Category: AUTOMOTIVE
28. February 2012   5:35 pm
Andy Stecher

Andy Stecher
Elgin, IL

One of the key aspects of our technology at PlasmaTreat is the ability to deposit glass-like nano coatings at the same speeds we can provide plasma cleaning and surface functionalization. As this is a path well-travelled by vacuum plasma, there are often quite a few misconceptions about the technology.

Our coatings are applied in an open atmosphere, using our standard jets with an additional unit to control the flow of the coating media (precursor). This is delivered directly into the plasma stream and carried to the surface of interest. Only a small amount of precursor is used as the coating applied is truly on the nano scale. This means that while it may protect a surface or improve it’s adhesion characteristics, it will not alter part geometry and the layer applied will behave as one with the part that has been coated. This allows for tailor-made surfaces without any major shift in the original design.

The key difference in what coatings are offered is the age of the technology. While vacuum plasma has been around for decades, true atmospheric plasma is much younger. Corrosion protection, hydrophilicity, and improved adhesion are already well defined processes, and hydrophobic surfaces are not far behind. Part of my role here is to support our development partners at R&D facilities and academic institutions to further push the development of PlasmaPlus coating. Whether it is a known process or one that may still be on the wish list, we are happy to discuss all applications with our clients and move forward along the development path towards realising PlasmaPlus coating in their facilities. Please contact me if there is anything you’d like to know, innovation starts with ideas!

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Category: AUTOMOTIVE
28. February 2012   12:32 am
Reinhard Klett

Reinhard Klett
Morristown, TN

For many engineers like myself, it is always fascinating to work with new technology and to be able to present it to the public and to potential customers.  Many years ago I had the opportunity to give tours to a technical center of a major automotive supplier always introducing their latest technology, which I really enjoyed.

Sometimes though new technology is met with some resistance.  People who have no experience with a relatively new technology like PlasmaTreat may view it with some skepticism.  I remember doing my engineering research thesis on the use of particular plastics for the oldest car manufacturer in the world.  At the time I was told that the advanced research would be used after one of their engineering managers – who was opposed to using plastics for particular components – would retire.  Today all they use is plastic for the applications I did the research on.

If you are considering PlasmaTreat for any application, the time to investigate the possibilities is now.  It may take a while before it can be implemented in your area of responsibility, but when the time is right you will be ready.  The sooner particular applications are explored, the more advantageous is the introduction of a new technology.

Look at the global automotive industry for example.  A process step that can be engineered into a production line from the very start can be integrated into the APQP (Advanced Production Quality Process)  and validated during the prototype phase.  This early integration into the simultaneous engineering helps to save on installation, training and other cost commonly associated with a process change.   Also, many multinationals have production plants all over the world.  If a process engineer picks up an idea and investigates it, the first implementation maybe somewhere else, where they are building a new manufacturing line for a new vehicle application.  Eventually the technology will arrive back at his plant.

So there is no need to by shy.  Get started now and stay ahead of the curve.

 

 

 

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Category: PACKAGING
27. February 2012   8:37 pm
Andy Stecher

Andy Stecher
Elgin, IL

Hi again Packaging professionals,

I just wanted everyone to be aware of our once a year promotion offering 20% OFF the regular price of our equipment.   This is the best deal of the year so get in while you can.   This offer expires on March 15, 2012.  

Plasmatreat equipment is sold worldwide exclusively by the Bobst Group.   As the premier manufacturer of folder gluers, Bobst has chosen Plasmatreat as their exclusive premier plasma surface treatment supplier.   Interested parties can direct inquiries to their local Bobst representative or to myself (shaun.glogauer@plasmatreat.com).   This partnership allows for a complete solution-based approach for clients and also for optimal results when integrating Plasmatreat equipment into a folder gluer.

Bobst and Plasmatreat offer loaner systems for process verification and short term studies of difficult to bond materials.   Any folding carton manufacturers currently making cartons out of plastic, UV coated, laminated or poly coated are excellent candidates for this technology.   Please contact us to arrange a technical meeting or product demonstration.

Let`s bond together!

All the best until next time.

Shaun Glogauer.

 

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27. February 2012   1:00 am
Andy Stecher

Andy Stecher
Elgin, IL

Dear Reader,
 
One of the most impressive aspect about atmospheric plasma technology is the breadth of the available applications. From Whirlpool to Boeing, from Mercedes to Siemens, the customers, markets and product applications are really quite enthralling. One of the latest technological moves that helps “pushing the envelope” in this particular industry is the seamless edge or zero bondline for furniture makers. For years furniture manufacturers have struggled finding a good, clean and efficient way to attach the edgeband to veneer furniture. Of course, in a perfect world, a final work piece of veneer based furniture such as table tops, shelf pieces or wall elements for wall units or armoirs, could rival the look of all wood furniture with the distinct advantage of even better accomodating the customers’ wishes if the wood-only look does not suffice.
The holy grail in creating top quality furniture panels is producing secure edges with seamless edges or, as some people call it, zero bondlines. In any case, after adhering the polymer based edgeband, the edge seam should not be visible. Furniture edgebands are usually are joined in edgebanding machines after a hot melt adhesive was applied to the panel. Hot melt is a messy affair. It works but clean up is no fun. Also every so often, the glue has to be replaced as sitting in the glue pot all day, it tends to get crusty and becomes less effective and less efficient.
After conclusion of this process customers will often experience glue joint darkening. Often if the edgeband is not tightly adhered to the board, moisture can penetrate and cause the particle board under the veneer to bubble up. For higher quality furniture makers this is an unacceptable product result.
 
Newer processes rely on laser technology, but integrating that can pose safety-related complications, require elaborate equipment engineering, require speciality trained staff members, tends to be very costly.  Plasmatreat instead has developed an innovative atmospheric plasma based  solution to create a seamlesss and tight sealing edge. This plasma based edge works without applying an extra adhesive in the machine. A previously applied functional polymer layer replaces the former hot melt glue. All of a sudden the glue pot is gone, the messiness has disappeared, the material costs for glue and clean-up costs are vanished and the furniture manufacturer and their customers can admire a seamless edgeband product with strong adhesion to the board.
  • The resulting joint is no longer visible with the naked eye;
  • No glue joint so it is permanently colorfast and age resistant; and
  • Highly resistant to peeling, with great thermal stability
After implementing several dozen such applications in Europe, Plasmatreat is now in  partnership with a industry leading edgeband supplier in the United States to offer this leading edge technology (no pun intended) right here in North America. 
 
Consider this cool aspect: Simple and cost-effective integration, including into existing equipment!  In contrast to laser technology, Openair Plasma can be added to existing equipment very easily and without major expense, including to existing edge gluing systems. Plasma technology is suitable for equipping or retrofitting all categories of machinery – from the manual workstation, through simple through-feed machines, to high-speed equipment and two-dimensional machining centers. The result:
  • Less expensive edge band material since no expensive laser inhibitors are required;
  • Lower investment expenses, in particular when retrofitting existing systems;
  • Lower operating costs; and
  • Simple maintenance without expensive technical staff.

Interested? Questions? Shoot me a line, would love to tell you more about it.

Till next time

Andy

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Category: AUTOMOTIVE
7. February 2012   7:01 pm
Reinhard Klett

Reinhard Klett
Morristown, TN

With over 20 years of experience in the automotive industry, my efforts in promoting PlasmaTreat’s environmentally friendly process are focused on that industry, particularly in the South where most of the German and Asian automotive transplants are located.

When I worked for the fuel injection and ignition system division of Bosch in Germany, I was excited about the tremendous reduction in exhaust emissions which have been accomplished over the last few decades through highly sophisticated engine management systems.

The automotive industry has not only made tremendous strides in making the operation of vehicles a lot friendlier to the environment, but also the production of automobiles and their components.

While PlasmaTreat provides a lot of benefits engineers get excited about, such as

  • very high quality surface cleaning and activation to greatly enhance adhesion of coatings and adhesives,
  • the design freedom to use  materials which are ordinarily not suitable for coating and adhesion,
  • the conservation of resources (cost savings),

PlasmaTreat’s technology is also helping the industry to further move in the direction of making the manufacturing process environmentally friendly.  So, when I learned about PlasmaTreat, I liked their technology so much I decided to work for them as a manufacturer’s rep www.klemaonline.com.

PlasmaTreat helps to protect your most valuable resource: your health and the health of your employees.  Find out how the very clean PlasmaTreat process can help your manufacturing process contribute to a healthy environment.  Go to www.plasmatreat.com.

I’ll write more about this topic in the coming months.  Let us know where you think PlasmaTreat can be your partner in making manufacturing friendlier to the environment.

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Category: PACKAGING
7. February 2012   6:45 pm
Andy Stecher

Andy Stecher
Elgin, IL

Welcome to the brand new Plasmablog that allows readers and writers to share their experience and expertise in using plasma treatment in the packaging market. In this first Packaging Plasmablog entry I would like to invite anyone with interest in the packaging market to read, contribute and enjoy our brand new blog! All relevant entries are welcome, however I would encourage contributors to relay experiences and or applications that streamline processes, contribute to continuous improvement, provide Green alternatives and ultimately result in lower costs. Enjoy!

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Jeff Leighty

Jeff Leighty
Elgin, IL

Dear Reader,

Hello and welcome to the new PlasmaBlog! As the curtain goes up on our new blog we look forward to interacting with you–our readers. Whether you are an existing customer, future customer, partner supplier or just someone interesting in learning about this exciting technology we want to hear from you. Have a question? Possible application? Bonding, printing, painting or sealing problem? Let’s talk!

Each member of our team has specific experience to share. Medical devices, building products and consumer goods applications are my main areas of focus. I came to Plasmatreat from the chemical side of surface finishing so I’ve seen the negative operational and environmental impact that harsh chemicals and manual operations can have. It didn’t take long to realize the huge benefits that plasma surface treatment can bring to the party. It’s pretty amazing what you can do with compressed air and less than 25 cents for an hour’s worth of electricity!

In future “conversations” we want to hear from you. Your comments and questions will bring to light challenges and issues that are shared by owners, engineers and quality managers across a wide range of industries and applications. We can all learn from each other:  How can you eliminate the need for primer in bonding applications. Why Openair plasma is the most environmentally friendly solution of its kind. Who else is using this process.  How plasma can widen your range of substrate and consumables options.

Check back for regular updates.  We look forward to your feedback, questions and challenges.

Until Next Time,

Jeff Leighty
Plasmatreat, Elgin, IL

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6. February 2012   1:01 am
Wally Hansen

Wally Hansen
Belmont, CA

 Before and After – A picture is worth a thousand words.

 

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Category: SOLAR
6. February 2012   12:17 am
Wally Hansen

Wally Hansen
Belmont, CA

Hello Everyone,

I would like introduce myself and invite you to participate in this discussion of solar product manufacturing and the role that plasma surface treatment is providing.

By introduction, I am Wally Hansen, the Solar Market Manager for Plasmatreat in North America.  I live and work in the San Francisco Bay area.  As a Californian, I am an avid outdoorsman, sailor, environmentalist and lover of the sun.

For several decades, I have worked in the field of plasma surface treatments for critical manufacturing applications. Plasma cleaning and activation has become common in solar product manufacturing. The ability to clean materials to atomic levels and rearrange the surface chemistry for adhesion is remarkable.  To do it in-line, 24/7, without chemicals, emissions or touching the surface is amazing.

We in the solar manufacturing world, are facing amazing opportunities and challenges.  Sometimes, it is hard to see the good we do when today’s pressure is performance, yield,  and cost cost cost . We are asked for long-term performance and environmental guarantees on our products that have rarely been done before.  How well would your car perform after sitting in a field for 25 years? How long would your flat screen television last if attached to your roof?

I would like to make this blog a place for open discussion of plasma and solar manufacturing,  especially as it relates to cleaning, bonding, sealing or environmental protection.  If  you have questions or wish a private discussion, please do this through our “Ask the Expert” feature of the Plasmatreat.com website or at email me at wally.hansen@plasmatreat.com

I will be posting information, ideas and links related to solar manufacturing and the role of plasma surface treatments on solar materials.  I would think that those of you involved in solar R&D, engineering, manufacturing and reliability may have an interest in participation.  I would love to invite the materials community as well. Please join me with your comments, questions, suggestions and interesting topics.

-Wally

 

 

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Andy Stecher

Andy Stecher
President Plasmatreat USA
Elgin, IL

Editorial February 2012

Dear Reader!

When talking to our existing customers and industry partners, and particularly our prospective clients, it appears to me that surface treatment via plasma is often still a best kept secret in manufacturing.

Plasmatreat came into existence almost 20 years ago, when the automotive industry was looking to source a better alternative to increase adhesion on a variety of polymers. Eliminating the problem of moisture ingress into car headlamps was one of the first key applications for atmospheric plasma. Plasma treatment until then was only available in a low pressure, vacuum chamber based environment. This limitation stipulated a batch style process which for many manufacturers was doable but limited productivity. Thus Openair Plasma,  offering the first atmospheric plasma solutions, was first created.  Plasmatreat has been the global leader in developing atmospheric plasma solutions for industry ever since.

Plasma is a naturally occurring phenomenon, such as lightening bolts, or the Northern Lights, in fact most of the universe is made of plasma. Here is a fascinating link that shows plasma around our globe in a time lapse video shot from the space station, orbiting the earth: http://vimeo.com/32001208?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter.

Plasmatreat invented devices (plasma jets) that harness the power of plasma and apply them to surfaces of substrates. Most common surfaces our equipment treat  are polymers, glass, ceramic, metals (particularly aluminum). This always occurs in atmospheric conditions thus can be incorporated into existing production processes without too much effort. Capex spending is very limited. The results are very clean surfaces (down to the nano level), and increased bonding strength for adhesives. The ROIs derive from lower necessary quantities of adhesives material, the utilization of a lower grade of adhesives, the possibilty for faster production speeds, and the reduction of VOCs (green technology).

However the devils lies in the detail, as always. Plasmatreat applications have been developed for a variety of markets and industries, in fact a dozen different markets, with thousands of different applications within them. So in order to enter into a quality discussion with our customers, Plasmatreat is now starting the: “PlasmaBlog”. Our market managers are offering their insight and expertise for each of their markets. We are focusing on solutions, new ideas, and insights we gained from working with this intriguing and effective technology every single day. We welcome your comments, we look forward to your questions. Challenge us!

Till next time,

Andy

 

 

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