Taking the human out of manufacturing

2 mins read

The Chomerics Division of the Parker Hannifin Corporation Engineered Materials Group, which specialises in the development and application of electrically conductive and thermal interface materials, has announced the extension of its integrated assembly services.

This service is aimed at users of polymer-based electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding solutions, thermal interface materials and shielded optical display solutions, and comes in response to the increased demand Chomerics is seeing from customers that have a global footprint.

Keith McDonald, international director of sales explained why polymer-based solutions are the way forward. “Using elastomers to create EMI shielding, Chomerics can offer both environmental and conductive sealants in one unit,” he said. This combination means electronics are not only watertight – a vital element in defence, particularly with the recent rise in chemical attacks – but are also protected from inferring frequencies, which can cause havoc with electronics.

The new assembly service offers ‘one product, one process’, meaning the same setup and same material is used in every region with the same “highly robotic, automated machines” and is born from the necessity to provide undisputable materials.

“We have taken the human out of manufacturing” McDonald said, to enable “zero touch manufacturing”, resulting in a “perfect seal every time.”

McDonald continued: “Something which is safety critical can’t accept 10 parts per million failure rate. Every one has to work and the only way to do that is to take the human out. The machinery is able to adjust itself by microns and each stage is checked throughout the manufacturing process, so you can guarantee zero failures.”

With today’s electronics advancing at such a rate and the call for higher chip speeds, adequate shielding becomes harder to achieve. “You can’t compromise with EMI,” McDonald said, “the question is, how do you take these high frequencies produced from these increasing processing speeds and get them under control? It means materials we use have to be very clever and able to supress all that noise.”

In order to create its solutions, Chomerics’ works in a unique way. “We blueprint with the customer,” McDonald said. “We don’t go there to sell, instead we go there to listen. Usually, the problem the customer thinks they have isn’t the underlying issue and it’s our job to find out what that underlying issue is.”

“Once we understand the problem, we’ll go to other similar customers around the world – even if we’ve not previously engaged with them – and ask to come and talk to them and understand certain things.”

McDonald explained that once Chomerics understood the problems each of its customers were facing, it provides each of them with a series of 10 options. The customers select several from this list that are important to them. Chomerics then uses this to develop a material solution. “So you haven’t just got something which is tuned into one customer,” McDonald concluded, “you have something which covers a much broader base.”