Heated Bonding Tunes Up Guitar Manufacturing

kapton flexible heater

The Challenge
A manufacturer of custom guitars had a need to better control the lamination process for bonding the side panels that make up the guitar body shape. The traditional way of making these sides involve steaming the wood to soften, then drying in a mold to set the shape, followed by gluing. Traditionally, these steps don’t involve heat input. But the manufacturer discovered there were measurable benefits to speed, quality, and acoustics by adding precision heat control to these processes.

The Solution
The Chromalox team worked with the manufacturer to better understand their current processes and equipment. We then came up with a Kapton® heater design that married into their existing equipment and dies with very little re-tooling. We also incorporated their sensors into the heater design. Our tooling, design flexibility, and testing processes ensured world class prototyping all the way through the manufacturing process.

 

The Benefits
The customer realized unprecedented temperature control over their traditional methods. Our Kapton heat management solution also allowed for more versatility in guitar designs. They now want to adopt the same Kapton heater methodology to other wood bonding processed in their product line. And lastly, they were able to use the less expensive types of wood (i.e., mahogany or maple) to give similar sound quality to the more expensive types of wood (i.e., East Indian or Brazilian rosewood). This is a typical example of how Chromalox listens to the voice of the customer toward world class cost saving solutions, processes, and technology.