Last Updated: September 14, 2022
- Volumetric displacement
Fishman Corporation of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, USA, introduced a new automated dispensing system incorporating volumetric displacement. (Editor’s note: Fishman’s SmartAutomationTM Benchtop Fiber Optic Assembly System is available from Fiber Optic Center)
The Fishman system incorporates the company’s “airfree” displacement technology, called SmartDispenserTM , which uses a stepper motor and a precision-threaded rod to operate the syringe. The robotic system also includes the company’s patented connector mounts (“Precision ConnectorMountTM ), a reload station, syringes, guns, accessories (racks, trays, etc.), a controller unit, the company’s automation firmware, and a robotic positioning system.
The company says that its “airfree” linear drive system uses algorithms to determine how far forward it must move into the syringe cylinder to positively displace the requested fluid amount. Reverse motion assures the proper amount of fluid is filled to the proper height inside the connector each time.” The x-y-z robotic positioning system that moves the gun is supplied by Janomie Industrial Equipment of Tokyo, Japan.
The ConnectorMount blocks are custom-made for each type of connector. The mounts have precision-machined tops to assure the dispensing tip is properly aligned. The bottoms have alignment/guide pins for positioning on the robot’s bed. A factory may use multiple blocks for each type, so that operators can load connectors into blocks while another block is running on the robot. When one block is filled, the operator can lift it off and replace it with a pre-loaded block for a quick change-over.
Fishman has indicated that system can save about 50% of adhesive-injection labor. In other words, the return on capital investment can be estimated as about half an operator’s full compensation per year. Depending on local labor rates, the ROI may be achieved in some fraction of a year. The system also offers other benefits in product uniformity, documentation, and statistical tracking that can interface with a company’s work-order and accounting software.
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Errors in epoxy processes (mixing, dispensing / application, curing schedules, etc.) can lead to premature bond failures which negatively impact the reliability of any cable assembly.