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Auto Parts Maker Gets Peak Production with New Approach

How they produce more parts in less time and drive improved quality


The Challenge

For a specialty auto parts molder, peak demand from a customer presented a real dilemma. 

Its customer, a luxury European automaker, was buying radiator shrouds that the molder made from a black talc-filled polypropylene on a single-cavity injection system. Spikes in production were great for the molder’s bottom line, but sometimes the increased demand outstripped its ability to fill orders. To make matters worse, the quality of the product was slipping.

The supplier needed to find a way to boost productivity and product quality, without increasing capital expenses – all while dealing with an extremely price-sensitive market.

The Solution

The molder asked PolyOne to help analyze the situation. The team’s first move - optimizing the molding machine parameters to boost productivity – helped, but it was not enough. Needing even more throughput on the molder, they looked for additives that could improve performance.

They found just that in PolyOne’s OnCap™ CTR. The additive concentrate not only reduced cycle times as expected, it allowed the supplier to achieve better flow and mold filling. In addition, the new parts exhibited increased dimensional stability compared with the old parts, which had been plagued with warping. 

The Impact

By rethinking its approach to making the radiator shrouds, the auto parts molder was able to increase production capacity and improve part quality without expensive new investments in tooling or machinery.

Improved operational efficiencies: Optimizing the molding machine parameters and adding OnCap CTR reduced cycle time by more than 24 percent. That reduced the overall cost of each part by 5 percent, giving the supplier a net savings of more than $65,000.

Improved part quality: The addition of OnCap CTR kept critical dimensions of the parts within tolerance and improved rejection rates.

Since making the change with its radiator hoods, the specialty auto parts molder has expanded its use of OnCap CTR to several additional parts, further boosting its production and competitive edge without system increasing costs.

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