Plastic Dip Moulding System Retrofit
The automated ‘Hot Dip’ moulding equipment used by Essentra to make over 5 million parts per year was approximately 20 years old. It had become unreliable (in service only 62% of the time), difficult to operate to required quality standards and was energy inefficient (energy costs exceeded £150,000 per year).
Essentra considered buying a completely new production system from the original US manufacturer. However, this would have been very expensive and would have incurred significant additional delivery and installation costs. Because dip moulding is a well established technology, new equipment has received little development and so no great improvement in performance could have been expected.
The alternative – replacing components of the system and control systems piecemeal – would have meant Essentra project managing multiple suppliers and a high risk of delays and problems.
Adbro were awarded a turnkey contract to undertake the following:
Design & build of new control system for the plastic dip mould
Management of the procurement of the 2-stage pre-dip tool preheat ovens and 2-stage post-dip curing ovens
Mechanical refurbishment of: 8 tool position rotary indexing turntable, 3 Axis servo driven tool dipping, 4 interchangeable tank dipping options, tool water dip cooling tank & operator dip mould blow off station. Also the upgrade of the safety system in line with the latest regulations
Installation & commissioning of the new system
The system has now been running for two years. There have been no reliability issues and the equipment is operated 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. ‘Up time’ is now 92% – representing a 50% throughput increase.
The total upgrade and refurbishment cost was less than one third of the cost of buying and installing a complete new system (which would have had inferior control systems).
Energy usage has been cut by 34%, representing a saving of over £50,000 per year and an even greater saving per component due to the greater throughput. Other benefits include greater moulding precision and quality, substantially lower noise (down by 10dB), lower fume output and safer operator working conditions.