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IDI Composites International has installed a new automated BMC (Bulk Moulding Compound) production line at its Noblesville, Indiana manufacturing facility.
The new line is the culmination of a 2-year project spearheaded by Chris Templin, IDI BMC Operations Manager at Noblesville. Templin cites a number of benefits that the new equipment brings to the BMC production process. “To begin with, there is a substantial safety improvement factor involved, as the equipment eliminates the need for operators to touch the material during formulation or packaging. The machine forms the material into preforms, automatically bags and heat seals them, and presents the bags to operators who load them into skidded boxes.” Templin adds that this hermetic sealing of the finished product helps decrease degradation of the material, which was previously manually handled and put into bags that were also manually sealed.
Templin’s comments are echoed by Patrick Hughes, Senior Project Engineer at Complete Engineering Solutions, Inc., which designed and installed the equipment based on IDI’s requirements. “The equipment has several production advantages, the foremost of which is the reduction of contamination potential, primarily because IDI has eliminated the handling of the raw material by line operators.” Hughes adds that the machine also provides conformity of the finished BMC preform in terms of size and weight. “Each package is now a consistent weight and size.”
“We enjoy working with IDI because they know exactly what they want when they come to us. Simply stated, they want cutting edge technology that helps control costs for their customers,” says Hughes. IDI has worked with CESI on a number of projects, partly because of their experience in the food processing equipment industry. Paul Rhodes, IDI Vice President of Marketing, points out that this is important to IDI “because of our numerous NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) certifications. We offer more than 20 materials that have been pre-approved by NSF for use in food industry products, and in 2009 we became the first recipient of NSF’s Standard 51 certification in the food industry for BMC and SMC (Sheet Moulding Compound) materials.”
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