Sensitive parts in today’s many electronic devices require careful finishing treatment by the manufacturer before they can be added to the finished product. They must be protected from the ingress of dirt, moisture, and salt spray to ensure that they will function properly, and they must carry a bar coded nameplate – usually a specially-developed self-adhesive label construction – which must last the life of the product – for identification and authentication purposes. These post-production activities are essential but time-consuming and costly, and often involve hand assembly, particularly on smaller components.
Schreiner ProTech – a business unit within the multi-disciplinary Schreiner Group, Oberschleissheim, Germany – which focuses on high-technology products based on self-adhesive labeling, has found the answer. The company has developed an integrated system that combines both the pressure compensation seal (PCS) and the durable self-adhesive nameplate into a single laminate, delivered on a roll, for automatic or manual application to the electronic component. This special laminate does not in any way compromise the performance of either PCS or nameplate durability. Conversely, the system delivers significant reductions in both time and cost for manufacturers of electronic devices in, for example, the automotive, consumer electronics, electrical goods, and medical markets.
How the self-adhesive laminate contributes
The self-adhesive label laminate, combining a face material, adhesive layer, and release-coated protective liner, is a versatile product that allows choices at every label. The Schreiner ProTech nameplate-integrated pressure compensation seals employ a printed film membrane as the face, partnered with an adhesive chosen for optimal performance on the component’s substrate (metal, medium- and low-surface energy plastics such as HDPE and polycarbonates). To ensure reliable ventilation performance for the PCS and optimal printability of the durable label, Schreiner ProTech’s BleedStop technology – which controls the flow of the thick layer of adhesive necessary for durable label applications on what are often rough or irregular surfaces – is added to the adhesive layer. The laminate is completed with a reliable backing liner whose silicone coating allows the PCS-cum-nameplate to be smoothly and accurately positioned on the substrate via an automatic or hand-held dispenser.
International standards and compliances
Schreiner ProTech consults closely with customers to define and meet specific needs – including meeting international standards and compliances such as REACH, RoHS, IMDS, WEEE, and UL and CSA certification. The printed message on the nameplate is the guarantee of a product’s safety and authenticity, so its printability, durability, and legibility (both by scanner and by the naked eye) are also essential. Schreiner ProTech nameplates also meet this requirement, and may be supplied to the component manufacturer either as pre-printed or blank labels for subsequent individual on-site printing.
‘A focused development project’
Michael Spörl, product manager, Schreiner ProTech, says, “The development of this practical, cost-saving solution was the result of a focused development project involving a specialist team within the company, working to our customers’ defined needs. It is a real contribution to lean manufacturing in a labour-intensive production arena, and we can supply our customers’ needs quickly, around the world.”
In the 2012 FINAT Label Awards – an international competition focusing on self-adhesive label applications across a broad arena – the Schreiner ProTech pressure compensation seals in nameplates were recognized as a true innovation.
Full details of the product are available via the Schreiner ProTech website, www.schreiner-protech.com, and of the 2012 FINAT Label Awards via www.finat.com/Awards.