FlexShape: Zero Assembly Wiper Arm

When a major automobile company wanted to improve performance of a legacy rear window wiper, they came to FlexSys. We replaced the highly complex assembly of parts, springs and joints with a single-piece “monoform” wiper with only a single component part -- that also reduced the manufacturing cost so it could be made in the USA.  This technology is available for licensing.

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FlexSys technology has demonstrated many ways that it is possible to replace common types of complex multi-part mechanisms with compliant single body (or "monoform") devices that ideally require no assembly at all. A typical candidate for consideration is a device comprised of a number of parts that perform some sort of tension/release action in the normal performance of its purpose. In a conventional mechanism the motion and tension are accommodated by rigid links with various joints and springs that are pinned together and may even require regular lubrication. Assembly is often time consuming and frequently comprises the largest single cost of producing the product.

Patented and available for license

 This FlexSys monoform wiper design won the JEC 2016 Innovation Award. 

This FlexSys monoform wiper design won the JEC 2016 Innovation Award. 

A comparable compliant monoform mechanism requires little or no assembly, usually fits within the same or a more convenient footprint, and typically improves performance. 

A monoform design that replaces a product currently requiring substantial assembly often provides opportunities to improve the product’s performance and can typically be manufactured at a substantially reduced cost. The FlexSys automotive wiper arm is a prime example.

 

A composite wiper of elastomeric monoform design

The composite thermoplastic, hinge-less wiper of 30% glass filled PBT, and molded as a single piece, reduces part count and associated assembly by 75%, cuts weight in half, and costs two thirds less than the legacy, hinged metal design. Umlike the troaditional hinged mechanism, this wiper also provides constant spring pressures, tuned in the design process, through each arm, to the blade. Thus, greatly improving wipe quality.

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The technology FlexSys uses is called Distributed Compliance where the elasticity of materials is embraced and used to create motion. Advancements in composite materials and additive manufacturing will fuel the future of these Elastomeric Monolithic designs by increasing strength/flexibility ratios. More compliant designs can be found through-out our website.

Contact Us to find out if our expertise can solve your "impossible".

 

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