You might think of Netstal (Näfels, Switzerland) as a supplier of injection molding systems, but you would only be partly right. That description is far too narrow to suit Markus Dal Pian, Vice President, Marketing & Sales. Netstal is a general contractor, he stressed at a press conference today at Fakuma in Fredrichshafen, Germany, where the company is exhibiting its expertise this week.
As a general contractor, Netstal offers added value to customers, from the turnkey planning of production lines to their installation and commissioning, says Dal Pian. While Netstal collaborates with partners as needed for given projects, the experience for the customer is seamless, thanks to a single point of contact.
"Customers come to us with an idea for a product, and we pick it up from there and check its feasibility with in-house specialists and external development partners," Dal Pian said in a prepared statement. "The sooner customers get our team on board, the better it is for them. This is because, for example, parts can be designed to be ideally suited for series production further down the road." To illustrate its application, system, and process know-how, Netstal is molding Petri dishes on the show floor.
The 90-mm-diameter Petri dishes are molded from a medical-grade polystyrene at a mold flow rate of less than 3.5 g/10 min on an ELION 3200-1000 machine. The cycle time is less than four seconds. The system is equipped with an 8+8 cavity mold supplied by Swiss company Schöttli (Diessenhofen) and a handling device from Geku (Diepenau, Germany). At the press conference, Dal Pian stressed the reduction in material costs that Netstal was able to achieve for the customer, along with a 50% increase in energy efficiency, through its holistic approach.
Assuming that the polystyrene costs €1.4 per kilogram, the cost to produce each dish is only 2.4 cents, according to Netstal.
The system, which fits into a production space as small as 36 square meters, can produce 57 million dishes annually.