WO2005046956A1 - Positioning carrier system for refining processes - Google Patents

Positioning carrier system for refining processes Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2005046956A1
WO2005046956A1 PCT/FI2003/000794 FI0300794W WO2005046956A1 WO 2005046956 A1 WO2005046956 A1 WO 2005046956A1 FI 0300794 W FI0300794 W FI 0300794W WO 2005046956 A1 WO2005046956 A1 WO 2005046956A1
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WO
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Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
strips
work
work pieces
attached
method
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/FI2003/000794
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Filip Törnroos
Roland HAGSTRÖM
Original Assignee
Toernroos Filip
Hagstroem Roland
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE, IN GENERAL
    • B29CSHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF MATERIAL IN A PLASTIC STATE, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; AFTER-TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
    • B29C45/00Injection moulding, i.e. forcing the required volume of moulding material through a nozzle into a closed mould; Apparatus therefor
    • B29C45/14Injection moulding, i.e. forcing the required volume of moulding material through a nozzle into a closed mould; Apparatus therefor incorporating preformed parts or layers, e.g. injection moulding around inserts or for coating articles
    • B29C45/14008Inserting articles into the mould
    • B29C45/14016Intermittently feeding endless articles, e.g. transfer films, to the mould
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D73/00Packages comprising articles attached to cards, sheets or webs
    • B65D73/02Articles, e.g. small electrical components, attached to webs
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE, IN GENERAL
    • B29CSHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF MATERIAL IN A PLASTIC STATE, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; AFTER-TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
    • B29C45/00Injection moulding, i.e. forcing the required volume of moulding material through a nozzle into a closed mould; Apparatus therefor
    • B29C45/14Injection moulding, i.e. forcing the required volume of moulding material through a nozzle into a closed mould; Apparatus therefor incorporating preformed parts or layers, e.g. injection moulding around inserts or for coating articles
    • B29C45/1418Injection moulding, i.e. forcing the required volume of moulding material through a nozzle into a closed mould; Apparatus therefor incorporating preformed parts or layers, e.g. injection moulding around inserts or for coating articles the inserts being deformed or preformed, e.g. by the injection pressure
    • B29C2045/14237Injection moulding, i.e. forcing the required volume of moulding material through a nozzle into a closed mould; Apparatus therefor incorporating preformed parts or layers, e.g. injection moulding around inserts or for coating articles the inserts being deformed or preformed, e.g. by the injection pressure the inserts being deformed or preformed outside the mould or mould cavity
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE, IN GENERAL
    • B29CSHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF MATERIAL IN A PLASTIC STATE, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; AFTER-TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
    • B29C45/00Injection moulding, i.e. forcing the required volume of moulding material through a nozzle into a closed mould; Apparatus therefor
    • B29C45/0053Injection moulding, i.e. forcing the required volume of moulding material through a nozzle into a closed mould; Apparatus therefor combined with a final operation, e.g. shaping
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE, IN GENERAL
    • B29CSHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF MATERIAL IN A PLASTIC STATE, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; AFTER-TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
    • B29C45/00Injection moulding, i.e. forcing the required volume of moulding material through a nozzle into a closed mould; Apparatus therefor
    • B29C45/14Injection moulding, i.e. forcing the required volume of moulding material through a nozzle into a closed mould; Apparatus therefor incorporating preformed parts or layers, e.g. injection moulding around inserts or for coating articles
    • B29C45/14065Positioning or centering articles in the mould
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE, IN GENERAL
    • B29CSHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF MATERIAL IN A PLASTIC STATE, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; AFTER-TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
    • B29C45/00Injection moulding, i.e. forcing the required volume of moulding material through a nozzle into a closed mould; Apparatus therefor
    • B29C45/14Injection moulding, i.e. forcing the required volume of moulding material through a nozzle into a closed mould; Apparatus therefor incorporating preformed parts or layers, e.g. injection moulding around inserts or for coating articles
    • B29C45/14549Coating rod-like, wire-like or belt-like articles
    • B29C45/14565Coating rod-like, wire-like or belt-like articles at spaced locations, e.g. coaxial-cable wires
    • B29C45/14573Coating the edge of the article, e.g. for slide-fasteners
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE, IN GENERAL
    • B29LINDEXING SCHEME ASSOCIATED WITH SUBCLASS B29C, RELATING TO PARTICULAR ARTICLES
    • B29L2017/00Carriers for sound or information
    • B29L2017/001Carriers of records containing fine grooves or impressions, e.g. disc records for needle playback, cylinder records
    • B29L2017/003Records or discs
    • B29L2017/005CD''s, DVD''s

Abstract

A method and apparatus called 'Positioning carrier system for refining processes' for production of work pieces in a way where consecutive and/or abreast work pieces are getting attached at the edges on two strips equipped with holes (10), by the use of which it is made easy to produce a work piece such as a lens for a mobile phone or a CD/DVD-disc. The work pieces get attached between strips equipped with drive holes, when they get solidified. The strips have transverse weakening points as perforations (16), the distance between them depending of the size of the tool and the work piece. The weakening points make it easier to fold and pile the strips in a zigzag way to buffer cassettes. Alternatively the work pieces or the items connected to the product are being refined before or after the injection moulding stage without using buffer cassettes.

Description

POSITIONING CARRIER SYSTEM FOR REFINING PROCESSES

This invention is about a method, strips and a mechanism, which are used to make the handling of products easier in manufacturing processes where the work pieces are getting the final shape when a running or a viscose material is solidified.

The tool, that is used to form the product needs no alterations.

In this patent application text injection moulding is used merely as an example.

The product, that is created in the end of the process is generally called a work piece as long as it is in the process to become a product.

PROBLEMS WITH THE EXISTING TECHNOLOGY

When the production is made more automatized, there often is a problem how to transport the work pieces from a work station to another.

Main part of early industrial production was based on the use of conveyor belts or on refined versions of such, where separate special conveyors transfer semi-ready work pieces from a production phase to another. This solution naturally does not apply but to restricted cases.

In batch production a certain amount of work pieces are put in a jig (a frame for a certain amount of work pieces) which are then transported in the jig through different work units The work time used to put the products in the jig and to take them out of it does not give any direct added value to the product but only increases the costs. In addition the individual treatment of work pieces is not possible unless they are removed from the jig since otherwise all the work pieces in a jig will have the same treatment done done, for example in the coating procedure without individual treatment possibilities. In 1990 s better effectiveness has been gained by increasing the use of the of robots. One of the product groups, where the automatized production has become highly more effective with the use of robots is the production of CD/DV discs.

The problems involved in the use of the present day technology are well illustrated by a presentation of the technique to manufacture said discs.

a) the injection moulded work piece is taken from the mould cavity with a manipulator or a robot picker. To be able to do this the mould tool halves have to be opened enough to get the picker between the tool halves. Thus the tool halves have to be opened more, than only the physical size of the work piece would demand

b) the work piece has to be in the cavity until it has cooled down enough and does not any more change its shape when the picker removes it from the cavity or during the following work phases

c) the transportation of the work pieces to refining work units, as for example for vacuum metallizing, printing, spin coating of a lacquer and to UV-cure them are all made by using different robot- /manipulator pickers.

Such lines mean very heavy investments and need a permanent skilled personnel to maintain the system.

If one is to refine both sides of a work piece, then even this cannot be done without the use of robots

d) when starting up and finishing the injection moulding and whenever a problem occur during the injection moulding, then all the unfit products have to be removed from each refining unit. This means problems in maintaining clean room circumstances. Alternatively you have to let all the work pieces, even the default ones, to pass all the refining units and thus the default products are refined in vain. In the later case when "cleaning up" the system from unfit work pieces, if one tries to pass one of the refining phases, as for example the lacquering, then one is met with problems again, when starting up the lacquering work unit, since then again the first work pieces have defaults and they have to be removed from the clean room area.

In the following the problems of the present day technology are illustrated by explaining the manufacturing processes to produce optical products as an example the manufacturing of mobile phone lenses, that are to be refined.

Existing technology is based on the use of sprue pickers or on the use of manipulators with suction cup pickers to remove and transport the work pieces from the injection mould cavity to vacuum formed trays placed on conveyor belts, which transport the trays to refining units for printing or other refining work to be made.

Manufacturing in this classical way means a slow cycle time, because the injection moulding tool has to be opened enough to get a picker between the mould halves. This naturally means, that the mould has to be opened more, than only taking into consideration the physical size of the work piece itself. Another thing, that makes the cycle time long is the fact, that the work piece has to cool down enough in the cavity so, that when it is picked up by a picker (equipped with suction cups, grippers or other) you do not get a mark on the surface or get the work piece deformed.

A rather high rate of default products is a natural result of this classical manufacturing method, since you must repeatedly enter the clean room to manually remove default pieces and further since robots/manipulators and other work units need a lot of space thus causing problems to maintain all the operative space clean. The above mentioned means, that for example a lacquering process or printing cannot be done accurately enough. This then has forced the manufacturers to choose refining techniques by which you can get added value (=refine them) on the products already, when the work piece is in the cavity. This is mainly done with transfer film. Even in this case you do not achieve the very best quality with classical techniques, since the positioning of the film is not good enough. This is due to the feeding system from roll to roll based on traction. The use of this feeding technique means the foil being slightly transferred sideways all the time although the mechanics tries to steer the foil.

The following chapters are illustrations of publications, where above known problems are approached.

In the Finnish patent No: 109105 the problem of how to make the cycle time in injection moulding faster is solved.

The use of it however means, that alterations are to be made to the tool.

Besides it does not present a solution on how to get the work pieces through several work stations (refining units) with different cycle times.

The use of said patent namely means, that the work pieces are in the injection moulding phase attached to axis, which are transported by chains. Thus all refining can be done on line, if the cycle time of injection moulding is longer, than any of the refining phases.

The main problem with this and similar systems is, that if any problem in any refining step occurs, the chain of work pieces stops and all the work pieces in the chain have to be removed. This inevitably leads to high rate of default products.

US-patent A 4008302 (B29D7/08) presents a way to get the injection moulded products in order for next assembly phase. US-patent (B29C4514) present a way of how to get a transfer film into the tool and how to get it sucked up against the cavity before injection moulding.

The publication DEA19603733(829C 4514) describes a system, where a piece is injection moulded and in the same cycle two elongated conveyor belts are moulded of the same material as the piece itself. The conveyor belts are shorter than the mould and the conveyor belts are perforated with holes during the injection moulding. These conveyor beits are then attached to similar conveyor belts moulded in a second injection moulding phase. This method requires the use of an expensive specially designed tooi and you can use only same material for conveyor belts as you use to make the piece. Besides such conveyor belt constructions are rather rigid and it is not easy to transport products to different work stations with the help of such constructions. Likewise the folding of these "constructions" in a way, that the new invention enables is impossible-

The publications JP A6-285921 (B29C 45/36 and JP A 6-114880 (B29C 45/14 and JP A 6-151515 (HOIL 21/60) present the use of a strip of foil, which has openings and holes on opposite sides for transporting of the strip.

The problem you face with these techniques is the shrinking of the viscose or liquid when becoming stiff and because of the alterations in the shape of the work piece, which may take place in the following refining work units.

Therefore the carrier foil with openings will also be shrinking and stretching and thus becomes uneven. This then makes the transferring and exact positioning of the pieces insecure or impossible to perform.

In above mentioned examples and other known methods and devices used for serial production there exist a general problem: if the cycle time of some refining work unit deviates from the injection moulding cycle, then a flexible and fast process for injection moulding and refining of work pieces in clean room circumstances is not possible.

This means, that there is a need for a technique, which enables a shorter injection moulding cycle time and the use of an optimal cycle time for each individual refining work done. The new invention makes this possible and offers the use of a more simple method and apparatus compared with present technology.

A GENERAL PRESENTATION OF THE INVENTION

The characteristics of the invented method and apparatus are presented in the independent claim No 1.

It is characteristic to use one, two or several parallel strips each having drive holes to make it possible to draw and transfer them (as in traditional film cameras).

One strip may be used, when the work pieces are to be dipped in lacquer and the conveyor strip should not get wet. The use of three or several strips can be used for example, when the manufacturing technique is several cavities injection moulding. In such a case the work pieces get attached between the strips.

In the following more detailed description of the invention, the use of two strips is used as an example because it is generally the most practical and economical way.

One of the favourable applications comprises of the method and apparatus for handling work pieces in a production process, in which individual work pieces or groups of them are formed in a process where liquid or viscose materials become solid. In this method the work pieces or the groups of them get attached between a pair of strips, when they solidify. The strips are made of a thin and flexible material. In this way the individual work pieces or groups of them form a bridge between the strips.

The strips can be of any material, for example of paper, as long as it can be folded in a way known from joint/extension sheets.

One economical adaptation of the invention has a pair of strips with two distinctive features:

1. each strip has driving holes which fit to the cogs of the driving/steering wheels the timing between them being the same. In this way the work pieces will get exactly positioned in all work units during the whole work process.

2. the pair of strips has transversely weakened material made for example by perforation, which enables the pair of strips to be folded in piles/stacks after injection moulding, casting or after any other work done as for example after some refining work done. In this way it is also possible to separate the so formed piles/stacks from each other or to joint them at those lines

A favourable adaptation of the invention comprises of a combined transfer and positioning device, which positions the pair of strips with holes exactly at the cavity so, that the work piece gets attached at least from some part of the work piece or of the sprue between the said pair of strips and main part of the product does not get in contact with the strips as the strips are positioned in such a manner, that the material that gets solidified will be attached only by desired areas to the pair of strips.

The characteristics of the strips are described in the independent patent claim 11. There may be one or several work pieces between each two weakened lines for separation/folding. The work pieces may be abreast and/or in series between said "lines".

The transverse weakened lines make it easier to handle the strips. The strips have holes like the tractor-feed paper systems or traditional camera films have. These holes have to fit to the cogs of the wheels or pair of wheels, that transfer the strips in these manufacturing devices. At least the device comprises of 2 or 4 pairs of wheels positioned at opposite sides of the strip, so that the holes used for driving of the strips are synchronised with the pairs of wheels

The benefits of this invention are declared more in detail in following text.

This is done by referring to enclosed drawings and the extent of the invention is clarified in the enclosed claims. All the following drawings are only examples of what can be done with the invention.

In the enclosed drawings:

Fig. 1 describes a pair of strip and between them is then moulded a pair of work pieces by using a 2-cavities tool attached in one way possible by using the invention

Fig. 2 describes two strips, to which work pieces are moulded with a 4-cavities form, which have been attached by using one of the adaptations of the invention

Fig. 3 describes two strips, to which a CD- or a DVD-disc has been attached by using a one cavity injection moulding and one adaptation of the invention

Fig 4 describes two strips as one adaptation of the invention In different adaptations of the invention a strip (10) is used, in which the strip consists of a strip characterised by transverse weakened lines (perforated or other weaker lines). Strip areas between the joints are called perforation middle areas (16). The size of the work pieces (11,12, 30) and the actual form determine the correct distance between the perforations.

The strip material is made separately from a moulding or an injection moulding process and it has holes as traditional camera film or chain paper, the strip material being for example of plastic foil or paper. Additionally the strip must be made of material, so that it can be folded for example as tractor feed paper.

Attached to strips between each two successive perforations there may be one or several work pieces (11,12, 30). In the following example cases there are 1 , 2 or 4 work pieces attached on strips between each successive two perforations; the work pieces may be abreast or/and in series between each successive two perforations. The strips (1) have at fixed distances separation/folding lines (15) to make it easier to handle them for example when there is a need to stack/pile them in a cassette after a refining work is done or to be able to easily joint the stripes with each other to ensure unbroken serial production.

Additionally the strips (10) have holes, which have been adjusted to fit with the cogs of the wheels/pairs of wheels, that drive the strips (10) in these devices or by making such holes in the strips (10) that they can be used in connection with for example the mechanisms used on older Matrix printers to steer and drive the paper. There are at least one or two pairs of wheels positioned at the sides of the strips (10) so constructed, that they are synchronised with the holes used for steering and driving of the strips. A modified principle known from tractor-fed paper printers is used in the following application of the invention both in the injection moulding stage and at incorporated refining stages.

The strips have holes to be able to drive and position the work pieces through and in the work units. The two separate strips (10) consist of continuous sequences of areas each between two weakened transverse lines (16).

Tractor pairs positioned on each side of the tool drive these strips (10) between the tool halves. When injection moulded, the injection moulded work piece (11 ,12,30) or the sprue of it (13) gets attached to the strips (10), when the material is solidified or immediately thereafter.

The work place (11 ,12,30) or the sprue (13) of it gets attached to the two foil like strips (10) only at chosen points or areas (14) of it.

The work pieces (11 ,12,30) or the sprues (13) of them get attached to the strips (10) either very lightly as a butt connection or by using foils, that are at connecting area perforated (16). In this way the separation of the work piece (11 ,12,30) is made easier.

As is previously described the use of two strips (10) is necessary, because the shrinking of the work piece (11 ,12,30) after the moulding would, as described in the JP publications using foil with openings for the work pieces (11 ,12,30), cause crumpling or stretching of the foil. This would then make it more difficult to convey the pieces and to position them.

In the new invention by using two separate strips (10) with drive holes it is always possible to adjust the drive tractors on correct distance from each other in the following work stations thus taking into consideration the shrinkage of the work pieces. In this way the strips stay always tight and even during each work stage and the positioning accuracy is as good as possible. This application of the invention may be used to let the production from one work shift to fold zigzag in a cassette (4) (as an example only) from which it is easy to lead the pair of strips (10) through one or several work stages all the way to separation or if so wished to lead them into a new cassette.

If the refining processes, that follow the moulding take a shorter time, than the moulding itself and if these refining works are easy to perform, then it is natural to lead the pair of strips and the work pieces attached to them directly through chosen refining stages all the way to a stage for separating them without any temporary storing of them in cassettes.

The cost of chosen strip material, (10) as for example paper, is very low compared with the benefit of it.

In this application, if the strips (16) are attached (15) to each other in a way known from tractor-feed paper from the weakening/perforation place (15) of the strip, then any work stages can be integrated together. This means, that a zigzag non stop production is possible using an adaptation of the tractor-feed paper method. If this example of the use of the invention is compared with a roll on feeding system, then one significant advantage is gained: with the use of a continuous-feed fold system an unceasing non stop work/process/series of processes can be maintained. When using roller feeder systems this is depending on roll size and the production ends, when the roll is used.

in this way the invention means a very flexible way of refining work pieces.

In case there is a problem in one of the refining units, the whole production process does not need to stand still but all the other work stages can be operated normally. For example injection moulding can continue non stop using the new invention and by attaching (for example with tape) the strips after each other.

In case some of the refining steps are to be done in clean room atmosphere, then it is possible to make the cassettes dust free.

AN INJECTION MOULDING OR MOULDING PROCESS AND THE MAXIMIZING OF ITS CYCLE TIME

In one of the applications of the invention to manufacture work pieces the mould opens up after the injection/filling up of the cavity only just enough for the work piece to get out between the mould tool halves. The tractor drives remove themselves to desired place at the same time, when the tool halves are opened. When the tool halves are opened the work piece ejector pushes out the work piece/pieces (11 ,12,30) that have been attached to the strips (10). When the tool is open, the ejector will remove back to base position and the tractor drive moves the work piece/pieces (11 ,12,30), that are attached to the strips (10) out from between the mould tool halves and at the same time the following distance between two perforations (16) will be positioned exactly between the tool halves. When the distance between perforations (16) is at place, then the tractor drive removes itself back against the immovable tool half and at the same time the mould halves get closed.

The tractor-drive device moves in the same direction as the tool to desired position during the time, when the tool halves are opening and back to base position synchronised with the tool halves shutting. In this way the cycle time will be minimised.

In the following is the description of the benefits of some applications of the invention: - the mould process and thereafter following refining work stages can be held separated not disturbing each other. When for example strips (10) of paper are fed in a cassette as described above and when the cassette is filled, then the strips will be cut at the perforation lines (15,16). In this way the processes, which are more slow can be done without several devices then feeding these strips after each other through faster work processes by attaching the pairs of strip (10) with each other at the perforation places (15,16)

- in one application of the invention the classical devices used for positioning and handling of the work pieces in different stages of the production are not needed at all, because the pair of strips equipped with holes can be driven as such with tractor drives exactly positioned through all the work stages and always when needed, the pair of strips with work pieces attached can be folded in dust free cassettes. In this way the new production method is well suited to be used in clean room circumstances.

- by using another application of the invention, the folded pairs of strips with pieces attached between them can easily be processed/treated on both sides, because the pairs of strips can be driven in the tractor drive in either desired way (directly or upside down). Of course the same is possible regarding the non stop processing described in above chapter

- by using an other application the work pieces can be coated in vacuum on line, because in this case the tractor drive drives the strip distance between a pair of perforations with work pieces attached in between vacuum chamber halves. After the coating the vacuum chamber door halves open and the tractor drives a distance between two perforations out and the ready or semi- ready work pieces (11 ,12,30) will be fold up in piles again

- In an application of the invention one can make the moulding process faster without changes in the tool, because the work piece (11 ,12,30) can be taken out of the cavity sooner, since the work piece can still cool down being attached to the pair of strips (10) without risk of deviations appearing in the product

- the heath control of the tool is easier because the tool halves are open for a shorter time

- the life time of an injection moulding machine becomes longer, because the life time of hydraulics and mechanics will be increased depending on that the movement per cycle will be much shorter than using classical ways

- positioning is very accurate in refining stages. For instance the accuracy with the classical way of using transfer film is at +- 0,4 mm compared with +- 0,1 mm using the new invention

- it is possible to use tools with several cavities than with classical techniques, because the work pieces (11,12,30) (even the work pieces with very thin walls) can be taken out of the cavities still being warm (not being totally solidified) hence they stay even and separated from other work pieces that are being injection moulded simultaneously or after another. The use of the new invention also enables the refining of several work pieces at (11 ,12,30) at the same time, because the positioning accuracy is good enough

- by using strips made of a materials, that lead electricity, it is simple to refine the work pieces (11 ,12,30)) using electrolytic processes

- in one application one can attach for example by laminating thin lenses for mobile phones on the strips (10). Using the above ways to position the lens precisely in the cavity it is then possible to injection mould against the inside of it the desired transparent plastic material. When the work pieces (11 ,12,30) are then injection moulded in vacuum, the arising of gas marks between the plastics and the glass is avoided. The streaming of the material to and in the cavity will also be more even. Additionally the temperature of the tool can be kept lower, than what it must be in normal atmosphere. Thus the cycle time will be shorter as the cooling down time will be reduced. This means, that the quality of the product becomes better although it is at the same time possible to get shorter cycle time - when injection moulding optical pieces, it is usual to pick up the product with suction cups. To avoid marks on the optical surface the cooling down period has to be long enough. Using the new invention with strips there is no such problem and the work piece (11,12,30) can be picked up from the tool much faster compared with the classical way

- the described invention can be applied perfectly for the use of printing techniques. Because of the positioning accuracy the product needs no masking thus for example an UV-lacquering process can be done using ink printer techniques and a positive result is, that the process devices will be very compact. Thus it is now possible to build very compact refining lines, in which it is very easy to maintain clean room standards since the air volume of the cabins is very small

- In the Fig. 3 illustrated application CD-discs (30) are being injection moulded partly against designed strips (10). The discs (30) will be thus attached on protruding tongues, when the material is being solidified in the tool. The disc can be taken out of the tool the piece being still not totally cooled down. In this way the injection moulding cycle will become faster and the removal of the work pieces between different work stages can be done using much more simple devices, than in the classical case, where several robot pickers are need to do the same job

- In another application producing DVD-discs two strip pairs are used for production as above. These pairs of strips are positioned on each other and are driven through the same tractor drive so, that the CD-disc beneath pass through a gluing station and the CD-disc above is directed on top of the one beneath. In this way the glue will be between the two discs and will become even, when the discs are pressed against each other. Thus also the production of DVD-discs using the new invention can be made more simple

- The strips (10) can also be used for example to convey a transfer colour and or transfer decoration or a deep drawn decoration film on the work piece by attaching for example by laminating a transfer film on the strips (10)

- as one other application it is possible to laminate desired separate pieces on the strips (10) and these can in this way be conveyed to the cavity accurately positioned. Such part can be for example a thin metallic cover for a mobile phone against which the injection moulding or by nozzling is done. Of course the same manner can be used to get other separate, for example decorative, pieces to the mould

- to be able to laminate decorative foils on the strips (10) accurately, equivalent drive holes on these will be used. This presents a way to get the foils more accurately positioned on the work pieces, than is the case using classical techniques

In above text the innovation has been described using injection moulding as the production technology. Injection moulding has the advantage, that it is used mainly as a method to manufacture small and precise plastic parts;

It also has the advantage, that the material flow before solidifying is controlled rather precisely, so the application of the new invention to injection moulding is easy.

The innovation can naturally also be used for casting or in combination with production methods based on chemical or chemical- physical fastening.

Claims

The claims are following:
1. A method and apparatus for handling of work pieces in a manufacturing process, in which separate work pieces or groups of these are created by solidifying a liquid or viscose material, in which method consecutive work pieces or groups consisting of these get attached between two strips, when the liquid or viscose material gets solidified or getting attached on the strips by other methods, thus the work pieces form a bridge between the two strips, characteristic being, that the strips have drive holes which fit to the cogs of the driving and steering wheels, the timing between them being the same. In this way the strips and the work pieces attached on them get exactly positioned in separate manufacturing stages. The strips have transversely a line of weakened strip material or a perforation (16), which enables the strips to be folded in piles, for example in cassettes, after moulding or any other work done. In this way the strips are ready for next work stage or alternatively the strips can be lead without buffer storing to desired refining stages and through them (Fig. 5)
2. A method and apparatus according to claim 1, characteristic being, that a deep drawn decoration film or some other foil or object or part is attached to the strips for example by laminating and these get attached to the work piece in the moulding stage
3. A method and apparatus according to claim 1, characteristic being, that additionally to a pair of strips another pair of strips, work pieces attached on it and equipped with equivalent holes, is used or alternatively another pair of strips in roll form with transversely weakened/perforated and with equivalent holes equipped film is used or equivalents with holes equipped film sheets in separate piles and stored in cassettes assorted by their quality, as for example by their colour, are used. From these using one tractor drive or using another with the first synchronised tractor drive the pieces to be refined are brought to the mould tool. Stored or real time digital information steers the chosen pairs of strips/films to get attached to the carrier strips. The same digital information steers the foils or other chosen items to work units and gives also the information to the refining unit as to what it shall do, for example what decoration it shall print (Fig 6), Characterised also of that the digital information can be used to give an order to transport a certain foil to be refined or an already refined foil to a chosen deep drawing unit and to give at the same time a command to choose a corresponding moulding tool to be fixed in the injection moulding machine. The mould tools can be waiting on for example parallel linear transfer devices. In this way a continuous customised production is made possible not only regarding the surface but regarding the whole product.
4. A method and apparatus according to claims 1 and 3 characteristic being, that the standard production continues without interruptions and the digital information steers the films/items to refining stages and further in to the tool only, when a customer has ordered them (Fig 6)
5. A method and apparatus according to claim 1, characteristic being, that the work pieces or groups of them get attached to the strip by butt joints (Fig 14)
6. A method and apparatus according to claim 1, characteristic being, that the strips are shaped for instance by perforation at the places, where the items get attached to the strips, which makes it possible to detach the item by pushing and/or the strips (10) are shaped following the geometry of the specific product (Fig 3)
7. The method and apparatus according to claim 1, characteristic being, that the strips (10) comprise markings as for example instructions for assembly regarding the product to be created from the work pieces
8. The method and apparatus of any of the preceding claims, characteristic being, that after the stage, in which the liquid or viscose material gets solidified between two carrier strips there is before or after that stage at least one of the following work stages: adding TPE- or other material to the work pieces, adding of inserts or separate decoration film/films, painting and/or lacquering, draining, evaporation, UV, IR or thermal curing, vacuum coating, electro catalytic coating, printing, forming, adding of a separate part or a film to the work piece, vision control, detaching/separating, packing. These processes can be integrated with the injection moulding machine to achieve different appearances on the same work piece.
9. A method and apparatus according to any of the preceding claims, characteristic being, that a multi stage injection moulding is carried out so, that a part of the product is injection moulded in the first stage getting attached to the strips and by transferring the pair of strips with the work pieces attached to the next injection stage, where another part is moulded on the firstly created work piece, for example with a core tool.
10. A method and apparatus according to claim 9 characteristic being, that one or some of the injection moulding stages are substituted by another technique by which a material can be added as for example using nozzling
11.A method and apparatus according to any of the previous claims, characteristic being, that in addition the cavities and/or the tool and/or the injection unit are made air tight. In this way a vacuum will be created for the time, when the feed in of the material occur. To make the process work a vacuum pump, proper gas exhaust channels/pipes and valves to control the pressure in the cavity are used, In this way the quality of the work pieces will be optimised.
12. A method and apparatus of any of the preceding claims, characteristic being, that the strips (10) are made of paper, plastics or of a conductive material
13. A method and apparatus of any of the preceding claims, characteristic being, that the work pieces attached to the strips are exactly positioned in relation to the driving holes, thus the work pieces can be used as positioning references not needing separate recognition markings at all.
PCT/FI2003/000794 2003-10-24 2003-10-24 Positioning carrier system for refining processes WO2005046956A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

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PCT/FI2003/000794 WO2005046956A1 (en) 2003-10-24 2003-10-24 Positioning carrier system for refining processes

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AU2003274189A AU2003274189A8 (en) 2003-10-24 2003-10-24 Positioning carrier system for refining processes
PCT/FI2003/000794 WO2005046956A1 (en) 2003-10-24 2003-10-24 Positioning carrier system for refining processes

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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2008053073A1 (en) * 2006-11-03 2008-05-08 Pintavision Oy Method for producing an optical product, such as a protective lens of a mobile phone

Citations (7)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4008302A (en) * 1972-12-26 1977-02-15 Polaroid Corporation Method of molding plastic elements on a continuous web
EP0273364A2 (en) * 1986-12-26 1988-07-06 Idec Izumi Corporation Electronic part carrying strip and method of manufacturing the same
WO1993005689A1 (en) * 1991-09-24 1993-04-01 Karner & Company Aktiebolag Friction elements to be attached to a clothes hanger for retaining a garment thereon, and a method for making such friction elements
DE19603733A1 (en) * 1995-05-17 1996-11-21 Helmut Hiendl Injection moulding bandoliered plastic products such as rings, washers or vessel closures
WO1998013186A1 (en) * 1996-09-27 1998-04-02 Jari Ruuttu A method for handling three-dimensional objects in a manufacturing process
WO2000050212A1 (en) * 1999-02-24 2000-08-31 Jari Ruuttu Method and apparatus for handling workpieces in a manufacturing process
US6145183A (en) * 1991-03-25 2000-11-14 Emhart Inc. Manufacturing and installation of successive component parts

Patent Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4008302A (en) * 1972-12-26 1977-02-15 Polaroid Corporation Method of molding plastic elements on a continuous web
EP0273364A2 (en) * 1986-12-26 1988-07-06 Idec Izumi Corporation Electronic part carrying strip and method of manufacturing the same
US6145183A (en) * 1991-03-25 2000-11-14 Emhart Inc. Manufacturing and installation of successive component parts
WO1993005689A1 (en) * 1991-09-24 1993-04-01 Karner & Company Aktiebolag Friction elements to be attached to a clothes hanger for retaining a garment thereon, and a method for making such friction elements
DE19603733A1 (en) * 1995-05-17 1996-11-21 Helmut Hiendl Injection moulding bandoliered plastic products such as rings, washers or vessel closures
WO1998013186A1 (en) * 1996-09-27 1998-04-02 Jari Ruuttu A method for handling three-dimensional objects in a manufacturing process
WO2000050212A1 (en) * 1999-02-24 2000-08-31 Jari Ruuttu Method and apparatus for handling workpieces in a manufacturing process

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2008053073A1 (en) * 2006-11-03 2008-05-08 Pintavision Oy Method for producing an optical product, such as a protective lens of a mobile phone

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