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Door locks and tailgate drives are extremely complex assemblies that not only require high precision, but also have special requirements in terms of the variety of variants and their management. Considerable experience is therefore required in order to adapt the design of the production processes and the layout of the tools to customer requirements. Therefore, our door innovation team is now facing the extremely interesting challenge of advancing the continuous further development of the various components. In particular, the combination of integrated electrical connections and electrical components with complex tightness requirements illustrates the complexity of this area time and again.
Only recently, we were honored with an award from a customer in the door lock sector for our dedicated cooperation. A project team was recognized for developing a cost-effective and efficient production process. (The full article on the award can be found here.) An award such as this shows us that early involvement of our customers in the development process is particularly important. The reason is that this creates a robust and economical series design for the end product.
The path to the solution
In order to be able to use cheaper polypropylene (PP) for the housing, the team had to find a new, economical solution to seal off the electrical contact points from the environment, as, due to its physical properties, PP does not bond with conventional potting compounds. To solve this problem, several different solutions were simultaneously developed and tested, with patents pending.
One possible approach is to manufacture the polypropylene (PP) housing with a “foam structure” that enables a tight connection with the potting compound and offers additional economic advantages. Among other things, this includes a reduced internal mold pressure during the injection molding process. This means injection molding machines with less clamping force can be used.
Another possible solution is the combination with TPE coating of molded parts, which is very attractive from an economic standpoint, if this injection process can also be used for the injection of a TPE seal.
The team has also developed a new process for electrical connections. This process is possible without soldering, provided the connection point is protected from moisture (e.g. potted).
Global Latch 3 - This door lock component is installed in vehicles of Daimler and BMW
Pollmann manufactures around 40 million door lock components for companies such as Brose, Kiekert and Magna every year. Thanks to sophisticated variant management combined with a very high degree of automation, we are among the leading suppliers of door lock components.
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