- Increased production demand for the customer’s low-voltage power distribution enclosure systems dictated a faster, more efficient gasketing approach.
- The conventional manual process employed requires line operators to peel and stick foam gaskets into place on the enclosure system housing. The process is error-prone and time-consuming.
- Accelerated manufacturing volumes must be cost-neutral at best, preferably cost-down as the enclosure market is competitive.
- The customer objective was to move from manual to automatic application while improving the quality and consistency of the applied gasket so that it provides maximum protection from dust and splash.
- Gasketing material was required to be UL 50 certified and adaptable to various dimensions.
- Programmable automated dispensing was desired to significantly increase production speed and efficiency, while minimizing material waste.
- Overall, the customer wanted to optimize productivity, reduce errors, ensure high-quality consistent gaskets for maximum environmental protection and lower costs.
- Henkel proposed a total process solution, leveraging the flexibility and precision of its Sonderhoff automated dosing machine in combination with FERMAPOR K31 two-component polyurethane system to produce soft elastic foam gaskets, which are foamed directly onto the part using FIPFG (Formed-In-Place-Foam-Gasket) technology.
- Together, the machine and material eliminate the errors and defects that can occur with manual, tape-applied gaskets and provide highly consistent, continuous beads with no knit line. Other benefits of the automated gasket application and unique material chemistry include:
- Customizable sealing dimension and adjustable to any part contour.
- Henkel’s FERMAPOR K31 material achieves good adhesion once the two-part material is mixed and applied to the substrate. Long-term, continuous use re-setting behavior is outstanding.
- Becomes soft and tack-free quickly, and compensates for large component tolerances.
- Up to IP68 protection class and up to NEMA 12 protection class.
- The Henkel solution has enabled the customer to reduce costs significantly through labor savings, on-demand material application flexibility and increases in production volumes. They have experienced more than 30% reduction in cost per unit and an improvement in quality.
- The Sonderhoff machine is easily re-deployed for other gasketing applications.
- Impressed with the results, the customer has decided to add a second Sonderhoff machine for R&D work and additional production requirements.
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