by Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team

The Language of Plastics Welding

What comes to mind when you hear plastics welding? Might it be a masked welder with a hot torch? For those not familiar with the art of radio frequency (RF) welding that may be the exact image that comes to mind. Yes, plastics welding involves heat but not in the same manner as metal welding. To dive deeper into the process of plastics welding visit our recent blog Radio Frequency (RF) Welding 101, where we explain each step in the welding process and discuss why manufacturing with RF welding is a great option for many industries looking into getting a plastic welder on site.

Today let’s unwrap the terminology around plastics welding. By better understanding some of the terms associated with the process, those exploring plastics welding as a supply chain solution can be better equipped to make impactful decisions.

Radio Frequency (RF Waves): High frequency electromagnetic energy (usually 27.12 MHz) similar to a microwave but heating plastic instead of warming up leftovers.

RF Heat Sealing: High frequency power applied to two or more layers of thermoplastic material to create a seal or bond in the shape of a die.

Bipolar Molecules or Dipoles: Molecules with one end positively charged with respect to the other end.

Polar Plastics: Plastic material that have molecules with one end positive and the other end negative. In other words, polar plastic material contain a dipole molecules and two atoms are oppositely charge creating a net difference of charge in the bond.

Non-Polar Plastics: Plastic material with molecules that do not have one end positive and the other end negative. In other words, non-polar plastics do not have enough difference in net charge to react to RF welding.

Thermoplastic: Plastic polymers that become soft and moldable upon heating and return to their original hardness and strength upon cooling and this process can be repeated. This is contrary to thermoset, which when melted will not return to its original form.

Seal: A fused point between plastic material that creates a liquid or air tight joint that otherwise would not be.

Weld Width: The width of the actual RF welded seam.

Bond vs Weld (Chemical vs Mechanical): In RF heat sealing, when two like materials are welded they become fused and become one with each other in the welded area. When materials are bonded only they are mechanically held together, such as bonding with an adhesive in between, using something like this shrinkfast 998 shrink wrap gun. They are still two separate materials and a bond is weaker than that of a true RF heat sealed weld.

Machine Direction vs Transverse Direction: Machine Direction -The direction parallel to the machine as the film moves through the machine. Transverse Direction -The direction perpendicular to the machine as the film moves through the machine.

Material Shrink: Decrease in dimension of a film when subjected to heat.

Sided Material: Having two different chemical compositions of material on either side of the film.

Layered Material: Having multiple chemical compositions of film in one material.

Carbon: When a flash or an arc occurs in the welding process it can leave the chemical element carbon as the exposed materials burn.

Arcing: An electrical arc or flash that can occur during the welding process causing damage to the materials and/or the tooling and needs to be repaired before the process can continue.

Plastics welding or RF heat sealing is often utilized for medical device manufacturing for items such as fluid bags/pouches, wound care devices and patient warming products. It also is utilized for heat sealed military applications such as hydration pouches, safety products and protection gear. Most often polar materials such as polyvinylchloride (PVC) and polyurethane (PU) are utilized in the RF welding process. However, due to Genesis Plastics Welding’s diverse heat sealing solutions, from radio frequency to impulse to ultrasonic welding, clients can consider non-polar materials as well, such as olefins, TPEs and bio-derived plastics.

  • View products manufactured utilizing Radio frequency welding process
  • See how OEMs like REDpoint International have used our ecoGenesis technology to replace PVC with “greener” materials like TPE and bio-derived plastics

genesis-plastics-welding-manufacturing-rf-welding

by Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team

Because of Peyton

genesis-plastics-welding-colts-tom-ryder-thumbnailPeyton you changed us forever. You left an imprint on our hearts, and you made us love the game of football even more. Yes Peyton, you will forever be a COLT to us. I can’t wait to hear you speak at next weeks engagement. These peyton manning agent details will be useful to anyone hoping to book Peyton for an event.

We’ve loved watching you go down memory lane these past few weeks and take us along for the ride. You’re a class act and we’ve learned so much from you, both on and off the field! Your absolute love of the game, your work ethic, your dedication to your community and your leadership to name a few.

We can’t think of a better way to celebrate all the years than with “18 Times Peyton Manning Made You Love Peyton Manning” from the Colts Roundup.

As an Indiana business, we’ve been deeply inspired by your example over the years. You’ve energized us and stirred our own efforts to pay it forward to those in our community as well. Peyton, we were honored to have you as our QB for 14 amazing years! Cheers to the next chapter, buddy.

by Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team

[In the News] Continuous Improvement at Every Level

As an organization focused on continuous improvement, we believe it can be something tackled at every level of the company from line operators to CEO. Often the best improvement ideas come from an “aha moment” from a team member as they go about their daily routine.

Earlier this month Dave Hall, V.P. of Manufacturing at Post Glover Resistors shared an article in Industry Week outlining four areas of focus to make continuous improvement something anyone at any level of your organization can easily understand. We all can get caught up in industry buzz of terms like Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing, as well as acronyms – QMS, MES, ISO and GMP, but it really just boils down to moving the needle and making improvements that make processes easier, better, faster or more cost effective, without sacrificing quality or safety.

Theory of Constraints. Quick Response Manufacturing. Six Sigma. Lean. Total Productive Maintenance. Total Quality Management. The lexicon, tools and methods around improving manufacturing these days seems to be endless. 

We, being the continuous improvement community, make it more complicated than it really needs to be sometimes to the point of confusing and frustrating those very people we are trying to help. Don’t get me wrong, I have used each of the methods listed above in some application as they have their place in my manufacturing heart. But it is our job to make this concept of continuous improvement easy and fun, not complicated and by the book.

Over the years I have found that in its simplest form, by focusing to improve one of the following four things — making sure not to make the other three worse — we can make continuous improvement something anyone at any level of the organization can easily understand and implement.
Easier

By making a process or job easier for the operator it typically results in less time and therefore less cost for the company.

But easier can also be in terms of the health and safety burden it puts on the operator. Easier is one that has countless benefits: It makes the product better because the operator is less tired and can focus better at their task; easier means the operator can get more done in the same amount of time — all of which helps to make the product cheaper.

Better

Every company should always be looking for ways to make their products better. This can come from changing a component or material, adding features, or simply improving an assembly process. Sometimes companies struggle with this one because on the surface it almost always results in raising costs. Be sure to always consider defects and breakdowns when looking to make the product better. It may result in adding dimes to the COGS but save dollars on the service and warranty. When looking to make the product better for the customer, one also needs to be careful. Don’t make a Bentley when all that is needed is a Toyota. Always keep the customers’ expectations in mind.

 Explore the rest of the four areas of focus more in-depth here.   

by Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team

On the Road with CEO Tom Ryder: The Single Most Important Question

As Indiana yo-yoed between winter and spring recently, I spent a bit of time in sunny California visiting clients. I was happy to take one for the team and hit the friendly skies. Okay, okay I’ll be honest, maybe the warmth of California had a little draw too.

In early January, via my On the Road blog series, I chatted about what really matters – our relationships with our clients. Having the honor to talk with our clients and industry friends one-on-one is always something I value and I greatly enjoy my trips to their facilities.

As I spent time in the air headed west earlier this month, I pondered truly the single most important question we can ever ask our clients, prospects, friends and family: “How can we help?”

Four simple words, yet when strung together they’re four very powerful words.

As a contract manufacturer, a cornerstone to our business is how we are able to serve others. However, on the path to harnessing our heat sealing and engineering expertise for their benefit, we must first listen. And it all begins with that single most important question.

How can we help?

Click here to contact us today or call us 317-482-4202. We’re happy to explore options to assist any way we can to bring your RF heat sealed product from concept to market.

by Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team

From Prototyping to Production to Market: The Important Questions to Ask First

Over our nearly three decades of contract manufacturing, we have received initial design concept sketches on everything from cocktail napkins to sticky pad notes and everything in between. Truly you never know when inspiration for innovation will strike!

This week one of our valued internship partners Rose-Hulman Institute for Technology put out a great read through their Rose-Hulman Ventures newsletter. The article discusses the important questions to ponder before you set out to obtain a prototype of any new product design.

Some of the very same questions the Genesis Plastics Welding engineering and sales team asks of prospective clients during initial prototyping and validation conversations are noted. New product concepts can be invigorating, but if designers want to make it to market eventually as well, taking a step back to address key pathway questions and define end goals can help ensure the initial concept can become a reality.

8 Questions to Ask Before You Prototype

1. Do you have a development strategy?
It’s extremely rare for a prototype to achieve all goals on the first shot. Do you need the entire device at once, or should you do it in stages? Think about your most important goals and meet them first.

2. What are your post-prototype costs?
Making a prototype can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands. Do you know how expensive the next steps will be? Have you consulted with companies like raypcb to get an idea of how much bulk orders of the parts you need will cost? You want to avoid being deep into a project before you learn later steps will be shockingly more expensive than you imagined.

3. If this is a business idea, does it add up economically?
Will the final sale price cover all of the costs of bringing your idea to market? Other than parts and assembly, there are legal, regulatory, overhead, and initial front-end costs that you’ll need to spread over the number of units sold.

4. What is the FDA pathway?
We’re not FDA experts, but we can help you stay within the FDA path you know you need to follow. Among other things, you’ll want to know if your device is a Class I, II, or III. If you’re not familiar with the FDA’s pathways to approval, get help before committing your resources. One starting point might be here, but, remember, no online resource is a substitute for expert guidance.

5. What about Intellectual Property?
Most medical devices require an IP strategy. Have you hired an IP attorney? Should you complete a patent application before developing a prototype or after?

6. Do you need a team?
Remember, this is going to take time. Whether you develop this in-house or outsource heavily, you may need others, possibly a team, to make things happen. Think about your life. If you have a day job, it’s hard to make progress on a startup after business hours or on weekends.

7. Why doesn’t your idea already exist?
No matter how brilliant your idea is, it’s worth considering why others, perhaps well-established others, haven’t done this yet. There might be stumbling blocks – regulatory, legal, or cultural – that have derailed previous efforts.

8. What’s your ultimate goal?
Is this an exercise in curiosity, the root of a full-fledged business, or something in-between? Does your idea result in a single product or does it lend itself to a product line? Is your best business strategy acquisition, IP licensing, or growing a new business from the ground up?

Have a proven medical device product or product line that you need to take to production? Is your business plan outlined, funding in place and you’re just ready to hit GO? Let Genesis’ controlled manufacturing space, class 7 clean rooms, heat sealing expertise and knowledgeable engineering staff help you take it to the next step. Reach out today.