How to take another step towards optimizing production at automotive industry OEM supplier?
Aircom company has been developing intensively since its inception. Recently, it is time to take another step towards optimizing production. Łukasz Biega – Team Manager in the Plastics Department will bring us closer to the subject of the latest changes.
We produce 30% more Tire Mobility Kits
Mariusz Maćkowiak: Good morning Łukasz. Today I would like you to tell us about the recent change that has taken place in the Plastics Department at Aircom.
Łukasz Biega: It has indeed changed a bit, we have 2 new injection molding machines for plastics. In total, we have already acquired 5 such devices this year, but 2 new machines are a big step in changing the production process of compressors and bottles.
M.M .: What exactly are the new injection molding machines used for?
Ł.B .: They are used for the production of plastic elements. We have a machine with a clamping force of 500 t and 110 t. The first one is used for the production of compressor casings, while the second one complements the shortcomings for PPS plastic molds. Soon there will also be new details for further projects, and these machines will allow us to strengthen our production capacity.
M.M .: I understand that thanks to these devices the efficiency of plastics processing increases. Ł.B .: Yes, we can boast here. As for the LK2 housings, external suppliers were able to produce approx. 9,000 sets per day. We produce about 12,000 sets per day. At the same time, we produce a total of approx. 200,000 parts within one day.
Reducing the cost of producing raw material
M.M .: What additional benefits did the purchase of new injection molding machines bring for the company?
Ł.B .: The production of the parts by us reduces the cost of producing the raw material. Not only do we produce more items at the same time, but also logistics costs go away. We previously imported details from Łódź, so we even eliminated the cost of transport. The housings, although relatively small, contain a lot of air. You cannot transport too many in one transport. Now the logistic costs have been practically zeroed.
M.M .: Could we create new jobs thanks to the new injection molding machines?
Ł.B .: Yes, I now have 7 new people from all over the world – people from Portugal, Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine. It should be added that the plastics processing market, when it comes to specialists, is quite difficult, so we train all employees ourselves. We give junior specialists a chance to develop, they take advantage of this chance, so I think it is a win-win.
M.M..: Are standard injection molding machines used in the automotive industry or does the industry require their modification?
Ł.B .: Our machines are not standard ones, like ‘off the shelf’, and have been carefully selected. The parts produced at Aircom are technical details, made of quite specific materials. The machines were selected in such a way as to meet the expectations tailored to the materials that we process. Additionally, the 500-tonne machines are equipped to meet the mold design standardsing
Injection molding machines in automotive business
M.M .: What is the process of manufacturing elements of repair kits on an injection molding machine?
Ł.B .: On the one hand, we have a material in the form of granules, which we fill the machine with. In the machine, the materials are melted and then injected under pressure into the mold. Then the mold is opened and the detail is taken out.
M.M .: It may seem that the work with the injection molding machine is not complicated.
Ł.B .: Nothing could be more wrong. Welding machines are also used in our company. To work with them, you need to set 7 parameters. There are as many as 65 parameters on the injection molding machine. The process of introducing employees who work on the injection molding machine is quite lengthy. After a year, a person is able to produce the part on his own, and only after a practice of one and a half years is he able to cope with all sorts of problems with the machine.
M.M .: Why does an automotive company decide to purchase injection molding machines?
Ł.B .: In addition to facilitating logistics processes and reducing production costs, the key factor that decision about their purchase was made was the need to fully control the quality of our parts. Our plastics are construction materials that are difficult to process. By producing them on-site, we ensure that the standards and quality norms are met.
Delicate housing are handled by robots
M.M .: Are there any other interesting facts on the injection line?
Ł.B .: It is also worth adding that there are robots on our line. Most of the details fall on the conveyor belt, but some of them, especially the housings, are more delicate, so they are handled by robots.
Car tire compressor instead of a spare wheel?
M.M .: What have been your biggest challenges recently?
Ł.B .: I think that the most difficult move recently was moving to a new hall. We already had 6 machines that needed to be relocated, and in the meantime, 4 new machines arrived that we had to install. With all this, we could not stop production on the welding lines. We had to plan the downtime so that it would not interfere with the work of other production lines.
Future of Plastic Department
M.M .: The assumptions of Aircom are innovation, usability, speed,and faultlessness. We have already talked about a significant improvement in the pace of product development. What will happen in the Plastics Department now?
Ł.B .: We are at the stage of planning the purchase of 2 more machines with a view to producing a 2K bottle – an innovative project by Aircom. It will be a 2-component sealant and we will be the first company in the world to produce such a product. On a daily basis, we also act in accordance with the company’s maxim, striving for the highest quality and optimization of production processes.
M.M .: Thank you very much for the interview, Łukasz.
Ł.B .: Me too.