Category: Miscellaneous
15. October 2015   8:17 pm
Andy Stecher

Andy Stecher
Elgin, IL

In 1998, Plasmatreat launched the very first Openair® plasma jet for inline surface treatment. This technology was a revolutionary new approach in industrial assembly operations to improve bonding and facilitate perfect adhesion of materials such as non-polar Elastomers.

Since then, thousands of Openair® plasma systems have been installed and operating around the globe. Systems with up to 16 plasma jets can be positioned around complex profile shapes for complete, fast inline treatment. However, treating job runs of irregularly shaped profiles in small quantities has remained a time-consuming challenge—until now.

The new Openair® Plasma Automatic Profile System, PlasmaXCT, is fully automated and controlled by a high-performance XYZ-axis. All plasma jet positions can be programmed for precise applications and then permanently kept as “recipes” that are easily accessible through the HMI. Calling up these recipes allows any operator to effortlessly precision-adjust the plasma jets in 2 minutes or less.

The result: A reproducible, safe, and high-quality surface treatment. You can see a brief demonstration of how it works on our Plasmatreat YouTube channel .

For a more in-depth presentation, we’d like to cordially invite you to an online Product Feature Exposition on Tuesday, October 20th, hosted by our colleagues in Europe:

  • 11 am Eastern/ 10 am Central U.S. Daylight Time
  • (5 pm Central European Standard Time)

 

Just click here to register. We hope to see you there!

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Category: Miscellaneous
9. October 2015   5:19 am
Andy Stecher

Andy Stecher
Elgin, IL

Just a quick note today to let you know about Surface Science Corner, a recurring feature here on the PlasmaBlog courtesy of Professors K.L. Mittal and Robert H. Lacombe.

Drs. Mittal and Lacombe write fascinating, in-depth pieces for us on the science behind plasma technology. Their most recent installment has the dual purpose of presenting a book review on the recently published Adhesion Science: Principles and Practice while simultaneously diving into the ubiquitous world of adhesives technology. It’s an illuminating read.

We are lucky to have the expertise of Drs. Mittal and Lacombe in our corner, in addition to the fine talent we possess in house. As always, please let us know if you have any manufacturing challenges—adhesion-related or otherwise—that Plasmatreat’s technologies may be able to help with.

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24. September 2015   2:00 pm
Andy Stecher

Andy Stecher
Elgin, IL

We have lots of exciting news around here these days. As I mentioned in my last post, Plasmatreat turned 20 on September 1.

In addition to this big milestone, Plasmatreat has also just been honored as one of the 100 “Best of German Mittelstand” companies at the 2015 Ambassadors’ Conference hosted by the German Foreign Office in Berlin. (In this context, “Mittelstand” refers to the small and mid-sized German companies that have achieved global market-leader status in their respective sectors.)

Closer to home, we are shaking things up with a move to a larger and better equipped facility in the East Bay for our California-based division. Stay tuned for more details once we get settled.

Despite the upheaval of the impending move, Khoren Sahagian, our Senior Applications Manager, has just written a new post that helps you cross-correlate a water contact angle and dyne surface tension.  I encourage you to give it a read if you’re trying to calculate surface energy for wettability or adhesion purposes.

Finally, last but certainly not least, Plasmatreat North America has appointed Mercedes Tur Escriva as Territory Manager for Mexico and Central America. She has over 15 years’ experience working with clients in the area of industrial surface treatment technologies, and we are excited to offer our Spanish-speaking prospects a fast response and assistance in their native language. Welcome to the team, Mercedes!

Until next time, we hope your autumn is as busy and productive as ours has been so far.

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Category: Miscellaneous
17. September 2015   2:02 pm
Andy Stecher

Andy Stecher
Elgin, IL

On September 1, Plasmatreat turned a very proud 20 years of age—a true entrepreneurial success story that I, and my team, are extremely proud to be part of. We appreciate all of your support and could not have done it without you!

The company was launched by Christian Buske (our current CEO) and Peter Foensel back in 1995, and our very first customer was Hella Headlamps. Fast-forward twenty years, and we are now a global leader for all kinds of plasma surface treatment technologies with subsidiaries and representation in over 20 countries all over the world.

Earlier this month, I was among 300 employees, spouses, customers, suppliers, and friends who gathered together in Germany for the 20th anniversary celebration. It was a very inspiring, fun evening, and I’ve attached a few photos.

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As I mentioned earlier, we owe our success to you and are deeply grateful for your business and your belief in our technology. Thank you. Plasma’s applications are growing every day, and we’re excited to be a longstanding pioneer in this industry.

To the next 20 years and beyond!

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16. July 2015   3:31 pm
Andy Stecher

Andy Stecher
Elgin, IL

Photo courtesy Plasmatreat.

Photo courtesy Plasmatreat.

A fun plasma story for you today: This past April, at an Openair® plasma seminar in Belgium organized by Plasmatreat’s representative Rycobel, participants had an exclusive opportunity to watch a live demonstration of the plasma pretreatment of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) components for the Punch Powertrain Solar Team’s new racing car.

The car, Indupol One, made its debut appearance at the World Solar Challenge 2013 and had just returned from the 2015 Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge in January. In addition to its new design and other advances, the latest model features a very special innovation: For the first time, the CFRP components were pretreated with atmospheric pressure plasma prior to bonding.

The production manager of the 16-strong solar car team – who is just 23 years old – enthusiastically described his team’s decision to use atmospheric pressure plasma in the new car to improve the adhesion of the CFRP components. This approach not only greatly reduced the time taken to pretreat the carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, it also achieved a significant weight savings compared with the previous method.

Next month, the latest model of the solar racing car—treated with Openair® plasma—will be unveiled to the public for the first time. It and its design team will then head to Australia for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2015 in October.

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Category: Miscellaneous
11. June 2015   2:58 pm
Jeff Leighty

Jeff Leighty
Elgin, IL

Plasmatreat

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Is plasma surface treatment right for you? Maybe. Each circumstance is different, but over the course of my 17 years in surface finishing, 6 with Plasmatreat, I have come to recognize some key situations that tend to indicate a possible fit:

  1. VOC problems. The EPA just left your facility, and you’re nervous. The agency has told you, in so many words, that if you don’t get your VOC emissions under control there will be fines…or worse. Openair plasma is both environmentally clean and worker-friendly—no solvents, no wet chemicals, no waste stream—so it can reduce your reliance on VOC-based cleaning and bonding processes. It can also greatly reduce the necessity for costly removal of hazardous wastes.
  2. Out-of-control scrap rate. Your scrap rate is getting out of control but the root cause isn’t presenting itself (there may, in fact, be more than one problem on the line). Plasma is a highly reliable, replicable process that can eliminate the types of “here today, gone tomorrow” problems that drive a quality manager crazy.
  3. Launching something new. You’re getting ready to launch a new program, and this time you are determined to do it better from the outset: Higher quality, fewer rejects, faster throughput, more reliable process. Plasma could be the “better way” that you’ve been waiting for. While it readily integrates into existing systems, starting from a clean slate is ideal.
  4. Struggling to differentiate yourself from the competition. Plasma, quite simply, allows you to do things your competition can’t—new substrates, new combinations, better quality. You may even be able to achieve a better result than your competitors for less money than you’re spending now.
  5. Maintenance problems. Your maintenance crew is tired of keeping your current process running. Some pretreatments and adhesion promoters can be fussy systems. Downtime for service and repairs is expensive. Plasma treatment is a steady-state process built for uptime. One of my customers said his Plasmatreat system runs in “beast mode.”
  6. Performance issues. Your potential customer just called to tell you your samples didn’t pass their accelerated life cycle testing. Plasma can outperform other pretreatment methods for the application of silicone sealants and polyurethane “form-in-place” gaskets and seals. Because plasma changes substrates on a molecular level, it provides lasting results that other systems can’t achieve.
  7. Formulation frustration. Your supplier just informed you that they will be “reformulating” the product you source from them (primer, adhesive, resin, ink, etc.). While there have been sweeping assurances that the quality won’t be affected, you’re smart enough to take this with a grain of salt. Plasma is different. As long as there is electricity and air, there will be plasma—and it will continue to work for you as well as it does on Day 1.
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14. April 2015   3:04 pm
Khoren Sahagian

Khoren Sahagian

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May the force be with you: Not just for Star Wars anymore.

Boeing, according to reports in Popular Science and other media outlets, has been granted a patent for a plasma-generated “force field” that protects combat vehicles from the impact of explosions.

The idea is that explosions in the vicinity of the sensor-equipped vehicle trigger the rapid formation of a superheated plasma layer around the vehicle. The plasma creates a buffer zone to reduce the impact of shock waves, protecting both the vehicle itself and the occupants within it.

Even better, it’s not just land vehicles that could benefit from this incredible technology. The patent filing notes that the “protected asset” could be a surface vessel, a submarine vessel, an offshore platform, a land structure, or even “a human.”

Personally, I love the idea of being surrounded by a protective plasma shield, though I am fortunate that I don’t usually need one in the course of my daily activities! I am continually amazed by the new applications for plasma and excited to be working at Plasmatreat, which is always at the forefront of this technology.

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