Foliplast company: full cycle of digital production in Russia
Hello friends! With you, Vasily Kiselev and we are in Nizhny Novgorod - the capital of the Volga region. Nizhny today is a large industrial center where digital production is seriously developed - from digital modeling, reverse engineering and prototyping, to industrial 3D printing and robotics, automated machining and thermal vacuum molding.
Today we look at how the "kitchen" of one of these industries is arranged.
Meet Company “Folyplast” !
We are in the production company "Foliplast". This is Maxim Gennadievich Sukharev - the founder and CEO of the company. Maxim will tell us about the company, its profile of activity and main customers.
Foliplast is a Russian engineering company that has been around for many years. From the very beginning, we are engaged in everything related to small-scale and medium-sized production of plastic. We produce the plastic products themselves, starting from individual ones and ending with serial ones, and we are engaged in the development and supply of industrial complexes for such production.
Often, it all starts with a customer's 3D model, but there are also cases of reverse engineering, when the customer provides a sample of the product for digitizing into a digital model and subsequent production. We are also able to independently develop product models for our customers and produce them; there are too many such orders, usually such orders are made by large enterprises, such as the Promtractor concern, Rosselmash, bus factories.
In the prototyping department, we process scanned models for subsequent 3D printing.
If we are talking about models for vacuum molding, then there are several stages: tooling development - an engineer writes a control program for developing a vacuum molding fixture, then the technologist writes a control program for a robot that cuts a molded product. The design department develops drawings and design documentation for each product and the control software required for its production.
The most famous customers of Foliplast, for which products are manufactured using vacuum molding technology, are all bus and tractor plants existing in Russia, LiAZ, GAZ, KAMAZ, Rostselmash.
Clients on prototyping not to list - this is all who need one or another plastic case. Among them - about half of the country's defense enterprises.
Scan and learn
In this room we have a scanning department.
Here we do a scan for reverse engineering, control molding equipment and quality control of finished parts, comparing them with the customer's digital model.
There is also a small training center for those who purchase equipment or want to further explore the technology of vacuum casting in silicone molds. We have several devices here selected to present all types of vacuum casting into silicone molds.
Used 3D-scanner: Shining3D is a professional scanner with which we have been working for a long time, it completely suits us in terms of convenience and quality of scanning.
In this room we have two professional stereolithographic machines for growing prototypes.
One of them has been successfully operating for more than six years, the second is slightly less.
Our first acquisition from the field of robotics is a robot capable of producing milled products. It was back in 2008, we were pioneers in this area in Nizhny Novgorod and among the first in Russia.
This robot is engaged in milling, cutting, making tooling from model materials, wood, etc. Before his appearance, we had about 60 people cutters, which he replaced. There were problems with quality.
And this is our CNC machine tools, which also make tooling and prototypes of ABS.
We often make master models for them, since the price of the material is much lower than with stereolithographic 3D printing. The choice of manufacturing technology depends on the features of the model - stereolithography is capable of creating many small details, and machining is large in size.
This machine can also work on metal, and for this we also sometimes use it, but our specialty is still plastic, and this is the main field of activity of this machine.
Another robot. Larger than the first one, which basically prints small-scale molded products, it is also capable of processing more parts in less time.
He works at once for two posts (workplaces), one of which is equipped with a rotary table, and has a greater coverage.
This robot replaces about 10 people and pays off very quickly. Initially, he was intended to work in three positions, but experience has shown that the worker working with him simply does not have time for him. At the time of its operation with us, it was the first robot in Russia to do this kind of work.
With the appearance of robots in production, the staff had to be trained. With the assistance of KUKA, we sent personnel to study in Moscow and in Germany. Now, we ourselves - an authorized representative of the manufacturer and teach others.
This is our cast.
Here we carry out vacuum casting of plastics in silicone.
Here there are several cars of the most different versions capable of casting parts from half a meter up to 2.5 meters or more, such as facing the grille of a bus.
Now we use an automatic casting machine, which we developed together with German partners, who made it for us.
Three years were spent on research and development, after which we received this injection molding machine, made for our technical task. At that time, there were two or three of them in the world.
The next step was a completely independent development.
This unit is superior to that made for us by the Germans. Differences from the classic vacuum casting machine - maximum automation of the process. You no longer need to pre-mix and heat the material components before loading into the machine, you do not need to pre-heat the silicone mold, separate evacuation and component pouring - now all this is automated. As a result, the production process was reduced by one and a half times, giving the opportunity to cast more products during the same time.
The device uses imported components, such as a pump and electronics, but a lot of parts and domestic production, not to mention our idea and development.
We are certifying this injection molding machine and will start accepting orders for its delivery in the near future. The device will cost approximately two times cheaper than imported counterparts.
Already, you can place pre-orders. This can be done through the sales department of Top 3D Shop - just email email@example.com or place a pre-order on the website.
Prototype Model Site
At the model site we produce finishing parts. The product obtained by 3D printing or milling is brought by our modellers to the type that meets the customer’s requirements, after which a silicone mold is made on its basis.
After this, the filling process takes place and we get, as we call them here, “hedgehogs” - models with “needles” of sprues.
The rejection rate at this stage is 1-2%, which falls on the very first products, in fact - prototypes, on the basis of which the configuration of the forms is being finalized and the main batch is obtained without flaws.
OTC plot prototyping
Each item produced to the customer is tested for compliance with quality.
At any given time, you run about 60 projects. The number of customers is gradually increasing and we are increasing our production capacity.
In prototyping, our turnover is about 6,000 products per month.
Model workshop tooling
Here is all that concerns model work.
If there is a need to make some equipment, it can be milled, or unglued from fiberglass - for more mass production.
All that concerns model works on large models, is happening here.
Milled tooling is used, as a rule, to create the first moldings, at the stage of coordination with the customer on the quality and conformity of a given model.
At the next stages, when entering the series, this technology is not used - the tooling for mass production is either glued from fiberglass or milled on the same machine, but from more solid model materials.
This is a vacuum forming area.
At this site we produce interior parts for tractors, buses, combines, road equipment. More than half of enterprises in the Russian Federation producing this equipment order such parts from us.
Such molding machines, with a 2x3 meter molding field, make it possible to make large parts as a whole, without gluing.
After molding, excess material is removed from the part.
Such a machine is worth more than 300 thousand euros. He has an automatic feed. The machine has been working for a long time and has established itself as a reliable and productive machine. One of the machines we are going to replace in the near future more productive.
After molding, milling, quality control, packaging and shipping to the customer take place.
OTC vacuum molded products
For prototypes and molded products, different quality control methods are used, the parts themselves are very different in size, because they are two different areas in production. Here the item is checked for the absence of marriage, measured, packaged and sent for shipment.
This is a polyurethane casting site.
Here is the casting of low and high density polyurethane.
By molding low density polyurethane foam get soft and elastic products, for example - pillows.
The potter makes filling of polyurethane foam in the forms located on the rotating table-carousel. The material foams and fills the form.
By the time the form bypasses the full circle, the material manages to fill out the form and polymerize. It turns out almost finished product, from which it remains only to cut off the excess material.
In the same workshop stands a high-density PU casting machine. They make bumper and other durable hard products.
When choosing the technology and material for the manufacture of a particular part, we are guided by the terms of reference of the customer, who often already knows which technologies to apply. Otherwise, we proceed from the size of the product, its mass, physical and mechanical properties, and other customer requirements, choosing the best option.
Shipments are made daily - from small parcels with prototypes to trucks with lots of finished molded or molded parts.
The crushed material is immediately shipped to the manufacturer for reuse, which is not only environmentally friendly, but also economically beneficial, since the plastic returned to the manufacturer is taken into account when purchasing new lots.
The main advantage of “Foliplast” is the priority of the customer’s needs. Parts are made exactly as required by the customer. No experiments and time-consuming innovative proposals, all strictly according to TK.
In addition, the fleet of vehicles and the organization of production at the enterprise provides additional advantages in quality and speed of manufacturing orders.
The company focuses on the synergy of new technologies, optimizing production processes and increasing the degree of automation.
We showed you a digital production of industrial scale.
You saw machine tools, printers, scanners, robotics, and most importantly - a huge number of orders, which provides such a rather large enterprise as Foliplast with full load, orders from different areas - from commerce to defense.
At this issue comes to an end. If you want to invite us to your company to demonstrate the use of additive technologies and digital production in practice, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are just going to modernize production and introduce new, more productive methods - contact email@example.com. We will help you choose solutions for any production purpose, we will supply and install equipment and provide its maintenance. We already have experience, as an example - the recent case of the plant. Kulakov .
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