Heat staking has many useful applications, whether that is in a clean-sheet design or revamping a current product. It is one of a handful of attachment methods to keep components together. The question always becomes which is best and why. In an effort to shed some light on heat staking, we’ve listed the top 5 reasons you need to look at heat staking on your next project:
Reason #1: Multiple Staking Shapes for Different Benefits
Heat staking has five main variants that offer permanent attachment by melting the base plastic material into a shape that will hold a secondary component. A standard flared stake offers a simple mushroom with a dimple in the center. A spherical stake offers a rounded button-head shape. A hollow stake starts with a hollow boss of plastic that appears to be a cylindrical shape. The exterior walls of the cylinder are melted and folded over the edge of the secondary component to form the mechanical attachment without leaving a sink mark on the opposite side. A knurled stake should be used where appearance is not a critical design feature. The knurled stake is best used in high volume production as alignment isn’t critical for the function of the attachment. The last is a flush stake which is used in applications that require a flush surface after the plastic is melted and operation is complete. The flush stake necessitates that the retained secondary component has sufficient thickness for a chamfer or counter-bore connection point. The melted plastic resides inside the counter-bore and fills it with plastic to make the final mechanical connection. Which would be best for your product? That’s a great question we can help answer.
Reason #2: Excellent Durability
Heat staking can increase strength and quality, yet still be a low cost production option. It offers strength comparable to other operations involving secondary fasteners, and it doesn’t contaminate the finished product. Heat staking has proven to offer exceptional reliability, extreme durability, and corrosion resistance in harsh environments. Another benefit is that you don’t need to worry about eventual corrosion in the field due to dissimilar materials being used.
Reason #3: No Extra Materials Are Needed
Using heat staking as an attachment method does not require any additional material such as an adhesive or a solvent to make the permanent bond. The only addition is the heat applied to melt the plastic and a tool to shape the plastic to form the mechanical connection. Skip the mechanical fasteners like screws or bolts, and the equipment to ensure a proper torque every time. Heat staking can reduce the assembly line set-up time, minimize process costs, and contribute to a clean work area.
Reason #4: Increased Efficiency
In manufacturing, wasted time is wasted money. Taking one second or more out of every assembly operation can add up to minutes every hour that you’re making more products with increased efficiency. The heat staking operation can be completed in seconds, and it can be automated to reduce cycle time. That means your product can reduce manufacturing cost, which can directly lead to more profit.
Reason #5: Easy Maintenance
Heat staking equipment is easy to maintain without an extensive maintenance program. Assembly personnel can use a simple Total Production Maintenance (TPM) process on a schedule to keep the process efficient and optimized. Imagine using a check sheet that all personnel can quickly verify the heat staking equipment and then run a full day of production without downtime.
At SEA-LECT Plastics we use many fastening methods for assembly, including heat staking. Our customer and in-house designed and assembled products range from military grade assemblies to the outdoor industry. Our experts can advise you on what may be the best option for your new product idea or how to change your current product to reduce cost, increase productivity, and also increase quality.
When you’re ready to work with our elite team on your next design concept, call (425) 339-0288 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Matthias Poischbeg was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany. Matt moved to Everett, Wash., after finishing his bachelor’s degree in business in 1995 to work for Sea-Dog Corporation, a manufacturer, and distributor of marine and rigging hardware established in 1923.
In 1999, Matt took over the reins at Sea-Lect Plastics Corporation, a sister company of Sea-Dog and a manufacturer of plastic injection molded products with an in-house tool & die shop. Matthias Poischbeg is also a contributor to Grit Daily.