A product relies on good design and proper engineering to achieve optimal functionality. It is essential that a manufacturer understand the requirements and expectations of how and where the product will be used before beginning the production phase of manufacturing. As important as the material selection is, the tooling dies are just as important. They are used to configure the product into the correct shape, they are used to create welded seams for strength and functionality, and are used to add salient characteristics such as handles, loops, straps, tubes and nozzles, to name a few.
When it comes to fabricating flexible products that need to contain, inflate or protect, there are many variables in manufacturing that contribute to a products’ success. Products that need to inflate or provide containment require radio frequency welding or heat sealing services in order to form a leak proof, air tight seal. You see these welded seams everywhere, in industrial products, in medical products, and in the manufacturing industry for products that are used within their business activities.
There are many processes that factor into the quality and strength of a welded seal. Tooling dies are most often used to complete a seal, but other important factors such as tooling layout, the material thickness, weld thickness and machine control are also critical in creating an effective seal.
The radio frequency welding process is the best sealing technique to use with tooling dies because it provides a quality hermetic seal with the completeness of the weld. These welds are expected to have great tear resistance and also be resistant to abrasion, which adds long term durability to the product. In the design and/or prototype stages, these welds are subjected to optical tests, pill tests and leak tests to evaluate whether the seal was properly executed.
The tooling die is the biggest factor for completing a seal when combining the right materials to the right welding process. If set correctly, a perfect and impervious seal is attainable with the tooling die in both the testing procedures and the final manufacturing run.
Tooling Dies come in a variety of material types such as brass, aluminum or other metals which means they can be quite costly to make. Some are standardized and can be attained easily and are relatively inexpensive. Your tooling requirement may be custom, if the design and application are unique. Making custom tooling dies can be quite expensive so it is important to know ahead of time important factors such as which sealing process will be used and the material selection before a tooling die is made.
Soft tooling dies are an option for new product prototyping or re-engineering existing products, and are essentially used to determine if the design and weld procedure will achieve what it needs to, before an metal tooling die is made.
However, soft tooling dies cannot be used in final manufacturing production runs because they are not made from strong enough materials to handle the repetitive nature of producing large quantities of product.
SealWerks Radio Frequency Welding and Heat Sealing options create welds that range from tiny spot welds to large continuous welding patterns. We are certified under a number of customer quality assurance programs and provide workable solutions for the scale and cost targets you want to achieve.
Call SealWerks today to find out the necessary steps you need for the successful manufacturing of your flexible product.