By Jim Morrison and Shoshana Kordova Photographs by Jonas Opperskalski KIBBUTZ TZE’ELIM, Israel — Eight tons of trash are piled high at the entrance of a small factory in this tree-lined kibbutz — rotting food mixed with plastic bags, dirty paper, castoff bottles and containers, even broken toys. But nothing is headed for a landfill. Instead, what’s next is a process that could revolutionize recycling. Within hours, the mound will be sorted, ground, chopped, shredded, cleaned and heated into a sort of garbage caramel, then resurrected as tiny pseudo-plastic pellets that can be made into everyday items like trays and packing crates. “The magic that we’re doing is we’re taking everything — the chicken bones, the banana peels,” says Jack “Tato” Bigio, the chief executive at UBQ Materials. “We take this waste, and we convert it.” Such upcycling is desperately needed by a world seeking solutions to the environmental challenges caused by the 2 billion tons of waste generated annually. Turning that trash into treasure has long held allure. Yet attempts have fallen short, and cynics abound. UBQ says it has succeeded where others have failed, creating a radical technology that transforms garbage into the raw materials for plastics manufacturers and earns them a profit in the end. And by diverting household refuse destined for long-term burial, the process will help to reduce landfill production of a powerful greenhouse gas while creating new life for hard-to-recycle plastic. The loop exemplifies a “circular economy,” in which waste is turned into something useful. One skeptic turned convert calls it a breakthrough that could, in the best way, “create very serious disruption.” “If we want to advance to a more sustainable future, we don’t only need new technologies, but new business models,” said
The dried coffee bean skin chaff from roasting makes a perfect filler material in plastic parts. Like many commuters, Ford Motor Co. is making a morning stop by Mickey Dee’s for coffee. Only Ford’s coffee run is for the chaff of the dried skin that comes off the beans when roasting them. McDonald’s USA produces millions of pounds of coffee chaff every year, and now Ford is incorporating some of that waste stream into the creation of injection-molded plastic parts like F-150 pickup truck headlamp housings. The chaff serves as a filler in place of talc, which is normally used to help reduce the weight, increase the strength and improve the heat resistance of plastic parts by blending it into the mixture that is used to make parts The coffee chaff doesn’t just turn out to be a sustainable alternative to talc, it actually performs even better than the regular material. Of course, if you could just grind up coffee chaff and stir it into plastic materials, suppliers would likely have been doing so already. Ford’s Research and Innovation Center has developed a process that heats the chaff to high temperatures under low oxygen and then mixes it along with other additives into plastic to create the pellets that plastic manufacturers use to create the end product. Ford and McDonald’s partner with Competitive Green Technologies, which processes the coffee chaff and with Varroc Lighting Systems, which supplies the F-150’s headlamps to Ford. Together, they create parts that are about 20 percent lighter than before and use 25 percent less energy during the molding process, but which have significantly better heat properties than headlight housings made with talc. “The coffee chaff is even better than the talc material we are replacing,” said
As evidence of our continued Commitment to Quality throughout the organization, Injection Works has adopted and recently earned certification to the latest ISO 9001:2015 Quality System standard. International Standards Organization (ISO) 9001:2015 is the most updated standard of its kind and focuses on quality management systems and performance, assisting companies to develop a management system that aligns quality with their wider business strategy. Achieving this latest certification required Injection Works to build upon our 12+ years of established ISO 9000 certification by demonstrating a superior focus on continuous improvement and customer satisfaction through a measurement intensive risk-based methodology, with the final result being a full recertification audit by our registrar, SGS, in May 2018.
Great video on how 3-D Printing will be applied in the future. From 3-D prototype printing to making artificial human tissue to even buildings communities on the moon! Originally published here by cnn.com.
Injection Works now offers clients better visibility of their tooling asset care and service with Mold Trax 6.0 software from ToolingDocs
The Injection Works Tooling Department recently installed an advanced, user-friendly tooling management software package from industry-leader ToolingDocs. Using this sophisticated software, Injection Works collects basic data from each production run from every mold such as start and stop dates and times, operating interruptions and part quantity produced. Additional valuable features that directly benefit our clients include prompting our staff with detailed preventive maintenance service reminders, including a variety of pre-set scope-of-work levels. As an added benefit, the system monitors inventory levels of specific mold service components – reducing asset downtime. More information and a Video about Mold Trax 6.0’s customer benefits can be found in our Technological Advantages section here.
The acquisition of a new Stratasys Fortus 250mc 3-D Printing System allows Injection Works to offer greater convenience, lower cost and faster turn-around time to clients during one of the most critical phases of new product development – 3-D Printing Prototypes.
Recognizing that more and more engineers, designers and purchasing managers begin their search for new and better injection molding partners using their mobile phone or tablet rather than their desktop computers, Injection Works now provides a mobile-optimized version of our website that specifically makes navigating www.injectionworks.com much easier on small-screen devices.
Injection Works hosts Drexel University Students developing improved ADA curb access transitions for Philadelphia
In February 2015, three Drexel University students came to visit us here at Injection Works to tour our facility and expand upon their understanding of plastics in general, the injection molding process, and its potential applications.
On a bright, cool Wednesday in mid-December, twenty students and three teachers from a technical engineering school located in Normandy, France arrived at Injection Works to experience first-hand how a successful state-of-the-art U.S.-based plastics injection molding firm operates…
New Boston Consulting Group study finds that a majority of large manufacturers are now planning or considering “reshoring” production from China back to the United States.
An article printed on April 29, 2014 in SupplyChain247, an online resource for Supply Chain Professionals, indicated that traditionally low-cost manufacturing bases such as China, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Poland and Russia have seen their cost advantages erode significantly since 2004. Study author Boston Consulting Group indicates that US manufacturing is now only 5% more costly on average than China, a shrinking differential that is driving increasing rates of reshoring activity. Contributing factors to the erosion of traditional cost advantages in other countries include sharp wage increases, lagging productivity gains and unfavorable currency swings. Injection Works is experiencing a marked increase in dialogue with clients who are considering moving production back to the United States. In fact, new projects awarded to Injection Works by international firms has grown in recent years, and represent over 25% of all new business development over the past twelve months. The company expects that trend to continue for the foreseeable future. To see the full SupplyChain247 article, click here.
Fifteen college students and their instructor from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia were invited to tour Injection Works’ manufacturing facility recently to get a first-hand look at how products are made using the injection molding process. As part of their Materials & Processes course in the Industrial Design Department of the University, site visits to manufacturing facilities help expose the students to many different production methods and also provide a better understanding of the limitations of various manufacturing techniques – which allows them to design new products with efficiency and economy in mind. These students were enthusiastic and asked many relevant questions, and it was a pleasure to share part of our day with them. The Materials and Processes course is taken during sophomore year and is designed to give students appropriate knowledge about and exposure to industry for their future projects and eventually professional experiences. Students from this program enter the workforce in many ways, and recent graduates from the program have taken jobs in the following areas: Model Making and Prototyping Digital Modeling and Rendering Human Factors Design Research Packaging and Product Design Web Design Furniture Design
Responding to ever-increasing demands to provide more complete products to customers in shorter time frames, Injection Works has consolidated its full array of value-adding post-molding secondary operations into a single department located adjacent to the firm’s main production floor. Both quality and costs are expected to improve by leveraging improved product flow, traceability and control. Value-Add services now include Hot Stamping, Pad Printing, Sonic Welding, Product Assembly and Custom Pack-Out for Retail environments.
Injection Works invests in In-House Pad Printing capability to further reduce product delivery lead time and costs to clients
Many products require one or a few post-molding decorating steps in order to be deemed complete and saleable to customers. As the frequency of requests for this type of service continues to grow at Injection Works, we decided to bring this function in-house, and become experts in the field of pad printing. The firm purchased a new Cemec All-Color-Capable Pad Printing machine with a cliché capacity of up to 3 inches. As redundant steps related to outsourcing and transporting product to and from an independent decorator is eliminated, clients will benefit from lower overall product costs and reduced lead times.
Injection Works adds to Custom Resin Component Mixing capability with a new 4-Component Gravimetric Blending System
The Injection Works Production Team has invested in a state-of-the-art 500# per hour gravimetric blender designed to accurately and repeatedly mix up to four different raw material components for use in the injection molding process. Custom-blended resin mixes can help clients achieve better performance from their products, and differentiate their products in the marketplace, giving them an edge over competitors. This blender can be remotely programmed using Wi-Fi technology, saving valuable set-up time on the production floor.
Injection Works advances clients’ abilities to achieve better outcomes with Design for Manufacturability support software
Injection Works has invested in a new bolt-on software module that augments our Solidworks Engineering software package which allows modeling of how proposed new part designs will behave during the fill cycle of the molding process. Sharing this powerful data with clients allows them to make part design adjustments that increase the likelihood of total satisfaction of first parts from newly fabricated tooling. Best of all, Injection Works provides clients with this service at no additional charge.
Injection Works publishes a simple Quick-Start Guide for new users of our CustomerConnect feature. The majority of Injection Works clients have come to depend on immediate access to their production, scheduling, inventory and transit information provided by our IQMS ERP system.
Injection Works’ Logistics Department integrates Google’s Nexus 7 Tablet and IQMS ERP software to enhance real-time Inventory Control and Accuracy With an operating footprint that exceeds 45,000 square feet, effective control of the location and quantity of Raw Materials, Work in Progress, Packaging Supplies and Finished Goods becomes critical to maintaining efficient operations. Wireless connection of Google’s Nexus 7 Tablet to our IQMS ERP software platform allows Injection Works’ Logistics Department to maximize physical inventory accuracy and eliminate potential delays in product delivery. For more information about Nexus 7, click here
Injection Works acquires FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera to advance a variety of predictive and diagnostic capabilities. Exceeding typical industry standards related to technology-based Quality, Production, Tooling and Maintenance data collection, Injection Works has added a new Thermal Imaging Camera to our already impressive toolbox. Deployment of this camera allows us to identify and respond to potential hidden, sub-surface characteristics of assets and products before they grow into larger challenges. The ability to “see” capability inhibitors within molds, machine components, and even molded parts helps our team maintain and even enhance Injection Works’ traditionally high levels of quality and on-time delivery performance.
Reducing the average cost of freight can be a significant way to enhance the value proposition we offer our clients. Providing more comprehensive shipment status information to customers can also be pivotal for our clients that have extremely time-sensitive logistics demands. Injection Works’ installation of UPS’ new Quantum View Notify software allows us to deliver both. With Quantum View Notify, Injection Works now offers clients the option of being automatically notified of key events that take place during each shipment cycle. Email notifications of package status can be broadcast to up to five customer-recipients, as frequently as every hour, depending on customer preferences. Accessing UPS Ground with Freight Pricing typically results in a 15-25% cost savings when compared with standard UPS Ground freight prices. With over half of Injection Works’ customers depending on UPS for their shipping needs, we expect Quantum View Notify will result in meaningful savings that will have a direct benefit to our customers.
Injection Works is excited to announce the completion of installation and start-up activities of three new super-efficient hybrid servo-hydraulic molding machines. Complementing the firm’s fourteen all-hydraulic and five all-electric presses, these hybrid servo-hydraulic machines couple the energy efficiency provided by servo control with an expanded processing range that only hydraulic designs can offer. The machines were purchased at the 2012 National Plastics Exposition (NPE) show in Florida in April, and all are outfitted with robotics to enhance throughput and reduce labor costs. Sizes of the machines are 120 ton, 190 ton and 720 ton.
After extended evaluation during and after the National Plastics Exposition (NPE) trade show in Orlando, Florida in April 2012, Injection Works’ Quality Manager Dennis Frohbergh has authorized investment in a Statistical Process Control (SPC) module that will be integrated into the company’s IQMS ERP software system. According to Dennis, “The integration of this SPC module into Injection Works’ ERP system enables us to track customer product quality in real time. Quality Inspectors will now be able to input and maintain measurements of critical dimensions into the new database, track process capability and ultimately determine lot acceptability. SPC charts can be generated from the collected Part Quality Inspection Plan (PQP) data, and provide customers with easy-to-use visual reports reflecting tooling and processing capability and consistency. The investment in purchasing and implementing this SPC module also augments Injection Works’ Green Initiatives program, as current paper-based PQP’s and related records used by the Quality Department will be migrated over to an electronic platform.
With a reputation for staff education, product evaluation and aggressive investment in the latest equipment and technology available, Injection Works fielded a record group of 8 department heads to the National Plastics Exposition show in Orlando, Florida this April. The goal was to network with other industry leaders, explore the latest product and service offerings from global suppliers, and identify capital spending opportunities that would benefit Injection Works’ clients. The knowledge gained by everyone can now be shared with all Injection Works colleagues, and new investment projects will be selected.
In March of 2012, Injection Works took a major step forward toward managing manufacturing costs, reducing its carbon footprint and helping to keep the environment clean when an all-new 290KW solar electricity-generation system was activated. “Built with all-American sourced components, this roof-top mounted system with over 1,200 solar panels is designed to provide up to 30% of our power needs”, according to Facilities Manager Bill White. President Chris Rapacki noted “The primary goal of the system is to help insulate our customers from the inevitable increase in long-term energy costs. From a financial perspective, very low interest rates coupled with a 30% NJ state subsidy help to keep this $1.25 million project cash flow neutral, with a payback period of under five years. This new system is a win-win-win…Customers will appreciate additional protection against manufacturing cost escalation – Injection Works’ personnel are excited that their company continues to build upon other conservation initiatives – and we all enjoy the benefits of cleaner air. Customers are warmly invited to tour the installation and learn more about the engineering and financial aspects of the system. View photos below from the Installation and set-up of the system:
Thinking global but acting local, Injection Works invests in Green Energy to offset 25% of their current energy needs. Injection Works, a custom injection molder in Mount Laurel, New Jersey announced today that it has given the green light to funding a new 290 KW solar energy generation system as part of its ongoing efforts to position the company as a class-leading Green manufacturer while reducing costs for its customers. According to Injection Works’ President Chris Rapacki, “we’re very excited to make this next investment in our future. In conjunction with our growing fleet of all-electric molding machines, on-site solar energy generation is part of our comprehensive strategy to reduce energy purchases and consumption. This system will help insulate our customers from the impact of higher energy costs in the future, and further enhance the overall competitiveness of Injection Works’ manufacturing operations.” According to Chris Buniva of system supplier Vanguard Energy Partners, “this system should offset approximately 25% of Injection Works’ energy needs, and significantly reduce their carbon footprint.” The system is scheduled to be fully installed and generating energy for Injection Works by January, 2012.
A group of five Injection Works team members recently completed a three-day course to become certified as ISO 9001:2008 Internal Quality Systems Auditors. Injection Works now has a total of 7 active, certified auditors on staff. As part of this important training, the instructor explained the clauses of ISO 9001:2008 in detail, and guided our colleagues through internal audits that are required for a quality management system based on ISO 9001:2008. The class included a balance of formal classroom tutorials, practical role-playing, group workshops, and open forum discussions. Our five graduates successfully completed this course, and have received a Certificate of Attainment for the following RABQSA knowledge competency units: QM – Quality Management Systems AU – Management Systems Auditing Class Graduates in the photograph below (from left to right) are Chris Hertell, Nick Martinez, Dennis Frohbergh, Bill White and Ernesto Perez.
Future growth plans taking shape as the company begins operations under Injection Works banner. Mount Laurel, NJ — Eptech Corporation, a leading thermoplastic injection molding solutions provider, today formally announced it has changed its name to Injection Works, Incorporated. “While the name Eptech has served us well for a long time,” said Company President Chris Rapacki, “Our new name, Injection Works, more clearly states and emphasizes the focus that we have, and gives us a solid foundation for future growth. Since only the name is changing, our customers will continue to receive the same high quality service and commitment to excellence they’ve come to expect from us over the past 22 years”. The original name, Eptech, was derived from a combination of “Eastern Pennsylvania” and “Technology” to represent the company’s location and concentration at that time. After acquiring another regional injection molder in 1998, the firm relocated from the Philadelphia suburbs to Southern New Jersey, and now focuses exclusively on serving clients who need injection molded components. Over time, the name Eptech came to less accurately reflect the company and the services it now provides to clients. The new name, Injection Works, helps to clarify the focus of the company and will enhance future marketing efforts. About Injection Works – Injection Works is a leading provider of custom injection molding services and related secondary value-adding operations in the Mid-Atlantic region and is rapidly expanding its reach internationally. From serving just one client in 1988, Injection Works now partners with over 40 national and international customers, including several Fortune 500 companies. Customers partnering with the ISO 9001:2008 registered company represent the medical, electrical, telecommunications, transportation, food and beverage, electronics, industrial and construction markets. Injection Works’ 46,000 square foot manufacturing facility