Pushing The (Dispensing) Speed Limit

Oct 27, 2019 7:00:00 PM

Pushing-dispensing-speed-limit-blog

If you’re one of those cutting-edge manufacturers who is constantly looking to increase speeds and yields in your dispensing line, this blog post might be one of the most important items that you’ve read in a long time.

I don’t say that lightly, and I know that I’m not talking to everyone. For the most part, today’s contact-based dispensing solutions offer outstanding balances of features and speeds, whether auger valve, progressive cavity pump, time pressure valve or others. And I would know—my company specializes in helping dispensing operations select the best technology mix for their needs and I’ve seen a lot of them. So, for many, you might be right where you need to be. This blog post is not for you.

On the other hand, I’ve also seen many demanding operators on high volume lines try to push current technologies beyond their intended speed limits—I’m talking here about resourceful jerry-rigging efforts like putting four valves in the same head—with varying degrees of success. Often, we see yields increase, but there are often resulting deficits in quality, waste, cleaning, space utilization and maintenance needs that can partially or substantially reverse them.

A better solution

For these type of operators, there’s a brand new option that will make these “creative” but ultimately problematic solutions all but obsolete. It’s a relatively new type of dispensing technology that can deliver ultra-fast, high-precision dispensing at speeds up to 1500 shots per second.

And while you’re letting that sink in, consider this—it can also deliver 2000 Hz maximum bursts for even higher throughput.

Many operators are probably now thinking to themselves something like “Oh, he must be talking about a jet valve. We looked into that and it’s fast, but not that fast!”

Well, you’d be close. Most jet valves in use today operate mechanically, using pneumatics. That leads to some inherent speed limitations. Building on the pneumatic jet capabilities and raising the stakes considerably—more than doubling the speed in fact—is a newer type of jet valve technology: the Piezo Jet Valve.

The fastest dispensing available anywhere

The Piezo Jet Valve not only eliminates the “time wasting” Z-axis motion, but, as opposed to the older technology Pneumatic Jet Valve, works electronically, not mechanically. That is, it is driven by a piezoelectric actuator rather than by air pressure. This advanced technology allows Piezo Jet Valves to achieve speeds that are some 20x faster than auger valves and other contact based solutions.

Further, of significant note, you don’t need to give up flexibility or accuracy or other desired attributes to get this speed either. The Piezo Jet Valve can dispense dots as small as .5 nanoliter, and do so with 97% accuracy—better than most other solutions. (If you want greater accuracy than this, you’ll need to check out the Progressive Cavity pump). In addition, the Piezo Jet Valve delivers this ultra-fast high-precision dispensing with a wide array of fluids—underfills, assembly adhesives, surface mount adhesives, die attach adhesives, UV adhesives, encapsulants, even silicone. In fact, it can handle nearly any material up to two million centipoise or more. The only material that the Piezo Jet Valve has trouble with is anything with a lot of solid particles.

Other than that, most operators can almost instantly enjoy a significant increase in throughput and yields—and boost their profitability significantly.

The most advanced Piezo Jet Valve available

To be frank, Techcon is not the first out of the gate with this advanced technology, but I do think we have added some really smart features that make the Techcon Piezo Jet Valve worthy of careful consideration for any operator who is serious about pushing their yields to the highest possible levels.

First of all, Techcon is the first out of the gate with a unique, advanced, graphical, touchscreen-based user interface that makes set-up—perhaps one of the most challenging parts of Piezo Jet Valve use—easier and more intuitive than ever before. Further, Techcon has also developed an Industry 4.0 Ethernet-enabled interface that allows operators to control their dispensing process from anywhere in the world, 24/7, right on their mobile phone or other device. For the higher yield operator running their lines ‘round the clock, this innovation alone can make a huge difference in resulting throughput and quality.

If you want to find out more, I invite you to read this more detailed introduction to the Piezo Jet Valve. Or, if you’re eager to get the ball rolling right away and see if a Piezo Jet Valve is the right move for you, just give me a call. We’ll discuss your current operation and throughput goals and determine if adding a Piezo Jet Valve can make a huge difference in your line speed—as noted, for some, the potential of 20x greater speed or more is quite possible. Then, if it sounds good, we’ll test some of your material and get some real world insights.

If this sounds promising, give me a call now. Interest in this new innovation, not surprisingly, has been high. And the faster we can work through the preliminaries the faster your operation can benefit from what just might be the biggest increase in dispensing speed you’ve ever experienced.

Can La

Written by Can La

Can La is the Techcon Systems Product Leader.