Maximize assembly efficiency, repeatability, and return-on-piece price by combining the product features and delivery system best suited for your unique application — automated, hand, or other assembly methods.
Back Slit Release Liner
The term, back-slit, describes a pre-cut release liner often used as an alternative to a release tab. Back-slit release liners help: ease adhesive handling, improve installation accuracy, and prevent adhesive contamination. Back-slit products are also used in automated dispensing equipment.
With a back-slit product, operators may remove one portion of the release liner to expose only a portion of the adhesive. The remaining release liner is left to protect the rest of the adhesive and provide a useable work surface to grasp or slide along a surface until the first half of the product is in place.
Heat Sealing & Cold Fusing
Both finishing processes are typically used in specialty applications to protect acoustical dampening materials from abrasion, moisture, and debris. Their clean aesthetic is also desirable in other unique applications.
Heat sealing describes the process of joining two or more thermoplastic films with heat and pressure. Heat sealing is also used to cleanly fuse synthetic fiber edges, such as the 3M™ acoustical dampening Thinsulate™ product. Simultaneous sealing and cutting can finish your component in one step.
Cold fusing is similar to heat sealing, but relies on pressure alone to form a seal. This process provides an economical alternative to heat sealing.
High Repeatability & Tight Tolerances
In the manufacturing industry’s relentless pursuit of zero defect, tighter tolerancing and greater repeatability become increasingly important in many automotive applications. This is especially true of specialty cut products used in safety, electronic, and automated assembly processes.
Argent’s cutting-edge converting technologies, experienced press-operators, and innovative process engineers deliver products that meet and exceed the repeatability needs of your most challenging applications.
Improved Bonding & Print Surface
Argent offers the benefit of in-line corona treating for improved adhesive and ink bonding in printing and specialty lamination. Commonly, corona treated materials include: polyethylene, polypropylene, nylon, vinyl, PVC, PET, metallized surfaces, foils, paper, and paperboard stock.
Industrial sewing is one of many finishing services Argent offers. Sewing is commonly used to finish a variety of specialty-cut, automotive interior sub-components, as in trim or safety products.
Island placement offers a number of process benefits over traditional converting processes. This relatively new converting development provides significantly better economical material utilization than traditional processes, which scrap material during matrix stripping. Island placement also opens up a wider range of part-to-part spacing options, and part-on-part placement options, benefiting a variety of space-dependent manufacturing processes.
Leaders & Trailers
Leaders and trailers are often a requirement for roll-form products in automated assembly applications. Much like those used in antique 35mm projectors, leaders and trailers of release liner can assist in roll set-up and alignment in assembly equipment.
Locating Features & Fixtured Assembly
Locating features (physical and visual), may be used in any assembly process. Physical locating features, such as registration holes or a designated registration edge, are often used in hand and fixtured assembly to improve repeatability. Visual locating features may be used in an automated assembly process, providing a point of reference to be detected by a photo-eye for product registration. They might also be used as a visual point of reference in hand assembly operations to improve installation accuracy.
Multi-Level Cutting: 2 Levels or Less
Most specialty converted parts feature multi-level cutting at two levels or less. Specialty cutting is often described in terms of ‘level’. Each ‘level’ describes a different cut-depth, which corresponds to the thickness of a given material. For example, the trim cut of a part’s perimeter (or complete cut-thru adhesive and release liner/s), plus a pressure sensitive cut (as in a tab area where only the adhesive is cut and the release liner is untouched) would be described as two-level cutting.
Multi-Level Cutting: 3 Levels or More
Products featuring specialty cutting of three levels or more is less common. However, these products can meet complex design requirements and provide outstanding performance in special applications that might otherwise be unachievable with less sophisticated converting techniques. Multi-level cutting is often used in combination with re-registration, multiple die stations, and multiple materials as shown in the examples provided.
The example shown below features five main cutting levels. This specialty die-cut features: trim-cut locating features, a pressure sensitive cut UHMW face-film, a pressure sensitive back-score, a trim-cut through the composite, and easy-tear perforations between parts.
Perforation refers to a series of intermittent cuts usually designed to cause a specialty-cut product to tear, bend, or fold in a specific location. Argent offers a variety of perforations to function in a number of specialized applications. Consider perforating parts or pads to simplify assembly by dispensing from a roll. Provide protection during shipment by leaving a cut product in its sacrificial matrix (see also product supplied full-cut nicked in web). Argent can also manufacture a perforated component engineered to perform under stress, such as in safety or sealing applications.
Product Identification Features
Consider using these value-adding features to: improve traceability, reduce operator error, differentiate symmetrically opposite components, communicate information to end-users, or simply brand your component. Some identification features we offer are: color coding, debossing, printing on the product, and labeling.
Product Supplied Butted on a Release Liner
Product supplied butted together on a release liner (no waste matrix) often provides the most economical and efficient use of raw material. This method of supply, however, is limited to specific adhesive systems, those which don’t flow back together, and certain specialty-cut shapes, which must by rectangular or tessellating with no gaps between.
In some cases, laser cutting can expand the number of materials that can be supplied butted. Rather than cutting via steel rule blades that use intense pressure to cause a material to ‘burst,’ laser cutting ablates a material, creating a much wider gap between parts.
Product Supplied Full-Cut Nicked in Web
The term, full-cut nicked, describes a part which has been cut completely around its perimeter except for a minimum number of ‘bridges’ used only to hold the product in the ‘web’ of raw material it was cut from. A classic example of a full-cut nicked product is a balsa-wood model airplane kit. This method of supply is used to ease handling and/ or to protect the cut component without adding material or packaging costs.
Product Supplied with Matrix on a Release Liner
A matrix, or waste skeleton, describes the face material and adhesive surrounding a specialty-cut part. This material is typically removed and scrapped during the converting process. Certain adhesives and special shapes, which cannot but-together without a gap, must be cut in a matrix.
Supplying parts in matrix can provide a number of process benefits. The gap between parts provides an exposed edge to grasp, easing part removal in hand assembly processes. For automated assembly, the matrix can be used to control, often critical, part to part spacing.
Release tabs (also called pull, tear, and peel tabs), describe an area of extended release liner or backing material, which makes the release liner much faster and easier to remove. Release tab options vary between composites; they may be single or double per liner. They may also be color or shape coded or reinforced for increased strength. Also, some materials and manufacturing processes require a ‘stripper tab’ that is adhered to the release liner as an off-line process.
Material scoring involves cutting or creasing the face material of a given product. While scoring and creasing are widely used in packaging, scoring is occasionally used in specialty automotive applications to create a controlled bend or fold.
Specialty Cores & Reels
Specialty cores and reels are required of roll-form product in specialty applications, especially in some dispensing equipment. Available in a variety of designs, sizes, and materials, Argent is prepared to meet all your specialty core and reel needs.
Specialty Material Lamination
Specialty lamination can greatly expand the physical attributes and performance characteristics of raw materials. These specialty composites may be custom-engineered and manufactured to deliver a variety of enhanced properties, including: increased thickness, superior adhesion of dissimilar materials, improved abrasion resistance, and enhanced sound-deadening properties to name only a few.
Challenge us with your own specialty material performance requirements and together we’ll custom engineer and manufacture a composite for your unique application needs.
Specialty Release Liner Systems
Often overlooked by adhesive users, release liner systems play a key role in product use and assembly process integration. Much in the same way that specialty composites can modify the performance characteristics of self-adhesive products, release liner delivery systems can improve performance and maximize the cost-benefit on the assembly line. These specialty release liner systems are custom-engineered to deliver: greater repeatability, superior ergonomic benefits, and to expedite and error-proof assembly.
Specialty winding is often a requirement for roll-form product in automated assembly applications. These products may require reverse-winding, leaders, trailers, and other roll finishing services. Traverse winding, often used with a narrower product, allows for the creation of longer rolls reducing roll change-over time.
Zoned adhesive, also known as deadened or zone-cut adhesive, describes products that have been designed specifically with partial adhesive coverage. Typically used to meet special application or manufacturing requirements, these products are often used to keep adhesive away from key surfaces, or to function with automated dispensing equipment. Products featuring zoned adhesive may be created in a variety of ways, including: cutting, deadening, or coating.