Trend Technologies Ireland doubles Class 7 cleanroom capacity powered by Sumitomo (SHI) Demag kit.
Trend Technologies Ireland recently opened a third ISO Class 7 (10,000) cleanroom at its 7,000 square metre manufacturing facility in Mullingar, Ireland. Trend’s capital investment in the facility also included a number of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag 50-tonne IntElect machines.
The company is also in the process of building another cleanroom, which will add an additional 400 square metres of production space. These expansions are in response to the positive outlook for the UK and Ireland medical sector and an increasing demand for high quality medical device components.
Items moulded on site form part of Class I, IIA, IIB and III medical devices and include wound care products, diagnostic laboratory consumables, ventilator housings, surgical handles and stent delivery sub-components. Moulded products can range from one kilo down to 0.025 grams with extremely tight geometrical tolerances. Most of these products are highly customised, so Trend focused on sourcing equipment that would automate process stability and increase product integrity.
Although this isn’t Trend’s first all-electric machine – it installed one over a decade ago – the Sumitomo (SHI) Demag IntElect’s have proven to be particularly energy efficient, flexible and reliable. The manufacturing plant also has 32 Demag hydraulic machines.
To accomplish the combination of precision and repeatability, Trend makes full use of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s activeLock installed on each IntElect. This technology reduces complexity when dealing with small shot weights. It means Trend doesn’t have to run any decompression, which can draw air into the melt. The result … fewer product rejects.
The IntElect’s sequencing and straightforward programming proved valuable to Trend. To save considerable programming time, the HMI interface integrates fully with the moulding system, water heaters and robots. For non-standard items, the company can programme in-house within a couple of hours, making production more responsive, with faster changeover times to meet evolving market demands.
The company’s adoption of Scientific Injection Moulding (SIM) has also been made easier with the repeatability and flexibility of the IntElect machines, both in the Mullingar facility and at other global sites. This enables Trend to build and transfer tools between sites, reducing part and process variation and project delivery lead time.
Opening the door to Industry 4:0
Most recently, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s UK Managing Director, Nigel Flowers, approached Trend to participate in a predictive maintenance trial.
Nigel explains: “By connecting machines back to our service management system and using data generated by Trend and other customers, we aim to reach a point where we can pre-empt when a unit might fail and identify trends to help our customers avoid unplanned stoppages.”
Already, the technology is improving the company’s 24-hour breakdown response time by 80%, as well as increasing first time fix rates to over 90%.