Sieving and screening polyamide fibre particles at Fremach with the Finex 22 vibrating screener for increased productivity and reduced product loss
With a vision to be the preferred European supplier of innovative plastic products, Fremach sought to optimise its plastic flocking process, an integral part of its production line. The company turned to Russell Finex to provide a long-lasting, high-quality solution to sieving plastic microfibres.
The company, with over 1200 employees across six plants around the world, prides itself on delivering high-quality plastic components for automotive applications, consumer electronics and other industrial products. Since establishment in 1969, the company has worked with an impressive array of customers including BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Skoda, as well as Panasonic, Toshiba and Barco.
At the production site in Izegem, Belgium, flocking is a major stage of the manufacturing process, which involves applying small polyamide fibre particles – also known as flock – onto a plastic surface. The effect is a soft-feel finish and is applied to many automotive interior components. One of the most common applications is to the inside of a glovebox, although flocking can be applied to almost any of Fremach’s products.
The company had experienced problems where products were not passing quality control and were rejected, resulting in product loss. This was due to irregularities caused by oversize contamination of the flock fibres, which should have been removed as part of the flock reclaim process. Ludwig Claeys, Process Engineer at Fremach, stated,
“We decided to seek a solution to a problem affecting the efficiency and costs of one of our most important parts of the production line. We contacted Russell Finex because of its reputation in providing industrial separation solutions to meet specific customer requirements.”
After the interior components are manufactured, they are sprayed with glue, and set in a dry oven, allowing the flock fibres to attach to the component being covered. At the end of this process, excess fibres are reclaimed and reused. To do this, the fibres are removed using compressed air, and collected in a cyclone.
They are then fed through a vibratory sieve to remove oversize contamination, such as glue particles. Fremach’s previous sieve had not been operating at the required capacity, but equally important it could not reliably remove oversize contamination. Russell Finex offered to test its high-speed Finex 22™ vibrating screen at the Izegem site and, following positive results, Fremach purchased the unit.
Claeys was pleased with the results: “After installation, not only did we experience reduced production and lost product costs, but our standards for delivering high-quality products are now reliably upheld, with far fewer finished products being rejected by quality control. We are very positive about the Finex 22 and it has exceeded our expectations.”
The Finex 22™ was chosen for its ability to handle the required high capacity, which had provided a challenge previously for Fremach. The polyamide flock fibres can be problematic when sieving, due to their particular shape, meaning they must pass through the mesh vertically.
The Finex 22™ is able to sieve these fibres, whilst guaranteeing Fremach’s desired sieving accuracy of 700µm. This allows oversize contamination to be consistently removed, resulting in fewer rejected products.
The vibratory screen can be easily cleaned with minimal contact parts and is simple to disassemble without the need for tools, maximising productivity. Also, its unique design delivers quiet operation, as low as 70dbA.
Claeys continued: “We now carry out this stage of manufacture more efficiently, and the purchase of the Finex 22 sieve has resulted in such a reduction of rejected products, and has effectively paid for itself within four months of installation.”
Russell Finex has manufactured and supplied industrial sieving and filtration equipment for the past 80 years, to improve product quality, enhance productivity, safeguard worker health, and ensure liquids and powders are contamination-free.
Established in 1934, its longevity and reputation sees it regarded as one of the top three global manufacturers of industrial separation equipment.
Russell Finex Ltd
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8818 2000