One of Jonassen Industrial Project’s clients, OBO – a leading New Zealand manufacturer and supplier of protective sporting apparel worldwide – recently approached Jonassen Industrial to solve some of their manufacturing issues. Worldwide growth in their segment and becoming the dominant player in the industry had placed increased demands on their ageing equipment and processes. It was becoming more and more difficult to meet the additional market demand while still maintaining the high standards of quality their brand was recognised for. The constraints were wreaking havoc with their production and causing inconsistencies in quality, forcing them to manage the factory very closely.
OBO turned to JIPL for an answer and as a result, received a state-of-the-art solution to address their manufacturing requirements.
JIPL scoped the project and identified the issues, working with the client to develop the solution and a new series of options. This resulted in a rethink of the entire production process to shift toward a flow model from the original batch process. The solution included a new oven with a separate preheat zone and a soak zone, a cooling zone, power and free conveyor, and a mechanism for the load/unload of heavy moulds onto a section of the conveyor. This required moving the moulds from horizontal on a workstation, to vertical on the conveyor. JIPL executed the full turnkey project including the design, project management, installation supervision, and commissioning services.
JIPL’s process specialist redesigned the old batch process into a flow process. To best suit this process JIPL decided to use MiniTec for the framework for the conveyor and the load/unload mechanism. The flexible modular aluminium profile system was integrated into a turnkey conveyorized system for the products passing through the oven. JIPL contacted the MiniTec team at SMC NZ to discuss some of the engineering challenges in the project and see if MiniTec could provide a solution. The MiniTec team were extremely helpful with application and design advice, they also supplied CAD models of the components.
Utilising the 90×90 MiniTec section and a host of off-the-shelf compatible components JIPL was able to design a robust load/unload mechanism. The system was flexible enough to meet all design requirements and minimise the assembly and install time, while still coping with the inevitable alignment variations.
JIPL were also able to use semi-skilled labour for installation to optimise cost, as the system was relatively simple and the groove of the MiniTec aluminium profiles is designed so that they can be combined with each other in any way required. MiniTec’s ingenious robust connection technology ensures maximum flexibility without making any onsite component modifications. When modifications are required, the system is flexible enough to cope, by simply slotting in a new part.
As OBO is very brand conscious and mindful of aesthetics JIPL recommended using the same MiniTec extrusion to support the conveyor line. This maintained a consistent and modern look for the client but also allowed for necessary adjustments for the conveyor installation and use. OBO is very pleased with the visual appeal and overall solution of the aluminium framework in the industrial environment.
The net result was the client was able to treble the plant’s capacity and achieve consistent quality throughout the plant solving a key business issue and increasing throughput. Consequently, we are all delighted with the project outcomes.
This project is another example of how JIPL takes pride in its ability to listen to our customers, and apply and cross transfer technologies and ideas to provide innovative, practical, and efficient engineering solutions.