Heat Staking Thermal Press

Custom Work Cells


A 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.

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.