Plastics Technology

DEC 2018

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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web scanners were made by two well-known manufacturers," recalls John Gilbert, senior process engineer in Acton. "Our people wanted to find the best scanner brand for us as we began planning the upgrade of our extrusion lamination lines." Haartz (haartz.com) typically runs at thicknesses ranging from 0.5 to 1.3 mm. Strict control of the extrusion process is critical to meeting Tier 1 supplier specs as well as IATF16949 Automotive Quality standards. Going outside standard deviation limits risks failing spec and wasting material. So, by employing just one brand of gauging system across the board, Haartz could enable all line operators to gain a better knowledge of the system selected and produce more consistent and efficient products. "Because we run the lines on a 24/5 or 24/6 basis, our operators need to move from line to line so vacations, sick days, and shift changes can be well covered," Gilbert said. "It was crucial to select a system they all could easily adapt to and that could fulfill all our requirements as we pushed our capability." KICKING ALL THE TIRES The company wanted the best system for its future. "We talked with every major man- ufacturer out there," Gilbert explains. "Our search included a parade of presentations and proposals, plus dozens of site visits over many months and several states." What they learned surprised everyone on the selection team. One brand not only fit all their needs, but Haartz found Family owned and in business more than 100 years, Haartz Corp., Acton, Mass., is the world's leading supplier of automotive top- ping fabrics and a leading producer of soft-trim car interior materials. Roll and sheet goods made by Haartz can be found in almost every automotive brand worldwide, especially in convertible tops. In Acton, surface effects such as simulated leather are embossed into extruded PVC, TPO or other compounds to create formable and hand-wrap materials. These materials are used in door panels, seats, console lids, instrument panels, and more for automakers from Nissan to BMW. Some lines are set up to extrude material onto a thin layer of foam, giving the trim more cushion. Haartz also extrudes plastic between two layers of fabric. In 2012, an effort to streamline production focused on the company's web gauging and control systems. "Back then, our By Jim Callari Editorial Director After conducting a worldwide search of web-gauging and control systems in 2012, sheet processor Haartz selected Mahlo, and now has 15 scanners running worldwide. Pictured are John Gilbert, Haartz's senior process engineer (right) and Eric Reber, Mahlo's North American sales manager. Worldwide Switch to New Gauging System Pays Off for Haartz Leading supplier of sheet and roll stock for automotive applications reevaluated its thickness-measurement technology in 2012, and now has 15 scanners in place worldwide from one supplier. "Lots of companies sell scanners that could probably meet our needs. The real difference for us was the technical aptitude and service attitude of Mahlo's people." 18 DECEMBER 2018 Plastics Technology PTonline.com S H E E T E X T R U S I O N Close -Up On Technolog y

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