Dukane has received one patent, and two more patents are in process for the technology. "It offers key advantages for medical customersâEUR"repeatability, validation, and reduced costs," said Mike Johnston, national sales and marketing manager for Dukane. Johnston said that testing of the Melt-Match technology has proven that both bond strengths and process repeatability are drastically improved over current pneumatic welders on the market. This is accomplished through several innovations of the new servo press. Servo actuation, precise control over the travel distance, and speed is now possible. Tests have shown that a standard deviation on collapse distance of 0.0004 can be achieved, he said. "This level of precision is not possible with old pneumatic technology," said Johnston. Rigidity of the mechanical structure ensures that minimal deflection occurs during the welding process. The process controller is housed in DukaneâEUR(TM)s patented iQ series power supply, which operates at 0.5 ml/sec. Procedures for validation and calibration of the unit are simpler because there are no pneumatic components. According to Dukane, there has never been a method of verifying that the collapse speed during the weld is repeatable. Servo motion, however, can be verified easily. The servo unit does not require compressed air for actuation, thus drastically reducing energy costs to operate. This is a huge benefit to applications in cleanroom environments. Programming and monitoring the welding process is accomplished through the iQ Explorer software. Ethernet connectivity, remote diagnostics, networking, multiple methods for data storage, and connection to SPC programs are all standard features.