This multinational company manufactures various plastic components for the home products sector. They maintain over 3,500 active tools and manage approximately 30 mold changes every day. In 2013, the company approached Bales to solve an issue with sticking parts and has been a loyal customer ever since.
Most of the company’s molded products consist of thin wall polycarbonate, which requires small ejectors. However, before the company approached Bales, the components stuck to the tool, broke the ejectors, and left operators probing out the plastic. There were also release issues with a tool running rougher materials.
The sticking parts were causing significant production delays. The manufacturer had tried multiple coatings, but none provided a reliable release.
“I was looking for a plating with the best coefficient of friction,” said a tooling engineer with the company. “That is what started our relationship with Bales.”
The company needed a surface treatment with exceptional lubricity/release.
A Bales technical service manager recommended two proprietary coatings—NIBORE™ and Diamond E.N.™. Both are designed to reduce friction and coat uniformly.
NIBORE™ provides superior lubricity/release and excellent abrasion and wear resistance, making it ideal for the company’s small components. In addition, it has an extremely low <0.05 coefficient of friction and a 54 Rockwell hardness as plated.
Diamond E.N.™ is Bales’ toughest coating. It plates at 57 Rockwell hardness and has a <0.10 coefficient of friction. Because Diamond E.N™ can tackle wear and release issues at once, it was the best choice for the tool running rougher materials.
“Bales has a great website with a detailed breakdown of its coatings and offers more versatile options than our previous vendors,” said the company’s tooling engineer.
Bales’ NIBORE™ and Diamond E.N.™ coatings released the parts cleanly. In addition, they prevented the ejectors from breaking, which helped the company reduce cycle time and repair costs.
“When a tool doesn’t have to be pulled out of production, it helps save time and money. Our experience with Bales has been a fruitful one,” said the company’s tooling engineer.
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“Reducing cycle time by 32 percent was huge — an immediate ROI”Bob Lammon
“Besides enabling us to increase capacity, Bales helped us reduce energy costs and use the mold to its full life expectancy.”Bob Lammon