Automation 101 Vlog: Ultrasonics vs Induction Heat for Plastic Nut Insertion

In this Automation 101 Vlog, AMS CEO Guy O’Gara goes through two of the most common forms of insertion of nuts for plastic processing; ultrasonic welding and heat induction. Heat Induction and Ultrasonic welding both have their unique advantages and Disadvantages… Our Team at AMS has experience with both and can help you decide which one might be best for your next plastic processing application! Have an upcoming automation project? AMS is committed to clear, honest, and timely communication to ensure your project’s success. Learn more about our proven process or book a virtual application review to discuss your next automation project.


hello and welcome back to another automation 101 vlog today we will be reviewing two different methods of installing metal inserts into plastic parts: Ultrasonics and induction heat. We will briefly cover their respective process applications and some pros and cons of each.

During the ultrasonic installation process, the ultrasonic horn converts electrical energy into high-frequency vibrations that are delivered through a pneumatic cylinder to apply a precise downward force these vibrations generate enough heat to melt the plastic around the insert and press the metal into the plastic. Here are some advantages of ultrasonic insertion it’s extremely fast. There is less tooling configuration between different size inserts and the equipment can be used for other plastic joining applications. Some of the negatives around ultrasonic insertion are that it’s extremely loud due to metal-on-metal vibration and the vibrations can cause metal particulate causing part contamination concerns.

Now for induction insertion, a nut is placed into the induction coil that uses its electromagnetic field to heat the nut then the nut is removed from the coil and pressed into the plastic part and cooled. The processing can be done with an air cylinder a servo motion or multi-axis robot. Here are some of the advantages of heat induction: the installation process is quieter than ultrasonic welding. Multiple inserts on multiple planes can be catered to with platen- style induction heat machines or six-axis robots. Vibratory bowls can be used to feed the inserts eliminating the need for operators to handle small parts and the ability to adhere to tight press-in tolerances is available with induction heat. A couple of cons of the induction heat process are that it requires slightly longer processing time for installation due to heating and cooling a fully automated system requires more upfront capital cost than a simple ultrasonic welder.

At AMS our team has experience with both methods and can help you decide which might be best for you if you want to learn more subscribe to our channel and visit our website today thank you.

Thank you for reading!

Guy O'Gara

Guy O'Gara

As president and CEO for the last 20 years, Guy’s leadership keeps AMS going strong. He takes responsibility for understanding the industrial automation industry, AMS customers and every team member so that he can find a winning strategy that benefits everyone.