Lights-out factories are becoming more common, according to Alfacon Solutions CEO, John Murdoch, whom recently published an article in Automation and Drives magazine. Collaborative robots are growing in third-shift operations. Moldmakers are designing factory floors for lights-out operations, fully functioning without human supervision.
The prospect of making parts overnight with little or no labor cost is tempting to any machine shop. Competition is fierce, and customers demand better parts and products to be available precisely when needed at the lowest possible price.
Set up for a local blow molder earlier this year at Athena’s plant, the demonstration site boasts a 150-ton PET machine that has a P85/ E85 injection unit and features auto startup and shutdown. A conveyor, custom-built by Alfacon Solutions, carries the empty bulk containers to the machine, then moves them on once full. Currently, the containers of finished preforms are removed by forklift but according to Gabor who added, “The system has a 10-hour bulk container buffer, allowing fully unattended operation. The goal is to extend that time by using automated guided vehicles.” Mold changes are handled by technicians. The molds incorporate split-gate technology, which allows the cavity plate to be removed before the hot runner has completely cooled. Gabor added that the target is a mold change time of less than one hour.
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Alfacon Solutions, the leaders in Engineered-to-Order and Custom Conveyor, Lift, and materials handling solutions, will be exhibiting at MODEX 2018 April 9-12, 2018 in Atlanta, GA at booth #B655.
Founded in 1983, Alfacon Solutions (www.alfaconsolutions.com) is a leading case and pallet conveyor handling systems company operating from an 80,000-square foot facility in Orangeville, Ontario, Canada. Based in lean manufacturing principles, including best-practice value stream mapping and continuous improvement, the Alfacon team designs, engineers, manufactures, and installs complete material handling solutions.
Alfacon provides services to its customer base in the courier, retail, manufacturing, and industrial sectors. The company is a proud member of MHI and MHEDA.
The core values of Alfacon Solutions ensure a customer-centric approach to every project and drives the entire team to consistently deliver exceptional results. From experience, passion, and integrity to commitment, innovation, and on-time delivery dependability, Alfacon Solutions anticipates double digit growth year over year for the next decade.
Follow on Twitter @AlfaconSolution.
Company Name: Alfacon Solutions
Contact Person: John Murdoch
Address:595 Riddell Road