How CurTec is improving its production process
By Maaike Rijk
At CurTec, we do not just consider the high quality of our end products to be of crucial importance. Quality plays an important role when it comes to internal organisation too. The company has made considerable investments over recent years in new equipment and improvements to its processes. “Better for the environment, quality and costs” - Ronald Stein, former Process Engineer at CurTec.
Although CurTec has made great strides in improving energy consumption over recent years, the greatest improvements are still to come. At the end of 2012, CurTec began to replace part of its machinery. Four energy guzzling injection moulding machines have now made room for a new hybrid blow moulding and three advanced, energy-efficient injection moulding machines.
More accurate work with a hybrid blow moulding machine
Ronald: “At the beginning of 2013, we brought a fully-electrical blow moulding machine into operation.” This machine provides considerable reductions in energy consumption and emissions. However, that is not all. The machine can be configured very accurately which means that production quality is even more consistent. This means that we have fewer rejects and therefore waste less energy on manufacturing the rejects. All in all, this makes for a more efficient process.”
Better energy management and a more stable process
At the beginning of this year, three new Arburg injection moulding machines entered operation alongside the blow moulding machine at CurTec’s factory. All of the machines are fitted with the latest technology and a six-axis robot allows products to pass smoothly through the production process. “However, the most important gain in using this machine is actually down to two elements”, said Ronald. “The frequency regulated pump and the regulator valves. The pump works in such a way that when the machine is stationary, the pump also stops working. This mainly occurs during the cooling process. On the old machines, the pump used to continue running during cooling. Since this is the part of the production process that takes most time, it used to consume a lot of unnecessary energy. The energy efficient regulator valves also contribute to lowering energy consumption. It may sound strange, but more work can be turned around, the process is more stable and the machine is more accurate because the machine requires less energy.”
Investment in technology alone is not enough. CurTec has also further optimised its processes and quality systems. “For instance, think here about different ways of organising processes and quality control. This enables us to not only better meet the needs of our clients but the percentage of reject products has also substantially dropped”, said Ronald.
Plans for the near future
In the future, CurTec will continue to invest in the optimisation of its processes, said the Process Engineer. “The next project on the agenda is the separation of the cooling-water system. Since the mould and the machine each have separate cooling temperatures, this also involves unnecessary loss of energy. This is something we want to keep to a minimum at CurTec.”
You can also see sustainable certainty in our machinery. However, sustainability and certainty mean much more. For CurTec, sustainability is doing everything within our knowledge and skills to build a more certain future on the economic, ecological and social fronts.Back to news