Adhesive backed components are a major internal component of many rapid diagnostic testing consumables. Automating the assembly of these parts is one key to high volume manufacturing. For automation machine builders focused on this industry, the pandemic has brought one question to the surface time and time again: How quickly can you deliver?  Speed of delivery has grown to become the dominant factor, as obtaining the results from these test devices has risen exponentially in importance.

How can we deliver adhesive component applicators quickly? More importantly, how can we capture the required reliability and capability in the long term while still delivering the end product in a few weeks? The answer to these questions can be found through integrating and implementing standardized equipment.

Standardized equipment requires minimal additional design time. Eliminating design time removes the time-consuming engineering processes of conceptualization and detailing, thereby allowing the equipment to proceed to manufacturing without delay. In most cases, manufacturing and assembly are processes that lend themselves readily to expediting, whereas design activity does not.

Getting the machine built is just half of the challenge. The dirty truth is that, in haste, applicators can be pushed to production before potential issues can even be pinpointed through testing.  In fact, many issues take substantial machine run time to identify. Working to rectify problems later in a production environment then becomes infinitely more complex.  By using proven and standardized machines, rapid diagnostic test equipment manufacturers can leverage the experience of established equipment having already applied hundreds of millions of adhesive components.

An applicator is only as good as the components that it is called upon to process. There are multiple methods for an adhesive converter to produce a die cut part, whereas manufacturing methods are quite different for hand assembled adhesives. The expertise of a quality die-cut converting organization can help guide you efficiently through the maze of challenges to achieve the consistent die-cut rolls necessary to successfully automate film adhesive assembly. Pick a converter partner that knows how to manufacture for automation, or risk all of your efforts to get the machine itself quickly being in vain.

Now more than ever, decision making is crucial. To deliver quickly we need to eliminate potential stumbling blocks…better known as RISK.  The purpose of this article was to make readers aware of the pitfalls of trying to implement film adhesive applicators rapidly, while still meeting short and long-term expectations. Organizations can achieve speed of delivery as well as reliable performance by making more informed decisions when selecting their adhesive component assembly automation processes.

For 30 years, AccuPlace has been the industry leader in providing standardized film adhesive assembly solutions, specializing in ultra-quick production along with long term reliability. This is achieved by leveraging a patented technology which assures accurate, automated die-cut component and label placement across multiple industry sectors including medical, automotive, cellular communications and computing.