The demand from consumers for smart appliances with user-friendly technology and energy-efficiency is growing. The market is rapidly adjusting to demands for more smart appliances, which means the manufacturing must also evolve. In order to keep up with the latest trends, manufacturers must find solutions that both introduce new technology, while still maintaining the top quality features. Adhesives provide a range of potential solutions to this rapid growth.
Adjusting Technology to a Changing World
In recent years, consumers have greatly changed how they select and buy appliances for their household. With more people using their homes for everyday living and work, consumers are finding more uses for smart home devices, while also needing to use kitchen and cleaning appliances more than ever before. As a result, more consumers are exploring how combining smart devices and sensory technology in appliances can benefit them. Some of the latest smart appliance consumer preferences on the market include the following:
Multi-Functionality: Due to the increase of urbanization and rise of real estate prices, many people are looking for ways to increase the uses of their small spaces. This is a pain point manufacturers can address by including smart gadgets in kitchen appliances, allowing consumers to play music, or make schedules at the screen on their fridge. Smart microwaves also can scan barcodes on food items and download cooking instructions with artificial intelligence assistance, allowing the user a hands-off experience.
Cleanliness: As consumers look for more ways to protect their homes, copper, brass and bronze hardware are gaining popularity, as these have the ability to reduce the risks of bacteria or mold. Studies have found materials with copper can hinder the transmission of viruses and bacteria. By incorporating these materials into your appliances, you can address this pain point.
Managing Food Waste: Not only are manufacturers finding ways to include appliances in sustainability efforts, they’re also creating technology to help consumers reduce their food waste. Manufacturers are developing a range of sensors for appliances like refrigerators, freezers and wine coolers. One of the latest high-tech sensors helps detect the freshness of food, and fridge display cameras can show food expiration dates.
Improved Customization: With more people cooking at home, smart refrigerators are among the most popular kitchen market trends. Some of the smart features include allowing the user to see what’s inside their fridge by using their smartphone. A touchscreen can help the user change the temperature or use the water dispenser. Smart refrigerators also use a fraction of the energy required by traditional models.
Challenges and Solutions for New Innovations in Smart Appliances
There is certainly a race among companies to develop the next innovation in smart appliances, but that does not relieve the pressure for manufacturers. Along with integrating the latest technology, manufacturers must also determine how those gadgets will suffice in appliances that must perform with hot or cold temperatures, keep food items safe, or include specific design features or components. Adhesives can provide simple, fast and affordable solutions to the mass production of smart appliances. Here are several adhesives you may consider for your manufacturing process:
Pressure Sensitive Adhesives (PSAs): In just about any place a manufacturer would use a fastener for an appliance, a PSA can provide the same performance standards. Plus, PSAs can provide increased reliability and longevity with minimal pressure. Engineers must simply consider what materials need bonding and the environmental conditions the adhesive will be placed in.
Rubber or Acrylic Based Adhesives: Manufacturers must consider which adhesive will work best with the temperatures it will endure with an appliance. Rubber-based adhesives typically are useful for temperatures less than 150 °F (66 °C), whereas acrylic-based adhesives can handle temperatures around 350 °F (177 °C).
High Performance Acrylic (HPA): Some appliance assembly requires long-lasting adhesion that can also withstand extreme temperatures. If you need an adhesive for temperatures hotter than 350 degrees, HPAs can be a good option. HPAs can help prevent other parts moving when foam insulation is placed into wall and door cavities of refrigerators and freezers. It provides a very strong bond particularly for keeping substrates in place, including digital control panels and plastic materials.
Aluminum Foil-Based Acrylic: Like many engineering markets, appliance manufacturers are increasingly using thinner metal materials in washers, dryers and dishwashers. This helps reduce the weight of the appliance and lowers costs, however lighter materials also can cause louder noise and more vibration. If engineers do not find ways to fix these problems, the sound and vibration could impact the longevity of the appliance due to metal fatigue. Fortunately, aluminum foil-based acrylic tapes can resist heat and humidity, as well as reduce the level of noise, vibration, and overall stress on the product over time. This application usually requires specifications to your project needs so the level of sound and vibration damping and heat and humidity levels meet the necessary requirements.
Additional Advantages of Using Adhesives
As engineers add touch screens to smart appliances, they’ve had to find other options like adhesive tapes to replace the usage of traditional nuts and bolts. Tapes, particularly pressure-sensitive adhesives, can easily handle shock absorption, while replacing dozens of screws that would add weight to the final product. Less heavy appliances also means manufacturers will save money as they ship refrigerators, dryers or washers long distances. Plus, adhesives also help contribute to sustainability efforts. Manufacturing plants can use a lower application temperature, helping with emissions and energy efficiency. This can greatly help in attracting consumers as well.
Overall, adhesives provide advantages of fast and easy assembly, absorption and strong bonding while meeting design aesthetics in an environmentally friendly manner. Contact a Bostik representative today to learn how adhesives can help you in developing smart appliances.
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