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Tech Watch: 3DT’s PlasmaDyne Pro

by Lara Copeland, contributing editor

Plastics Decorating

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Producing a complete line of surface treatment systems designed to address common adhesion issues that occur in several industries, 3DT LLC, Germantown, Wisconsin, recently released an updated version of PlasmaDyne, called PlasmaDyne Pro. “We updated it as part of the company’s effort toward continual technological improvement and meeting the needs of the industry,” explained Alex Kiel, electrical engineer at 3DT. The updates include the newest in electrical engineering, components and design. The newer system features an optimized control panel, adjustable plasma treatment levels, energy efficiency and modular replacement parts, and it is compact and economical.

“Several features of the PlasmaDyne Pro will benefit users,” Kiel said. The power level is adjustable up to 600W to achieve desired treatment levels. “The power can be turned up to raise surface energy on resistant substrates, and it can be lowered for delicate substrates,” he continued. “Treatment levels can be programmed for each individual treating head.” Another feature is the color touch display for monitoring all system parameters, including troubleshooting and fault log. The modular power supply for treating heads allows for quick, easy changes to keep production running. PlasmaDyne Pro is compact and economical: The systems with three or more treating heads are smaller than systems previously produced and more economical, as a result.

PlasmaDyne Pro utilizes atmospheric plasma technology to uniformly treat surfaces for the improved adhesion of glue, paint, ink, flocking, coatings and laminates. It produces plasma from a high-voltage electric current within a treating head, which is applied to a substrate by means of pressurized air. PlasmaDyne Pro’s plasma process improves the surface tension on polymers, rubber, metal, glass, ceramic, paperboard and composites. Kiel added that “it is adaptable to countless applications.” Power/treatment levels can be adjusted for each application. The treating heads produce a discharge area of 10-40mm in width, depending on the type of treating head recommended for the application.

The 3DT PlasmaDyne Pro completes two functions in a single step. “It cleans organic contaminants from the surface and alters the molecular structure of the substrate, thereby raising the surface energy and producing a stronger bond between the substrate and media,” Kiel said. “This process is a highly important step in improving adhesion and enhancing surfaces for secondary processes.”

PlasmaDyne Pro can be customized with one or more stationary and rotating heads. At this point, 3DT has supplied system configurations with up to 12 treating heads. Each treating head is independently programmed for mode of operation and power level. This feature allows greater flexibility in applications with limited downtime between set-ups. PlasmaDyne Pro can operate as a stand-alone unit, or it can be incorporated into a production line, such as an indexing table, conveyer system, or the heads can be secured onto a robotic arm.

The first customers to receive the PlasmaDyne Pro have been happy with the system’s performance. “Customers have come to appreciate 3DT’s classic PlasmaDyne for its dependability and durability,” Kiel said. “In fact, there are numerous systems in the field with more than 25,000 hours of operation, and they still are running strong.” He concluded that when considering the improvements made to this system, 3DT anticipates customers will experience the same long-lasting, high performance with the new PlasmaDyne Pro.

Technical details

The PlasmaDyne Pro system includes a single cabinet generator and transformer and electrical enclosures that meet IP43 standards. The internal air supply eliminates the need for compressed air, and this helps to extend nozzle life.

Local or remote PLC control modes are available, and it has an intelligent fault monitoring system. It is built to US NFPA machine safety standards.