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Trio for Taylor Engineering & Plastics With Three Machine Purchase

VECTOR machine

Rochdale-based injection moulder and structural foam specialist Taylor Engineering & Plastics has invested in three new injection moulding machines from Negri Bossi UK’s BIPOWER and VECTOR lines, ranging from 800 to 2000 tonnes.

The investment worth over £1.5m strengthens TEP’s position as one of the UK’s leading suppliers of large moulded and painted components for the medical equipment, electric vehicle, automotive and earthmoving sectors.

Speaking of the investment, Ian Taylor, Technical Director at TEP, said:

I am delighted to announce to the market that TEP recently completed the acquisition of three large-tonnage injection moulding machines from Negri Bossi UK. These new machines are in the 800-tonne to 2000-tonne range; the 2000-tonne BIPOWER has been installed and commissioned. The 800-tonne and 1300-tonne are on schedule to be delivered to our Rochdale plant before the end of the year.

We approached Negri Bossi back in March to discuss our plans when we saw overall product demand increasing. Over the following few months, our teams have been working jointly on developing the right machine specifications to meet our needs for our current and new market sectors.

The two-platen BIPOWER 2000-tonne has a shot capacity of 11.2kg and platens sizes of 2660mm x 2260mm.

“The 800-tonne and 1300-tonne we opted for are from Negri Bossi’s VECTOR machine range. They are proven machines and come with Negri’s energy-efficient electric screw drive and hydraulic clamping as standard. Not only do we have one of the best plasticising units available on the market today, but we will also reduce our energy costs by around 30%”.

In addition to new injection moulding machines, TEP has invested an additional £500,000 on new equipment for their paint spraying and finishing division. These latest investments put Taylor Engineering & Plastics at the forefront of big part production and finishing in Europe.

Ian Taylor added:

We are seeing significant growth across all our current sectors and particularly in the medical equipment and electric vehicle markets.”

TEP was originally founded in 1949 as Taylor Patterns, pattern makers and toolmakers to the automotive sector. Moulding and painting processes were introduced throughout the sixties and seventies to meet emerging demand for OEM products requiring plastic enclosures. By 1977, TEP was established in its current format and continued its expansion with further injection moulding, structural foam moulding (ESF) and DCPD technologies, particularly the development of its painting and finishing facilities.

Ian Jobling, Sales Manager at Negri Bossi UK, said:

We are delighted to be working in partnership with TEP and look forward to ramping up production later this year. The new VECTOR 800-tonne has a shot capacity of 8kg and platen sizes of 1550mm x 1400mm.

“The VECTOR 1300-tonne wide platen version boasts an impressive shot capacity of 11kg with a market-leading platen size of 2150mm x 1700mm. Machines are being supplied with Herzog hydraulic shut-off nozzles for processing of structural foam, a specialism of TEP.”

This article was originally published on PlastikMedia.

Protool Group Reduce Energy Costs by 48% Through CANBIO sT 400 Servo Drive Machine Investment

Michael Hadfield Protool Plastics Group
Michael Hadfield, Managing Director of The Protool Plastics Group

As energy costs continue to increase more injection moulders are looking at ways to spend less on electricity. Michael Hadfield Managing Director of The Protool Plastics Group is no exception and his latest decision to invest in new machinery was based heavily on saving money over the medium to long term. “Negri Bossi have been a valued supplier to The Protool Plastics Group’s site in Fareham for over 35 years so when I heard that our old pre 2000 NB400 model was starting to show signs of age I reached out to the team for advice. Negri Bossi offered to undertake an energy usage evaluation on the old machine for us followed by a recommendation for a suitable replacement ” said Michael.

Ian Jobling Sales Manager at Negri Bossi said, “When I heard that Michael was considering a replacement for his NB400T machine I was happy to help. I knew that we could reduce his energy usage by recommending a new CANBIO sT 400 Full Servo Drive machine. Following a site visit we measured energy usage on this machine which included a hopper loader and bench lights and found that it was using 44.9kW per hour. At a rate of £0.11 per kWh that equated to a cost of £4.93 per hour or £24,695 based on 5000 hours per year. Using our in-house evaluation software we estimated that we could save approximately 50% if the old machine was replaced with a new CANBIO sT.

The information that Negri Bossi provided following the site visit and energy evaluation played a significant part in Protool’s decision to invest in a new machine. “The savings were clearly significant on paper” said Michael. “It will be interesting to see what the actual results are when the machine is installed and running”.

In addition to potential cost savings Negri Bossi also pointed out that the CANBIO sT 400 comes with dual hydraulic gear pumps allowing for parallel movement of ejectors, cores and mould opening. This in itself results in cycle time reductions of around 10% when utilised.

The new machine was installed in November 2020 and set up to run the same tool that was running previously on the old NB400. Energy measurements were taken while the machine was running in fully automatic operation. The results showed the CANBIO used 18.7Kw per hour to run the same tool at the same cycle time with the same ancillary equipment which equated to a saving of 48%. The trial showed the old NB400 machine was costing £4.93 per hour and the new CANBIO sT was £2.57.

Over 5000 hours the savings were proven to be very significant with the NB400 costing £24,695 compared to £12,850 an annual saving of £11,845.

Michael continues, “Based on the results of the comparison tests the savings are everything we hoped that they would be and we look forward to continued savings during 2021. Adding the 12 months maintenance of the very old NB400 machine to the energy cost savings of the new CANBIO sT it has basically given us a fully funded machine.”

Protool Plastics Group logo

Automotive Quality with Complete Solution from NEGRI BOSSI

A high flow capacity coolant box assembly
A high flow capacity coolant box assembly

Arlington Thermal Management (UK division), part of the Arlington Automotive group, is a Tier 1 strategic supplier to major automotive OEMs including Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, BMW, Daimler and Renault Nissan.

Whether it’s for automotive or non-automotive applications, the company offers a full system service for cooling flow controls and powertrain thermo-management.

The Negri Bossi team were tasked to work with the Arlington team to create two identical machine and robot cells to manage the continual output from a new suite of extremely complex multi-cavity moulds.  The tools would be producing high glass content, nylon thermostat bodies and covers, some body moulds requiring there to be eight independent hydraulic core pull circuits on each of the two 500 tonne machines.

All the moulds in the suite had to be interchangeable between the two cells, quick-change robot heads with binary-coded gripper connections were specified to prevent any error in gripper selection.

Automatically ensuring only good parts reached the post moulding assembly shop was a fundamental requirement for the company, as this would eliminate wasted resources further down the production line.  Communication between the IMM and the automation system was therefore key, allowing each cell to fully utilise the sophisticated standard quality monitoring system within the latest CANBIO ST machine’s Tactus control.

 Operations Manager, Paul Adams commented:

Our history with Negri Bossi machines had proven to us we could rely on very precise shot to shot repeatability in the long term. We have machines dating back to 1995 that still surpass our demands for an accurate and stable moulding process. It was imperative that the new lines had this inherent repeatability, but could also warn us of any undesirable trends in the process, for example, material and mould heating/cooling instability.”

“We wanted to continue to work with a company that could supply a complete solution from their own product range, rather than having to piece together a system that wasn’t designed to work in harmony.  As Negri Bossi have their own specialised automation company, namely Sytrama, as well as a UK based project manager, they are well suited to this task.”

Improved labour utilisation was another joint target. Operator intervention to the cells for parts distribution to the assembly lines were to be no more frequent than once every 2 hours. This was achieved with a custom-built conveyor system designed to accommodate the company standard, in house parts containers. Active box position monitoring and operator attraction by audible and visual indicators were incorporated in the line.

A digital rendering of one of the new production cells.
A digital rendering of one of the new production cells.

To allow quality control patrol inspectors to take samples from the enclosed system, quality staff can simply press a request button, and the robot will divert components to a quality station. These components are then excluded from the sample count within the normal production control.  The same applies to any parts produced outside the CANBIO’s quality monitoring system, the robot depositing ‘suspect’ components on a quarantine table.

The system is also programmed to automatically quarantine a selectable number of cycles at start-up and after any system interruption.  This allows process stability to be achieved before components enter the system.  As before, the correct box counts are still maintained.

Paul Adams commented:

“The two production cells are now fully operational and have achieved the stringent targets set during our initial consultations with Negri Bossi.  The net result is a much higher level of production autonomy, with a significant reduction of non-conforming product entering our ‘downstream’ manufacturing systems.

Why High-Quality Machinery can Prove Less Expensive – Dave Crone of Omega Plastics

Omega Plastics Group Owner – Dave Crone
Omega Plastics Group Owner – Dave Crone

Specialising in custom, multiple-use plastic injection mouldings and rapid tooling for the automotive, healthcare and FMCG industries, Omega Plastics Group has always enjoyed continued growth since its acquisition in 2005 by Chris Thompson and Dave Crone. The purchase in 2015 of high volume, plastic injection moulding specialist, Signal Plastics, further contributed to the growth of the group.

In December 2016, the Group relocated Signal Plastics to a larger 42,700 sq ft factory unit in Bentall Business Park, Washington and invested over £1 million in new injection moulding equipment.

Additional contracts with new and existing customers, including a recent £3 million contract with an OEM specialising in domestic and commercial heating, has led the company to make a strategic decision to merge its two Omega Plastics sites in Blyth and Hartlepool into one, significantly larger 45,000 sq ft facility.

Omega has always invested in the best equipment available for a particular application, whether CNC milling or injection moulding.  We asked the company Chairman, Dave Crone, why this is the case?

“We are of course, fully aware that there is a myriad of equipment suppliers to choose from, especially now that import tariffs imposed in the States have shifted the focus of Chinese manufacturers to Europe.  Our expansion has required significant expenditure on new toolmaking, injection moulding and ancillary equipment, so we could have easily justified a move to cheaper OEM’s.”

“In some cases, we have had comments from staff members about a particular job being simple to run, so not needing all the ‘bells and whistles’.  They do, of course, have a point, but in my experience, the more costly brands are often less expensive in the long run.  Even when the time comes to replace the equipment, residual values are many times higher, making a significant contribution to our deposit.”

“Despite having the extra space at our new Team Valley site, we need to make sure we get the most out of every square foot of our production facility.  In the case of our mould shop, manufacturers such as Negri Bossi offer superior tie bar spacings and mould height when compared to ‘cost-driven’ machines of similar tonnage.  You would often need to buy a ‘size up’ in order to get a similar specification, increasing the machine’s footprint, as well as narrowing the price differential”

“We also see that a continual R&D programme is a priority with European and Japanese brands, as they need to keep a ‘step ahead’ of less expensive competitors.  In my experience their equipment has superior levels of control and accuracy, and generally, produce more product for less energy”.

“Continuity of supply is a major concern for our customers, so it follows that our equipment must have minimal downtime.  Even the most expensive and well-engineered equipment can suffer a breakdown, so knowing that we are dealing with a genuine UK based subsidiary, rather than an agency is essential.  We also know that all spare components for all machine models can’t practically or economically be held in the UK, so a rapid transit time from the OEM’s primary site is also a factor we consider”

“Finally, we have to think about how we present ourselves to our current and potential customers.  We openly claim that Omega Plastics Group is one of the countries most advanced and technically competent toolmakers and plastic injection moulding companies.  When a customer visits either of our sites, they can see that we have both the people and infrastructure to back this up.”

‘Mould for Plating’ Specialist adds Twin Shot Capability

Originally named Plated Plastic Developments, Birmingham based Quality Plated Plastics, was founded in 1965. Following the installation of a state-of-the-art specialist plastic plating plant in 2008, the company rapidly expanded, allowing it to penetrate the automotive market. Further plant upgrades in 2012 enabled the company to treble the output of satin finishes, meeting the growing demand of major automotive OEM’s.

At the end of 2014, a new ‘mould for plating’ facility was created, allowing some key premium brand automotive companies to shorten their supply chain.  Several Negri Bossi injection moulding machines were installed, all customised for the production of PC/ABS. The specification included polymer specific plasticising screw profiles and smaller than typical shot weights when compared to ‘trade moulding’ machines. This provided:

  • Superior polymer processing and product finish
  • Minimal chance of contamination
  • Reduced residence time
  • Greater shot-to-shot repeatability

The mould shop quickly grew, by mid-2018 having five machines from 55T to 500T locking force.  Sytrama robotic cells were also installed, allowing the company to minimise the handling of components.

The investment included laboratory facilities for the testing of plating chemicals, applied plating thicknesses and thermal cycling and humidity testing to PV1200. The net result was the creation of class-leading product quality.

Recently installed 500 tonne MULTIMAT machine

In January of this year, an additional 130T Negri Bossi CANBIO machine and 500T MULTIMAT machine were delivered.  This followed the construction of a new 14,000 square foot warehouse that subsequently allowed the mould shop to be expanded into a newly vacated area.  A new chilled water system and a dedicated in-house tool maintenance department was implemented in the major upgrade.

The new MULTIMAT machine, as well as adding additional large tonnage capacity, is specified to handle a variety of future twin-shot projects.  The machine has an additional vertical injection unit that will allow the production of components with two distinct material types, removing the need for assembly. By combining plating grade ABS with non-plating polymers such as nylon and TPE, part finished components can be produced without the need for product masking.

The machine has an integrated servo-powered rotary table with multiple water circuits. It is also specified with oil circuits for core pulling functions and part ejection.  In addition, a frame-mounted Sytrama robot can service ‘tool transfer’ type moulding and de-mould finished components.

When asked about the recent mould shop expansion, QPP Managing Director John Timmins commented,

As around seventy percent of our ‘Mould for Plating’ work is automotive, we need to cater for the steadily increasing trim specification of premium brand models. As well as offering faultless gloss and satin chrome finishes, we have now prepared for an increased demand for partly finished dual material components.  OEM recycling targets mean that these components are best manufactured within a single moulding operation and plating process, i.e. without the need for an assembly stage