There’s no shortage of bad facelifts out there – seen Wayne Newton lately, for example? Poly-Nova Technologies LP is currently undergoing the right kind: the Guelph, Ont.-based custom injection molder has just completed the first phase of a facility renovation designed to make the 100-employee strong company more competitive by boosting the efficiency and quality of its production processes.
It’s a tall order for any manufacturing outfit, and a lot of shops that consider the process never get past the “maybe” stage, while others tackle it haphazardly. Poly-Nova carried it out in a thorough and specific fashion, beginning with new molding machines, robots, and upstream and downstream automation. “We added multiple new horizontal and vertical Engel injection presses, ranging from 100 tons to 300 tons,” said Geoff Valeriote, the company’s sales and marketing manager. “The units came with machine controllers that provide better process control, which leads to a higher quality and lower cost part, and with dual material feed systems to eliminate downtime for material changes”. The new injection molding machinery will be used for the molding of both homogenous rubber parts and insert over-molded parts, Valeriote continued. “All molding technology used in conjunction with these machines will be wasteless and flashless – a specialty of Poly-Nova’s – which eliminates inconsistencies in typical molding processes, provides minimal material waste, and supplies both quality and cost saving benefits,” he said. “Flashless molding is extremely valuable when working with high performance elastomers such as the fluorosilicones and fluorocarbons that are a large part of our business.”
The company also built a new prototype and material development lab to meet the growing demand for prototyping. “The new facility has been equipped to allow as close to production variables as possible within in the prototyping space – true production intent prototyping,” Valeriote continued. “New lab scale molding machinery has been added to the lab in support of these increased prototype requirements.” The lab also doubles as a research and development space, where in-house engineering staff performs material formulation and development.
The Poly-Nova building was also renovated from top to bottom with energy efficient lighting, and a bus system added for all electrical and process services to allow quick and efficient machine installations.
Finally, the company is in the process of updating its quality management system from ISO 9001:2008 to ISO/TS 16949, a procedure which should be complete by early in the fourth quarter of 2012.
According to Valeriote, the many physical changes are a reflection of a new corporate commitment to standardization and automation. “With the new molding equipment, we’re able to standardize our processes and improve overall cost effectiveness, allowing us to be even more competitive in the global market,” he said.