"I have had experience with Engel machinery in the past and was familiar with both the capabilities and quality of their equipment," stated Dan Harryman, plant manager for PLP. "The application we would be running on the machine was not straightforward molding and I knew Engel would excel in that circumstance, and I have not been disappointed. We are extremely pleased with the overall performance and repeatability of the machine."
Preformed Line Products is a designer, manufacturer and supplier of cable anchoring and control hardware and systems, fiber optic and copper splice closures, high-speed cross-connect devices and hardware for the solar industry. PLP serves the communications, energy, special industries and solar markets.
The new Engel duo was purchased to run high voltage pole line hardware for the electrical industry. The full integration of robots and automation include integration of the robot control through the machine control - providing customers with ease of programming, monitoring, and operation. PLP's machine operators can run both the machine and robot through one controller, streamlining system operation.
The laser-welded steel construction of the Engel viper allows it to handle high loads - a key point for PLP as each insert weighs 10 to 17 pounds each. This robot handles the weight of the inserts easily, placing either four 10 lb inserts or two 17 lb into the mold each cycle and then removing them to a fixture for x-ray quality control.
In addition, it features Engel's servohydraulic ecodrive technology, which can reportedly reduce energy usage to numbers that compete with a fully electric machine. With the ecodrive technology, the drives are only active when the machine is actually in motion, so during idle times like the cooling phase, no energy is consumed. Engel says that energy savings in the range of 30-70% over standard hydraulic presses can be realized with this option.
The control over their filling process has enabled PLP to consistently obtain 100% good parts, as well as realizing a 10-12% reduction in cycle time. The control of the pack and hold process, along with the profile pressure curve, allows operators to ensure the part is fully filled, eliminating voids in the part and resulting in the extremely high level of good parts.
"It was obvious early on that Engel wanted to make sure to provide us with a machine that met our specific needs," Harryman said. "We had onsite meetings with personnel from both Engel and our local sales representative Adams Engineers to better understand our application and make sure the machine and integrated automation we ordered would do the job. We couldn't be happier with our decision and support we've received from both Engel and Adams. They are both top notch organizations."