Research Project Summary Information
Improved Plastic Injection Mold Base Design Demonstration (ST8692-1)
Caplugs, a Division of the Protective Closures Company, manufactures plastic caps and plugs at its Buffalo, New York facility, employing 250 people. A 2003 NYSERDA FlexTech study concluded that an upgrade of the mold bases used in the hot runner injection molding processes would result in improved productivity, and reduction in waste and energy. A commercial upgrade is available, but it requires complete retooling, including replacing the approximately 27,000 mold inserts, which, at a cost exceeding $10 million, cannot be justified by the savings. Since then, Caplugs has developed its own mold base design for one family of sizes that incorporates many of the improvements provided by the commercial version, but permits the continued use of the existing mold inserts. This newly designed mold base still needs to be prototyped, tested, and refined prior to introduction into the manufacturing process.
The objective is to further develop and implement a new mold base that results in an 85% reduction of energy consumption for mold base heating; reduces average cycle time by 25%; increases net plant annual output by 33%; reduces color change time by 70%; and reduces overall cost per-part while improving product quality and yield. The scope of this project will involve prototyping, testing, refining, and implementing the mold base class that has already been designed. The remaining six classes of mold bases will then be developed and implemented in turn, based on lessons learned.
Implementation is expected to result in annual cost savings at Caplugs of $1,240,000, of which $222,700 (2,784,000 kWh) are savings in electric consumption. New York State benefits from the continued competitiveness of a New York State company that faces significant off-shore competition.
2150 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14207
On-site Process Improvement
NYSERDA Contact Information
R&D - Mfg Tech & On-Site Pwr