Injection moulding equipment manufacturer Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, has suceeded in a challenge set by interconnect products manufacturer Molex Ireland to provide a compact, flexible machine which would help Molex to succesfully target the rugged sealed industrial connector market globally

The complex project, annual multimillion production of 2-shot rugged sealed connectors for a new energy saving pump from Grundfos, would open up a new global market for Molex and enable it to target the industrial multi-components rugged sealed connector market.

System integrator Sumitomo (SHI) Demag was one of the technology partners chosen by Molex for this entirely new manufacturing process which included two multi-cavity bespoke innovative 2-shot direct gate hot runner moulds (to make the connector cover and insert in a single mould process), management of 750 and 850 Glow wire materials with a strong bond to a second shot sealing material, plus a fast and efficient multi-component 350 tonne injection moulding machine. This would support Molex in its development of scientific expertise in materials capability relating to accurate bonding and product integrity and enable the parts manufacturer to meet initial production deadlines within six months of design freeze.

“We were confident that Sumitomo (SHI) Demag could provide the right equipment as they had a successful installation base of multi-component injection moulding equipment worldwide,” confirms process engineer Donal Costello, who continues: “but more importantly we needed them to work effectively as technology partners with the other stakeholders of this project. It was their extensive network of very competent and innovative experts along with their Irish-based service technician and 24-hour hotline telephone support, plus their ability to help us turn this challenging project around in the short timeframe, which set them apart from their competitors.”

Even before machine completion, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag was able to provide sample parts by borrowing a similar machine from an existing customer for a two-week period to run the unique moulds. “The firm’s ability to successfully approach a customer for a ‘favour’ of this magnitude demonstrates the depth of relationship that they built with their clients,” comments Costello.

Similarly resourceful at the installation and commissioning stage, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag reduced the risk of delays by sending the machine to the mould makers before it went to Molex. Sumitomo (SHI) Demag managing director, Nigel Flowers says: “We were able to test the materials, fit the moulds, complete validation and commissioning so that when the machine got to Molex all we had to do was install the system.” Donal adds: “The install team worked for 24 hours a day over the Christmas period to have the machine in production on time – this really was a fantastic achievement.”

Sumitomo (SHI) Demag provided a solution which took the project from an idea into production, providing a compact and flexible machine enabling Molex to target the rugged sealed industrial connector market. Donal says: “This project involved a new customer, new product type and a new sector for Molex globally. We had to be 100 per cent confident that our chosen partners could deliver a manufacturing solution that was both capable and reliable. Sumitomo (SHI) Demag in conjunction with the other stakeholders Hofmann, Manner & John Goff really helped us to de-risk the entire project, this clearly demonstrates the importance of picking the correct technology partners.”

Sumitomo (SHI) DEMAG

T: +44 (0)1296 739500