InfraStake | Staking Plastic with Infrared Light
The InfraStake technology is a staking process that uses infrared light as the energy source. The process takes place in four basic phases:
|1. Clamping||2. Heating||3. Staking & Cooling||4. Punch Retracts|
The InfraStake module is positioned over the molded stud or boss. The face of the concentrator provides optimum part clamping directly at the staking joint.
The heating phase begins when the lamp is illuminated. This 100 watt, technical-grade, lamp emits infrared (IR) light energy that is focused radially on the perimeter of the stud. Gold-plated reflector and concentrator components achieve this focus with engineered reflective geometries.
3) Staking & Cooling
At the end of the heating cycle, the lamp is switched off and the low-impact air cylinder with integrated staking punch is activated which forms over the semi-molten stud. When we mention “low-impact”, it is important to note that the stud is heated evenly and the force required to form it is typically as low as 15 – 25 lbs. That means low stresses in the plastic and less potential damage to sensitive components in the proximity of the operation (Ex. PCB staking applications).
The staking punch is not heated; it is positioned in the module outside of the IR focal point. Cooling or hold time therefore is very efficient as the formed stud re-solidifies under pressure. Stringing/sticky plastic adhering to the punch is also a non-issue with InfraStake due to the ‘cool’ punch surface.
4) Punch Retracts
At the end of the programmed hold or punch time, the internal staking punch mechanism retracts. The module is retracted from the components, and the cycle is complete. The sub-assembly can be immediately handled.
To dive deeper into the InfraStake technology, please see the Staking Plastic with Infrared Light white paper.
The History of InfraStake
Dissatisfied with the conventional heat staking methods of hot-air/cold punch, thermal punch, and ultrasonic, Extol set out to develop a more robust and consistent method of heating and forming a molded stud or boss.
Through our internal Innovation & Development group, the InfraStake process was created and patented, and since 1999, thousands of modules and hundreds of systems have been serving in production in wide range of industries.
The advantages of this low impact, non-intrusive heat staking process are numerous. The consistency offered by InfraStake with its clean and efficient light energy have many of our customers specifying this process 'across the board' on all staking applications.
Extol provides a wide variety of options to meet the staking equipment needs of the diverse customer base in plastics joining.
We offer ‘turn-key’ machines ranging from standard Extol press options to fully customized assembly machinery. Additionally, Extol provides a comprehensive package of InfraStake components and accessories to customers who build assembly equipment ‘in-house’ and to equipment integrators/machine builders.
Standard InfraStake Presses
- Model 304 InfraStake Machine
- 3 x 4" tooling area
- Capacity of up to (4) InfraStake modules
- Model 713 InfraStake Machine
- 7 x 13" tooling area
- Capacity of up to (12) InfraStake modules
- Model 1224 InfraStake Machine
- 12 x 14" tooling area
- Capacity of up to (16) InfraStake modules
Fully Custom InfraStake Machines
The possibilities are endless with Extol's custom machines. We've built unique single-point InfraStake machines and others incorporating 100+ InfraStake modules. Projects range from simple bench-top machines to complex work cells, which feature numerous InfraStake machines and additional joining processes and functions.
In many cases, Extol’s adjustable height ErgoStations are implemented and serve as the machine base, we also utilize rotary dials, palletized conveyors and other part transfer methods.
InfraStake integration packages include the following components:
- InfraStake module(s)
- Power supply / controller
- Air manifolds for module function
- Dual flow rate air filtration and regulation system
- Maintenance tool kit
- Detailed documentation