Airline seats get an environmental boost with injection moulding investment
Published: 29 August 2013 - Heather Ramsden
Over the past eight months Industrial Precision Components (IPC) has purchased a Romi-Sandretto EN 100 and the larger Romi-Sandretto EN 260 injection moulding machine and it proposes to purchase a further Romi -Sandretto EN 100 within the next six months.
IPC is an AS9100 Rev C accredited provider of plastic solutions from conception through to end product operating primarily in the aerospace and medical industries. It secured financial assistance from both the Carbon Trust and Invest NI to facilitate expansion plans and buy new more energy and output efficient equipment enabling a 20% raise in the workforce and an increase of 30% in production.
These machines will be used by the Northern Irish engineering company in a range of work but particularly the manufacture of plastic components used in airline seats. Since forming in 1994 with a business model in tool design and manufacture IPC has developed a solid business relationship with B/E Aerospace, maintaining gold status supplier rating. It has been instrumental in the global success of the Spectrum and other seats producing in excess of 800 components in multiple colour variations.
“We started our Mouldshop with a single second hand Sandretto mould machine and due to our continuous improvement planning are in the position where we can confidently grow and buy new,” says Joanne Liddle, Director. “Our skills and experience are with Sandretto machines and we are now able to increase our capacity and flexibility by buying new machines.
“The replacement of older machines has reduced our carbon footprint and waste significantly with an annual combined saving of 114.05 TC02 as a result of introducing energy efficient machines EN 100 and EN 260. Our response times are better, typically 5 to 21 days from order to delivery depending on the part and quantity required. We design, manufacture, modify and repair our mould tools in house and our emphasis is on a quality end product.
Technical manager Peter Rogan adds: “There’s been a great quality consistency with these latest generation injection moulding models. They are super machines, easy to set up with a user friendly control panel, and there is less maintenance required. The reason we stick with Sandretto is that their technical support is excellent and 99% of issues can be resolved over the phone using their expert advice.”
The Carrickfergus, County Antrim plant operates 24 hours from 8am on Monday to 1pm on Friday and it has a long established, loyal and motivated workforce. Like all companies it has had to do some “juggling” over the years but is emerging as a strong and dynamic player in the plastics industry, growing with an expansion into new products and extended export opportunities.
“We had a recent quality audit by B/E Aerospace and they commented on the huge changes and improvements made. We have extended our premises to 14,000 sq ft and improved the physical layout of the factory to ensure optimum output. In the first six months of this year we have far surpassed our sales and production targets. The workforce are fully briefed on our achievements and future business plans and are excited to be part of a growing company,” says Joanne Liddle.
Neil Bathard, national sales manager for Romi-Sandretto in the UK, says: “The Irish market is very important to us and we are very pleased to be able to help supply equipment to IPC that can foster their ambitious growth plans. We are pleased at the accolade for our service because we do put a strong emphasis on providing the very best advice and support as well as machines that can provide reliably high quality and cost-effective productivity.”