With rising demands in the field of automotive technology, special ultrasonic welding technology is becoming increasingly important. A challenge which STOCKO is meeting with a high level of expertise.
Once again, the core business of the STOCKO plant in Andlau/France is proving to be a guarantor for forward-looking investments, as our expertise in the area of stamping technology is again undergoing further expansion. STOCKO is setting itself at the vanguard of a new trend with ultrasonic welding technology, as this is a technique that can be put to particularly good use in the manufacture of contact systems for the automotive sector. Aluminum wire is now increasingly frequently seen replacing the more well-established copper, for reasons of both weight and cost.
The transition of materials from copper to aluminum is a tricky issue, however, and places high demands on the contact system. A secure connection can only be guaranteed by using special geometric structures and surfaces in the connection zone of the contact and a specially designed arrangement of the sonotrodes – the tools which transmit the ultrasonic vibrations into the component being worked on – as well as welding parameters which have been carefully adjusted in accordance with the specific contact pairing.
There are also two further critical constituent elements of the new technique – firstly, the mechanical relief of the connection through an insulation crimp and, secondly, its sealing against moisture, e.g. through shrinking tubes.
Using ultrasonic welding technology as a basis, STOCKO develops specific, individual solutions, together with its customers. First of all, the customer in question communicates the particular requirements which need to be taken into account. Then, in a comprehensive test procedure, STOCKO determines the connection zones and all the processing parameters for the connection system, consisting of contact, wire and the tools for the attachment process. After approval of the connection, the manufacturing process is then carried out on the manufacturer's own premises using their own ultrasonic welding unit.
Current focus lies in the area of wires with a cross-section of 10 to 85 mm². Whilst the smaller cross-sections are used in various areas of the car, the larger ones are mainly to be found in use within the engine compartment wiring system.