Plastics Technology

DEC 2018

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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has high standards to maintain. With operations in the U.S., Mexico, Germany, India, China and Japan, changes at the head- quarters plant can have a global impact. Two things about Mahlo America gave the Haartz decision makers the encouragement they needed. "Although the system had all the bells and whistles a process engineer craves, the Windows Embedded-based interface is very intuitive," Gilbert notes. "It's so simple, our production crews took over after just 10 or 15 minutes of training. "Second, and probably most important, every person we met and spoke with at Mahlo knew their system thoroughly. And they totally understood our processes and challenges." Haartz installed its first Mahlo scanner in 2013 to test its perfor- mance in measuring total weight on a line producing material for nose and tire covers. As product requirements and challenges mounted, Haartz was easily able to assimi- late Mahlo scanners into its other lines, measuring total weight, then film weight and laser thickness on the substrate, followed by full Auto Profile Control (APC) of the film weight. "The Mahlo APC gets up to production speed fast. Less material is wasted, and uptime maximized," Gilbert noted. "Our crews and engineers were all in favor of the change." By the end of 2018. Haartz will have 15 Mahlo scanners online worldwide. "Lots of companies sell scanners that could probably meet our needs," Gilbert states. "The real difference for us was the technical aptitude and service attitude of Mahlo's people. Any time an issue comes up, Mahlo's staff makes getting us back online their first priority." "Only twice since our first Haartz installation have we had to make an on-site service call," notes Eric Reber, North American sales manager at Mahlo Haartz says the Mahlo systems are loaded with bells and whistles, with an operator interface that is very simple and intuitive. the differences between a system provided by Mahlo America, Spartanburg, S.C. ( and those from all other vendors were "stunning." The team's first impression was that the machine "is built like a tank." As a bonus, most Mahlo parts are easily sourced from aftermarket suppliers--even motors and circuit boards. "With our legacy scanners we were compelled to sign service contracts," Gilbert admits. "After X number of years, the manufac- turers stop supporting them. We were expected to buy new." Gilbert adds, "Mahlo said they still support scanners 25 and 30 years old. That moved them to our short list." Still, changing control systems is a challenge. Change can cause people to fear making mistakes, losing control. "Once operators learn a system they don't want to give it up," Gilbert said. What's more, Haartz Haartz installed in first Mahlo system in 2013, and says it was able to easily integrate the new technology into its other lines worldwide. Haartz extrudes PVC, TPO and other materials into rollstock that is used in a variety of automotive applications, convertible tops in particular. 20 DECEMBER 2018 Plastics Technology Close -Up On Technolog y

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