DIGITALIZATION IS THE FUTURE

DIGITALIZATION IS THE FUTURE

INTERVIEW WITH ARNAUD JOUBERT, CEO OF SOREL PLASTIQUE

For more than 30 years, SOREL Plastics has been developing and manufacturing a wide range of plastic containers for the food industry.

As a partner of renowned food and confectionery manufacturers in France and Europe, the company offers more than 200 standard models in its range and in addition offers the production of exclusive forms. In autumn 2018, production capacity was tripled all at once – with electrical solutions from Zhafir.

We talked to Arnaud Joubert, CEO of Sorel Plastique, about the drive technology of the future, the limitations of the circular economy and why the Zeres series was selected.

MR. JOUBERT, SO FAR YOU HAVE ONLY HAD HYDRAULIC MACHINES IN PRODUCTION, BUT THEN LAST YEAR YOU ORDERED SEVERAL ELECTRIC MACHINES FROM ZHAFIR. WHICH TYPE OF DRIVE IS IT THAT YOU PREFER: HYDRAULIC, ELECTRIC OR, LAST BUT NOT LEAST, HYBRID SOLUTIONS?

Joubert: “As soon as the tool does not need hydraulics, e.g. for cores, so no oil, there are only the electrical concepts for us. Although hybrid solutions are a good compromise, they are becoming less and less important for us.”

HOW IMPORTANT ARE TOPICS LIKE INDUSTRY 4.0 OR INTELLIGENT FACTORIES FOR YOUR COMPANY?

“Digitalization cannot be stopped, and I think it is the future. Although our customers do not yet expect us to take any actions in this area, in the next step we will integrate all peripherals and embed our machines in an MES environment. Therefore machine connectivity is a must. Zhafir’s open concept gives us a lot of flexibility when choosing an MES system. We find this very progressive and customer-friendly.”

 

“ZHAFIR’S OPEN CONCEPT GIVES US A LOT OF FLEXIBILITY IN CHOOSING AN MES SYSTEM. WE FIND THIS VERY PROGRESSIVE AND CUSTOMER-FRIENDLY.”

Arnaud Joubert

 

ARE YOU PART OF THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY?

“The subject of recycling management is not an urgent one for our products, as most of them are reusable items. We strive to use a stable high proportion of recycled materials, although not in the food sector. Strict food regulations limit our use in this area.”

DO YOU ALSO PRODUCE WITH RECYCLED MATERIAL?

“We are only allowed to use a maximum of 15 percent recycled material. Since we hardly have any rejects, we cannot even cover the 15 percent with our own waste. And unfortunately, purchased recycled material is still more expensive than original material. The incentive to use recycled materials is still very low. This needs to change. The Packaging Association tried to include the recycling industry in the regulations and to extend the 15 percent regulation. So far however without result.

HOW ARE YOU ORGANIZED IN PRODUCTION?

“We operate 20 injection moulding machines, five days a week, around the clock. We mainly manufacture reusable packaging parts for the food industry, with cycles of around 4 seconds. Each application is carried out with IML technology and is picked by robots. We only process PP that meets the requirements of the food industry and thus consume approx. 1,200 tons per year.”

WHAT WERE THE REASONS FOR CHOOSING THE ZERES OF ZHAFIR?

“In 2018 we made the decision to significantly expand our potential in order to be sustainably competitive. Zhafir made it easy for us. The low acquisition costs, consultation and service in France, electrical injection and the related process stability, as well as the energy savings on a large scale … If you upgrade from seven to 20 machines in a single step, each of these arguments speaks for itself.”

From left: Mr. Arnaud Joubert and Mr. Eric Baubois from Sorel, together with Mr. Jean Louis Pras from FPMI – Sales and service partner of Haitian & Zhafir: “Soon all Zeres will be integrated into a MES environment”

SOREL Plastics – Facts & Figures

Location: F-77100 Meaux

Revenues: 7 million EUR / year
20 employees on a 3-shift plan
20 injection moulding machines + robots
of which 13 Zhafir Zeres (90 to 450 t)

Raw materials: exclusively PP in
accordance with food requirements
Raw material consumption approx. 1,200 t/y
Automatic material conveying
Energy-efficient cooling

www.sorel-plastiques.com

INTERNATIONAL AUTOMOTIVE COMPONENTS

article from 2017-05-02 origin www.haitiangermany.com

HAITIAN JUPITER SERIES: “BEST RATINGS FOR TECHNOLOGY, SERVICE, PRICE”

The IAC Group is one of the global leading suppliers of automotive interiors. The group pursues a clear strategy: facts are relevant, as in the case with the Jupiter plus machines for its latest plant in the Czech Republic.

Worldwide the company employs around 32,000 workers at more than 100 locations in 22 countries, with 83 manufacturing plants currently spread among 20 countries. We spoke with Plant Manager Jan Vondracek and with Ladislav Vitu, Head of Injection Molding at the new location, Preštice 2.

The new plant manufactures among others inner dash insulation by injection molding. This is an industry first technology to produce components that characteristically weigh 40% less compared with products made by conventional vacuum forming. The IAC injection molding method allows precise and reliable shaping of the lightweight-design dash insulation while giving consistent acoustical performance. In addition, the procedure enables a needs-based mass distribution adjusted to the acoustically very important areas in the component.

Mr. Vondracek, Mr. Vitu, Preštice 2 is IAC’s newest plant and has only just been opened. What makes this loca- tion so important in comparison to other IAC sites?

Ladislav Vitu: “Our people know-how and production skills are very good. That is why the Czech republic has become IAC’s center of excellence for overhead products.”

Jan Vondracek: “It’s true that currently IAC Preštice 2 has only 90 employees, but its  clear goal is to grow and to employ as many as 700 by 2019/2020. The second phase of construction in manufacturing is already being planned so as to cater to new projects that are already in the pipeline.”

Production line for the inner dash insulation. On the right back the Haitian Jupiter plus 28000 II produces the injection molding parts.

From left: Radek Smid (Sales engineer at Mapro), Ladislav Vitu, Jan Vondracek from IAC Group

As a T1 supplier you have to deal with particularly high demands, and not just in terms of quality. Do you focus more on flexibility or on productivity?

Ladislav Vitu: “Certainly these are very big challenges for us too. We respond to them with systems that are designed very specifically for the applications. Take for example just the dash insulation, where the individual process steps are coordinated in detail with each other and even the equipment is designed very specially.”

Jan Vondracek: “However, we try to stay flexible. Our approach is whenever possible to have the same suppliers in the individual process stages. This means machines of the same standard, uniform technologies, uniform processes and greater efficiency of operation for our people. This makes it somewhat easier.”

That’s where the Jupiter Plus Series certainly fit into the picture. How was the decision in favor of Haitian International actually made?

Ladislav Vitu: “That happened purely for rational and logical reasons. We created the particular specifications that we needed for our door panels and asked for several quotes.”

Jan Vondracek: “If, you are talking about prejudices against Chinese machine  manufacturers – for us they just don’t exist. As a matter of principle, we decide on the basis of facts; in this we are professional and clearly focused.”

Ladislav Vitu: “Of course, we have made sure that the machines work for any kind of door panels or for other, similar applications such as trunk trim.”

IAC Group, Plant II in Preštice

One of two Jupiter Plus machines with 1600 kN

How important to you were technical options?

Ladislav Vitu: “Our options list was as short as possible. It really was limited to the essentials, such as having enough heating channels or, say, a hydraulic needle valve nozzle.”

Jan Vondracek: “An advisory committee then made a clear decision in favor of the Jupiter Series, with the best ratings in terms of technology, service, and price. The proximity to Haitian International Germany and their big replacement parts warehouse was also an important factor, of course, as was also the extensive experience of the Mapro team.“

Currently you have integrated one 2,800 tons clamping force Jupiter II Plus and two of 1,600 tons each. Have you been satisfied with their performance so far?

Ladislav Vitu: “We are very satisfied. The bigger one produces the inner dash insulation for premium vehicles. On the smaller Jupiters, we run a trunk panel for the mid-range.”

Jan Vondracek: “At the same time, all machines are equipped with extraction robots, 6-axis robots for the big ones and linear robots for the smaller applications.”

Speaking of robots, what do you at IAC think about the topic of Industry 4.0?

Jan Vondracek: “I think that generally speaking the basic idea behind it is very good. On the other hand, I also see that a lot of people talk about it without exactly knowing what it actually means. They use the terminology just because it’s “in”.”

Ladislav Vitu: “At IAC we simply try to integrate individual elements into our processes in a sensible manner, without making a big deal out of it!”

We thank you for speaking to us.

THANK YOU!

In the meantime, IAC Prestice 2 has ordered three more Jupiter II Plus machines (21000, 13000 and 10800 kN) in order to fulfill a project that jad been won for door panels for the premium sector. And since Mr. Vondracek is known to favor uniform standarts, the Jupiter family should at least have a strong hand to play when future projects are awarded.