ARBURG Ltd. wins PIA award

Panorama Antennas and ARBURG Ltd. won the Supplier Partnership – Prime Machinery award at the 2022 Plastic Industry Awards in November 2022.

ARBURG helps customer modernise and retain all its tooling

Sponsored by Interplas, the award recognises important collaborations and teamwork between a moulding company and their machinery, tooling or technical solutions supplier. ARBURG and Panorama beat off healthy competition across the industry to secure the title for the fifth time.

ARBURG supported London-based Panorama Antennas with a demanding technical project spanning several months to migrate their moulding capability from an old Manumold machine, which could no longer offer parts and support, to a new ARBURG 275 V 250-100 while retaining the ability to accommodate all Panorama’s existing tools – more than 50 sets of tooling, making retooling for the new machine financially unviable.

The company was committed to replacing its old machine (Manumold Ltd. had discontinued trading) but needed several very specific requirements, over and above a straight machine replacement, which included an “ex-machine” loading and unloading system that could not be done inside the ARBURG machine. The needs included:

  1. The split line injection position – horizontal injection at a given height
  2. The need to use all Panorama’s existing tooling without alteration
  3. Loading and unloading of the tool into the moulding area
  4. Location of the tool when loaded needed to be 100% in-line with the injection position
  5. The split line position in relation to the handle for loading
  6. The new machine must comply with health and safety requirements, and
  7. Location and control of the ejector station

ARBURG engaged with the customer quickly and sought to engineer practical and effective solutions to this full list. Following several weeks of meetings with ARBURG in Warwick and Germany, a loading/unloading solution was designed and Panorama manufactured the tool slide and ejector station, needing guidance as to what was required to deliver the solution with the ARBURG machine.

Fast response and trust were highlighted

Trust in ARBURG’s expertise was highlighted; the customer ordered a new 275 V 250-100 vertical machine that was delivered in April 2021 before the necessary adaptions were manufactured and tested. Following delivery, the cell was put into production in August 2021.

The entry was supported by Panorama Antennas who commended ARBURG’s prompt response to the initial enquiry, their attention and application from engineers in the UK and Germany, to devise the technical solution that worked best for Panorama.

The benefits Panorama listed included: The machine uses unmodified Manumold tooling; the ARBURG has replaced two machines with one, leading to energy saving; the quality of moulded parts is much better and more consistent, and the new machine’s precision meant the scrap rate “plummeted”.

Simon Wrighton, who sadly passed away last year, ran the project and the award nomination, said: “This submission is an example of a true partnership, where both companies have played their part and without this relationship, this concept would never have turned into reality.”

Panorama’s managing director Jan Jesman in the supporting letter said ,“We have been able to commission almost all our existing tooling on the new machine successfully and we have noted significant improvements in process control, scrap rates and setup times. We have been very impressed with the comprehensive and responsive support offered by Arburg throughout the process of acquiring modifying and commissioning the machine.”

At the PIA Awards, ARBURG sponsored the charity casino, all profits from which were donated to the British Heart Foundation.