07 December 2021
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Silicone gasket, robotically applied, lets lighting manufacturer shine

Venta Global is a manufacturer of automotive and marine lighting products based in Hampshire. With a new production facility recently fitted out, it has been taking steps to streamline and automate processes where possible.

The lighting assemblies Venta Global manufacture often require water- and environmentally-resistant gaskets to protect them from the elements throughout their lifetime. To help achieve this requirement, Venta Global contacted Intertronics for help in specifying a suitable gasketing material. An appropriate method of dispensing was also required to reach its long-term goal of de-skilling processes to enable consistent, reliable results to be produced, removing inconsistencies due to operator variance, and allowing future scalability.

After discussing the requirements for its form-in-place gasketing application, Intertronics put forward a select number of materials for testing. The gaskets were to be dispensed into 3mm grooves of the lamp assembly, after which point the lamp lid was then placed on top while the material is wet to create a cured gasket with a reliable seal. Ultimately, Venta Global chose Wacker Elastosil N2199 for its environmental resistance qualities, non-corrosive, neutral cure, and compatibility with their parts.

Senior technical product specialist at Intertronics, Matthew Baseley, said: “Venta Global was previously applying gasket material by dispensing from hand-held syringes they backfilled in-house. This was a time-consuming process. It came to us for help in improving the quality of dispense and overall repeatability. The Fisnar ADVANCE robot we recommended, along with a CR300 cartridge retainer and HP790 dispensing valve, allows them to de-skill the process and semi-automate it. The result is a more accurate dispensing method wh ich produces reliable, high-quality products.”

Roderick Dible, production manager at Venta Global said: “The robot has sped up our production significantly. With one skilled operative, our old process would take up to 20 minutes to fully gasket nine lamps; the new set up can do this in less than five. We have also been able to remove the health and safety risks associated with repetitive strain injury.”

With two different lamp designs being produced with this dispensing set-up, the robot’s program memory allows the team at Venta Global to switch dispensing programs between configurations. Up to 100 programmes can be stored at any one time.

Intertronics installed the equipment on-site and provided training to the team at Venta Global. Follow-up assistance, such as support with program optimisation, was also provided when required.

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