Potting compound and dispensing for automotive lighting
Intertronics is now working with Venta Group to develop potting compound and dispensing solutions for automotive lighting.
In recent years, Venta has invested heavily in its UK production facility in Hampshire, including streamlining its processes using technology. The company’s long-term goal is to deskill processes to enable consistent, reliable results to be produced, while removing inconsistencies due to operator variance and allowing future scalability.
Potting for outdoor LED lamps
Venta Global was looking for an efficient way to pot PCBs inside a high-power outdoor LED work lamp. This exterior range is built to last, and must therefore be powerful, waterproof, and robust. A potting compound was required that could seal the product, adhere to the components, and prevent water ingress.
Following work together on several successful projects, Venta Global approached Intertronics, a supplier of sealing, potting, adhesive and potting compounds, and dispensing equipment.
After discussing the requirements of the project together, Intertronics recommended that Venta Global trial the adhere IRS 3078 Polyurethane Potting Compound, a semi-rigid, room temperature curing, electrically insulating black material. Its low viscosity meant it could flow into all required areas of the product, and its 1:1 mix ratio makes metering, mixing and dispensing it easier, both manually and in subsequent automation.
IRS 3078 can be supplied in side-by-side 50ml cartridges, manually dispensed and mixed through a static mixing nozzle. This convenient packaging was an important selection factor, as it allowed product testing without a steep learning curve or initial investment in equipment.
Following testing, Venta Global found IRS 3078 to provide the required technical characteristics and progressed into establishing a production process. For the volumes they were planning, dispensing manually from cartridges would not be suitable. A machine was needed to provide a fully homogenous programmable shot which could be calibrated and mitigate operator variance or reliance.
Intertronics recommended the 2-K-DOS, as this machine could accurately meter, mix, and dispense IRS 3078 all in one system. In the 2-K-DOS, the two components of the material are precisely metered using gear pump technology, programmable from a simple control panel. The mix ratio, dispensing rate, and dispensed quantity can be set up accurately, to provide consistent, error-free metering, mixing, and dispensing.
The system is designed with a unique modular approach, and Intertronics could provide it customised to Venta Global’s material and process, with appropriate material reservoir sizes and dispensing hose lengths.
Matthew Baseley, Technical Sales Executive at Intertronics, explained, “A commercial advantage of the 2-K-DOS is that Venta Global could benefit from the cost savings of 5 kg bulk kits of IRS3078, over the 50g side-by-side cartridges that had been used initially for testing, further shortening the payback period. The 2-K-DOS eliminates the need for time intensive, manual processes like weighing and mixing – often a feature of potting compound use. The machine can be simply reconfigured to work with robots or further automation, should Venta need to increase positional accuracy in future.”
To prevent the filler within part A settling in the reservoir (which could lead to a potential performance issue), Intertronics added motorised agitation to ensure the filler is held in suspension and part A is fully homogenous before it combines with part B.
Advice and training
Intertronics installed the equipment on site, and provided training to the team at Venta on how to operate the machine, top up the reservoirs, start up and shut down procedures, maintenance programmes, and calibration.
Alongside training dedicated to the system, Intertronics advised Venta Global on an upcoming regulatory change relevant to the use of industrial polyurethanes. As of August 24, 2023, training is required for all professional and industrial users of polyurethane adhesives and sealant products with a total monomeric diisocyanate concentration of >0.1%.
Matthew Baseley, Technical Sales Executive at Intertronics, “Ahead of the change in regulations, we’re checking in to make sure that all our customers using polyurethanes are aware of and understand what is required.”
Roderick Dible, Production Manager at Venta Global, said: “We’ve had the machine for over a year now, and it has been running perfectly. At the touch of a button, we can dispense a fully homogeneous mixed and metered shot exactly where it’s needed. The Intertronics team were on hand to support throughout, and we benefitted from their technical knowledge, support, and responsiveness. This coupled with the commercial support means I am sure it will not be our last collaboration.”
IRS 3078 polyurethane potting compound
- Flowable, semi-thixotropic
- High impact resistance
- Good electrical insulation properties
- Room temperature curing
- High adhesion
- Packaged in convenient side-by-side cartridges, as well as bulk containers
2-K-DOS metering, mixing and dispensing system
- Digitally controlled shot size and flow rate for precision
- Modular design means easy maintenance and repair
- Able to process mixing ratios from 1:1 to 10:1
- Reservoir heating and agitation options keep materials flowable, consistent and ready to use
- Configured to the material and process
- Straightforward integration with robotics or automation