Human advancement in the technology sector moves forward at a pace that many people cannot fathom. This is most evident with our electronic technology, as our current smartphones hold the power storage capabilities that once challenged several interconnected supercomputers that would take up an entire warehouse.
Today, this technology is also evident in the machines that we use to build our numerous devices and products. One such technology used for these purposes is heat staking machines.
If you’re in the business of building tech equipment, or plastic products that need numerous modifications, a heat staking machine is the preferred, modern choice that is both cost-effective and more efficient than methods used in the past.
Here, we’ll explore what heat staking machines are and why you should use them.
What is a Heat Staking Machine?
Heat staking machines utilize a process known as thermoplastic staking. Essentially, this is the process of joining two dissimilar materials, one of which is plastic.
If you’re building a product and need to seat a component into a base of plastic, a heat staking machine does this by locally heating the plastic and then cooling it around the component, making the two materials bond.
In many respects, heat staking is like using hot riveting machines. If you’ve ever wondered how some of the largest buildings in the United States were constructed, this was done through the use of hot rivets in the past. This was the action of heating a rivet then driving it through two pieces of metal with an impact hammer, the result was the joining of two pieces of metal.
Though the industrial application of rivets in metal framed buildings differs greatly from heat staking in plastic, the process is basically similar. Heat staking machines use riveting heads to form rivets in printed circuit boards (PCBs), and many other materials used in the technology industry.
Why You Need a Heat Staking Machine
In the past, when building intricate electronic components (a delicate process that takes numerous man-hours) additional hardware was typically used in order to seat components and circuitry. This additional hardware incorporated the use of adhesives and thin metals to allow for detailed soldering. The main problem with using additional hardware is that electronic components (once powered) generate heat.
This heat can cause the breakdown of the product over time. Additionally, the hardware needed to modify plastic components can add a huge additional cost to the manufacturing of the product, and add unnecessary weight.
Heat staking machines create hardware-free bonds that are less likely to break, wear down, or become problematic quality control issues. Not only will you be using the most modern methods for building your products, but you’ll also save on the cost of additional hardware and shorten the process for building altogether.
The Future of Heat Staking
While full-scale robotic process automation is not a far-fetched idea, currently a heat staking machine can be programmed to carry out a task and run on its own until that task is complete. This is much like full-scale automation, but only for small-scale tasks.
When we consider the future of heat staking machines, it is only expected for them to become smaller, faster, and more efficient in design. For example, as space exploration is once again ramping up and focused on Mars and deep space operations, the need for heat staking is only expected to climb. Space technology requires the best tools that humans can build, and heat staking machines are certainly among these tools.
As already stated, the technology that we use is evolving before our very eyes. You can be assured that next year when you decide to buy a new phone, six months after the day you leave the store with your new device it will be obsolete. This is the pace of our technology, far exceeding the speed of our individual use.
While complex machinery is known to be needed in nearly all industries today, the evolution of heat staking machines is only expected to advance along with our need for technology.