrasonic Work Cell has a unique design that incorporates two independent weld stations into one compact work cell. Perfect for right and left hand assemblies that require only one operator and minimal floor space. Each station has independent three-position in/out fixture shuttle for ease of load and unloads. Each load station has their own light curtains along with DPC II plus ultrasonic power supplies featuring Dukane's Patented MPC (Multi-point Control), and bright work lights. The quick-change part holding fixtures have part sensing and clamping for positive alignment and placement detection.

The ultrasonic actuators have hydraulic speed control, solid bottom stops, adjustable trigger force switch, pressure gauge and flow controls. They are mounted on a mechanical knuckle that provides x, y, rotational and angular adjustment. This feature is great for contoured assembles that require precision horn alignment to reduce weld marking to class A surfaces. Electrical controls are handled by Control Logix PLC and Panel View Plus touch screen. The user friendly interface software provides manual activation of each sequence for ease of machine setup. Detailed error codes, bad or suspect part alarms, and a part presence map is available.


 

 

Heat staking work cell is ideal for larger plastic applications that require multiple posts staked. It's designed for applications such as exterior and interior automotive trim, appliance panels' and large consumer electronic devices. What is unique about this machine is that the independent actuators attach to a solid horizontal bridge, versus other machine designs that incorporate a large moving platen. The independent actuators and universal mounting plates allow relocation of the thrusters and retooling for other applications. Each actuator can be adjusted in the x, y and z-axis, and permits rotational and angular adjustments, to deal with applications that have a contoured shape. When heat staking, the best post strength is achieved when the speed at which the staking tool compresses the post matches the melt velocity of the plastic material. Hydraulic speed control on each actuator provides this advanced level of melt speed control. The thermal controls are modular and can be easily upgraded by the user to add more staking points. Additional PLC expansion is available to add more part clamping, sensing, position sensors and other features in the future.

User friendly operation is achieved through a color touch screen HMI and one touch cycle initiation. Safety guarding is on three sides with a light curtain across the operator load area, along with a bright work light. Nests are made from urethane which has been poured to Renwood that is machined directly from customer part CAD data, to eliminate marking of the class A surface of the parts. The lower fixture nest is mounted on a two-position linear ball bearing slide. Servo programmable stop positions are optional. The slide mechanism gives the operator the ability to load the parts at a safe, comfortable distance from the heated thermal tips. Locking casters, leveling feet and fork tubes are available.


 

Continuous Feed Tube Seal Cell Unit incorporates dual rigid C frame ultrasonic sealers capable of sealing tubes up to 3” or multiple smaller tubes.


This configuration seals tubes horizontally. However, the C frame sealer can be mounted in any orientation. The parts are directly loaded by a separate robot into the welding fixtures. A variable frequency drive and cam indexer automatically checks for part presence, validates part location, feeds the parts to the weld station and separates the parts into lot bins or a suspect bad part bin. This unit is designed for MEDICAL applications; all components have corrosion and particulate deterrents while the positively pressurized enclosure has a class 100,000-filtration system. The ultrasonics used for this application is the most advanced in the industry - Two DPC IV plus probe systems with Time, Distance, Energy, Adjustable Amplitude control and monitoring features. This unit is designed to run 24/7 without an operator. Depending on tube size the cell can produce up to 240 parts per minute