Phillips has purchased several presses, robots, and feed systems for its magnesium injection molding business. Among them is the first production Husky TXM machine. Next to the Husky press is Ed Estergaard, group vp, metals.
Phillips created The Origen Center as an incubator for new businesses as well as a training facility. To take advantage of new technologies, the molding giant has developed a specific strategy. Ed Estergaard, group vp, metals, recently gave IMM the following overview of the company's incubation philosophy.
1. Establish the process. Origen businesses start by developing best practices for all aspects of operations. A large manufacturing space allows for a variety of presses, which are tested on developmental parts to determine optimum processing conditions. For example, Origen's current TXM business is testing a part with a flow length that is 120 times its thickness. "The rule of thumb says that the limit is 100 times, but we are testing this on a 500-metric-ton Husky TXM press, its first production machine, and it can be done," Estergaard says. In fact, when Phillips put the combination magnesium and plastic part through a drop test, the company found that it stayed intact, even when dropped from a height of 70 ft onto concrete.
The screw in a TXM machine experiences high temperatures and must be extremely wear resistant. This has prompted Phillips to test various screw materials, including a special wear-resistant screw on this 245-ton JSW.
3. Develop a strong staff. When starting a business in a new technology arena, it is imperative that the staff be comprised of knowledgeable and flexible people, according to Estergaard. "We firmly believe that our success depends on our human resources," he says. "It takes a certain type of person to help develop a new business, and we've selected those who thrive on challenges, are able to adapt to change readily, and whose backgrounds give us additional resources. In addition, we promote innovation."
Phillips Plastics Corp.,
Phone: (715) 386-4320
Fax: (715) 386-4326
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