Innovative Mold Solutions (IMS), a contract engineering/manufacturing facility producing application-specific plastic injection molding products for military, industrial and medical industries took on the challenge to expand its capability to produce a new line of eco-friendly compostable plastics products from one to five machines within a matter of months.
Sean Wright, IMS, Manufacturing Engineer at Innovative Mold Solutions, knew that with their trajectory for rapid growth they would need to be able to reconfigure their auxiliary equipment. Most off-the-shelf type conveyors catch parts from under molding machines as they are ejected, bring them up an incline, and then drop them into a container.
IMS was limited with these conveyors in the way that “you could change the angle of the incline and adjust the overall height, but they weren’t modular enough to be able to extend or change the entire configuration,” says Wright.
IMS discovered reconfigurable conveyors after acquiring machinery that included a 6ft DynaCon modular conveyor. “The DynaCon is like a large erector set—we can reconfigure the way we need it instead of being stuck with one configuration. The DynaCon system allows us to quickly change how we want to transport the molded parts on the production floor,” says Wright.
IMS uses modular conveyor systems throughout its entire process beginning with catching parts from under molding machines, feeding them through a camera inspection system and through to final packaging. The DynaCon gives IMS the ability to experiment with other configurations like coming out the side or back of the machine. “The DynaCon allowed us to custom configure the system to catch and move parts away from the machine in a way that best fits the production floor layout,” says Wright.
DynaCon conveyor systems also give IMS the ability to fine tune its system. Originally belts were ordered with flights spaced at 12” intervals but did not separate the parts as planned. Wright was able to order additional flights and rebuild the belt reducing the intervals by 50 percent; and after further testing, altered the position of flights to create a waterfall of parts moving down the conveyor. “We were able to pull the belt completely off and add twice the number of flights in about an hour. With another belt that would not be possible because the flights are typically permanently attached and cannot be adjusted,” he says.
“The DynaCon has allowed us to revamp the entire post molding system, effectively transporting molded parts to an in-line camera inspection system. To be able to do that and not have to absorb any more cost or overhead with additional machinery is outstanding,” says Wright.