Materials: IDI Composites International, the global formulator and manufacturer of BMC and SMC thermoset molding compounds, announces the completion of several major manufacturing process improvements at its Noblesville, IN location to improve productivity and ensure consistency across its manufacturing lines. Once fully tested and documented, the enhancements will also be implemented at the company’s facilities in Puerto Rico and China.
IDI Composites’ bulk and sheet molding compound processing lines now feature:
Three stream in-line metering for the sheet molding compound (SMC) line that enables continuous larger volume runs and improves quality and consistency.
Automated paste dispensing and doctor blade system, also for the SMC line, that ensures even distribution of resin paste across the entire substrate prior to the introduction of fiberglass to the product. The addition of Gamma gauge technology allows improved measuring of thickness of the applied paste for quality control and real-time processing improvements.
Compaction control system, SMC line, providing improved compaction control pressures to optimize fiberglass wet out, and improved thickness control of the finished product.
High volume, automated mixing system for the bulk molding compound (BMC) line for more consistent mixing of resins and fillers throughout the run.
Feeder/bagging system to transfer BMC from a high-volume, automated mixing system to an automatic bagging system, the next step in the process.
Automated extrusion line (BMC line) provides more control and adjustability for precise extruding of compounds.
Temperature-controlled storage area, SMC line, allowing material to maturate in an optimum environment for better consistency of product, and providing for prolonged storage of material, when necessary, to enhance shelf life.
Both traditional automation companies and startups are developing technologies to improve processes on the factory floor, while smart sensors and other IoT-related technologies are improving how products are handled during transport and across the supply chain.
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