When 2 becomes 1 – Move your plastics parts production from two machines into one!
If you are responsible for a production system that moulds plastic parts, this blog will help you improve efficiencies and costs.
Let’s kick things off with a question.
The question is, ‘Are you aware of what you can potentially do with your existing plastic moulding system?’
Did you know for example, that it is possible to configure an injection moulding machine so that it can produce multiple parts and then assemble them in the machine – rather the moulding separate parts on different machines and then plastic welding them on an assembly line?
Here are few examples of where 3PA expertise has helped – ‘two machines become one.’
Case Study 1 – Buckets with lids
We had a client that was producing plastic buckets and bucket lids in separate injection moulding machines.
We helped them understand that the final item (a bucket with a lid) could be made in one machine.
We put a system in place with an extra injection unit to mould the lids fitted on the moving platen to take advantage of the maximum clamp force required.
Most importantly, this client did not have to buy another injection moulding machine. They simply added to their existing process to maximise its operation.
Case study 2 – Combined plastic iron parts
Another, more complex example, was when we installed a single system to create and combine multiple plastic parts to support the production of domestic irons.
Think of an iron and you’ll visualise a curved handle at the top, the metal hotplate below and the plastic section in the middle, where there’s generally a water reservoir.
The plastic handle, fittings and water reservoir are all separate elements which must be created and combined and then attached to the metal base and the electrics.
This particular client came to us and told us that, because this is a complex production process, they potentially may be losing this work to an overseas manufacturer.
They were therefore hoping to streamline their process and save costs.
Our solution was to create and install one machine (in effect combining three of their existing machines) which moulded the multiple plastic iron parts and then assembled them within the machine, using injection welding.
Previously the created elements were assembled after manufacture.
Needless to say, combining three into one brought our client significant cost and labour savings.
They actually ended up manufacturing two completed and assembled top part of an iron, every sixty seconds.
In addition, after seeing payback in just 10 months, they then went on to order a further production cell.
Case study 3 – Collapsible coffee cup
Another example is a client who was aiming to produce a reusable & recyclable plastic coffee cup.
His innovation was an eco-cup which would have a firm plastic base and lid but the main body of cup would be made from a softer (more rubber like) plastic.
The resulting cup could easily be compressed and carried in a pocket or bag for multiple use.
Initially, this client struggled to find a company that could help him realise his innovation in a cost-effective way.
The biggest challenge was creating then combining two very different plastic elements into one product.
Once again, 3PA and had a solution and we created a single machine that could create the finished cup.
This gave our client the right quality product which most importantly, could be sold at the right price.
Are you efficient?
A good question to ask therefore is, ‘Within my plastics production and injection moulding system, what could be streamlined?
As technology progresses and automated moulding plastic production becomes more agile, many people simply just don’t know what’s possible.
If you’re not sure what is possible, call 3PA.
We supply and support all companies that manufacture plastic bottles and parts and packaging as well as organisations that use conveying and robotic systems.
We’re proud of our reliable, cost-effective installations and everything we supply is backed up by high expertise.
To find out more or to ask a question simply call 01327 263082.
If you’d rather communicate by email, then it’s [email protected]