ifw mould tec redefines the future

The injection moulds specialist recently built the largest mould to date, gearing itself up for automated production.

It also expanded its After Sales & Service program. This means that customers continue to be guaranteed top quality and expertise.

90 tonnes: Such was the quantity of steel recently used to manufacture a 60-tonne mould – the largest ever produced by ifw mould tec. Headquartered in Micheldorf, Austria, and serving the production needs of the fitting, automotive, furniture and packaging industries, the company succeeded in further expanding its know-how in the field of large-scale mouldmaking in recent years. All prominent international manufacturers have long placed their trust in the company’s wide-ranging expertise.

At the same time, significant progress was also achieved in the processing of polyethylene (PE). As Managing Director Josef Nahringbauer explains: “The material is actually optimized for extrusion. However, we have come up with our own design method for making optimal use of PE in the injection molding process as well.” As well as a sure instinct for designing such moulds, ifw mould tec has many years of experience in master mold concepts – including for large-scale moulds. The 60-tonne specimen is also a mould with exchangeable parts. As Sales Director Harald Schicklgruber enthuses: “The modular structure of this mould system allows investment costs in production to be reduced substantially.

Primed for the future

Over the past two years, ifw mould tec has already been investing extensively in a comprehensive package of optimization measures with a view to being prepared for the future across the board – not just in the field of large-scale mouldmaking. Josef Nahringbauer explains the reasoning behind this: “Automation has been the number one topic for years and this will continue to be the case for many years to come. With the help of a company called Hummingbird, we have migrated our planning from Excel to a Manufacturing Executive System (MES). By installing further software packages, we are in a position to reduce errors dramatically while guaranteeing automated processes with top manufacturing quality.” For instance, the first automation cell was successfully tested with the aid of specialists Promot. This consists of two machines that are connected with an automation cell that makes it possible to produce different individual parts to order on a fully automated basis. For Josef Nahringbauer, the advantages are plain to see: “In the future, machines will be able to produce for long periods without human input. Through this rise in capacity, we are increasing our competitive edge extensively.”

In addition to acquiring new machines and optimizing production, the package of measures includes many other steps. Nahringbauer: “To this end, we recruited – in addition to Hummingbird – further renowned partners with extensive sector experience, such as Alzmetall, Parotec and NC Simul”.

Expanded After Sales & Service program

As Josef Nahringbauer explains, the company has also announced that: “With After Sales & Service, we have introduced a new department with which we are now in a position to service injection moulds by other manufacturers as well. In this way, we have responded to the great demand of our customers and can, with the aid of our new department, process service work of all kinds more efficiently, thereby maximizing customer satisfaction.” Josef Nahringbauer is well aware of why so many customers entrust ifw with their injection moulds: It is because they have all the necessary machines in-house and are also able to test the functionality of the moulds directly afterwards. The close ties with sister company ifw kunststofftechnik also make a valuable contribution. The synergy effects generated between ifw mould tec and ifw kunststofftechnik create additional advantages for customers, making ifw a reliable and expert partner for many years.

Image: automation cell © ifw/promot/Alzmetall