Smiles everywhere and satisfied people – the sight that met Ruben Maier, director of Simulation, the Steinbeis Research Center, on a visit to Bondexpo. Maier was at the international trade show for bonding technology in Stuttgart, standing at the booth of Kübler GmbH. He was the initiator of a development project at Kübler and the head of development on Dos.Base and his innovative, low-cost dosing machine has solved a key industry challenge.
“It was two years ago and I was looking for a suitable bonding system for one of my clients. I’d been through every product seeking something that would put two components together. It had to be easy to use, adaptable, and inexpensive. I couldn’t find any products on the market so I gradually started thinking about developing a system and making one myself,” recalls Ruben Maier. One year later, in the fall of 2014, he was at a trade show organized by Steinbeis called Products seek Producers at the Chamber of Commerce in Pforzheim. During a conversation with Kübler GmbH, the idea sprang up again for a two-component (2K) lowcost, bonding device. As a producer of complex and comprehensive dosing devices, Hans Kübler was more than familiar with the desire of his clients and potential sales leads for more compact devices – something with fewer fittings that is just as precise and adaptable. Another meeting followed, in which Maier presented the areas of competence of his Steinbeis Research Center for Simulation, especially in terms of its development potential. Kübler recognized the opportunity to realize his vision and offer his customers a simple and inexpensive system.
After just one exploratory meeting, the Steinbeis Research Center for Simulation embarked on a feasibility study in early 2015 based on scientific methods. As part of their analysis, the Steinbeis experts examined which processes were best suited to doing without control circuits and being transferred to 2K dispensing tools. The testing phase was completed by the summer of 2015 with a successful four-axle simultaneous test.
After achieving positive results, the team moved straight into design and development, setting up and testing a prototype aimed at achieving 2K dispensing tool control without an actual control loop. To do this, the project team first designed, developed, and produced a two-component dispenser tool. This made it possible to adapt hand dispensers to be used with cartridges of different sizes. The tool was mounted on a flat-bed base. After comprehensive testing, the team succeeded in dosing twocomponent media and producing a variety of 3D trajectories. The new solution was so innovative that the team’s research and development work received funding from the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Finance and Industry under the innovation voucher program (A and B vouchers).
The new dosing system is called Dos.Base. It combines the highly precise dosing of two components with user-friendly features at a low price. As well as using manual dispensers, it also allows the operator to carry out micro-dispensing using jet valves. The systems works to a precision level of up to 0.05 millimeters, making it just as precise as more expensive dosing systems. Dos.Base is also extremely adaptable for use. For example, it can handle a broad spectrum of materials ranging from adhesives to thermal compounds, silicon, and PU. The work surfaces on the machine make it suitable for extensive usage scenarios.
The positive reception that was given to the machine by visitors to the Bondexpo trade show indicated that the market has been waiting for just such a solution for dosing applications. “We received so many queries from customers at the show that we’re planning to hire a project manager as quickly as possible to manage the project planning and coordinate the contracts,” announced Boris Kübler, managing director of the Kübler subsidiary, on the last day of the trade show. “Some of our companies only actually went to the trade show to take a look at the innovative dosing machine for themselves,” gleams Michaela Benz, who is responsible for marketing.
So what is the next chapter in the success story of Steinbeis and Kübler GmbH? “Of course our main priority at the moment is to sell Dos.Base and set up machines for customers,” explain Boris and Hans Kübler. “That said, we’re looking forward to hearing more about Ruben Maier’s innovative ideas, especially when it comes to dispensing technology!” The reason for saying this is another innovative product idea that popped up during the development of Dos.Base, which is also related to the market for dosing equipment. The Steinbeis Research Center for Simulation is due to begin implementing that idea shortly, meaning that many specialists have more to look forward to in the market for dosing technology in the year to come.