Goals, activities and desired/obtained results
The PMM i4 project aims to increase production capacity to expand PMM’s product portfolio, through a hybrid approach (additive and subtractive process) to the mold manufacturing process, as well as training for bi-material injection.
PMM intends to carry out a set of investments that will allow it to increase its production capacity through the introduction of world-class innovations that will allow the launch of a new type of product. The project also includes a set of organizational innovations in order to implement industry 4.0 concepts in the company’s production flow.
The i4 PMM project | Increased production capacity based on i.4 aims to broaden PMM’s portfolio in complex geometry, multi material and class A surface products, and for this purpose PMM plans to invest in a technologically adequate production chain for this purpose, with a strong focus on Industry 4.0 concepts.
This typology of products is increasingly common in PMM’s target markets, namely in the automotive and household appliances sector.
Polymeric parts have very strict requirements and development standards so that their production is reliable and meets quality criteria. When you combine aspects such as multiple materials, complex geometric details and high surface quality, the complexity of the tool required to produce these parts increases exponentially.
A critical element for the feasibility of parts with these characteristics is the thermal behavior in the molding zone. A wrong thermal profile translates to multiple defects in the parts, such as weld lines, texture differences, etc. When talking about high gloss surfaces (class A according to the definition of the automotive industry) any imperfection is noticeable, failing the quality criteria.
Molding tools for this type of part have very specific requirements, implying development methodologies and production technologies that are not available to most companies in the mold industry (even the most technologically advanced ones). Thus, this project aims to provide PMM with the skills and technologies necessary for this type of product.
The investments considered in this project fall under the following objectives:
- Enlargement of the portfolio of technological solutions offered by the company and its performance in the value chain, both in molds and in the production of plastic parts;
- Technological upgrade to meet the requirements of new products, implement new development methodologies, production based on hybrid manufacturing integrated with ECP polishing and more automated production cells;
- Expansion of production and administrative facilities to install new equipment and allow the reorganization of the productive and organizational flow;
- Implementing Industry 4.0 concepts at the organizational and productive level, either through advanced production systems or advanced information systems
- Support the increase in energy needs underlying the increase in production capacity through renewable energies.
Regarding to organizational innovation objectives, the investments embodied in this project complement several investments to be carried out within the scope of an SI Qualification project, approved in February 2019 and reflect the results of the SI IDT i4Moldes project. Complementary areas are the integration of information flows between all areas of the company (productive and administrative), namely CRM software, ERP, Financial Management, Provisioning with automatic data collection hardware, indoor referencing, access control, etc.