Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 61


Dutchland Plastics LLC

ture a kayak out of one of our molds," Swoger says. "You
obviously could never do that out of an injection mold - it
would never be large enough to accommodate the largesized parts that we can make."

How It Works
Rotational molding works exactly as it sounds. A mold is
filled with polyethylene or PVC resin, heated to between
400 and 600 F, and slowly rotated bi-axially. This causes the material to slowly melt and adhere to the walls of
the mold. After the part is formed, its mold is removed
from the oven and slowly cooled while it continues rotating with the part inside it. This achieves uniform wall
thicknesses and the desired product characteristics. Part
thickness is determined by the amount of plastic inserted
into the mold. After being removed from the mold, a variety of secondary, finishing and assembly operations are
performed as required.
Swoger compares the rotomolding machines his company uses to a carousel. "There are normally four arms
on a molding machine, and each has two plates upon
which molds are mounted," he explains. "Those arms are
either in an oven, a cooling station, a quenching station
or a work station - where people are demolding parts,
charging molds with resin or doing the mold preparation.
Then they send that arm back to heat and go through the
process again. Some of these machines are really enormous - more than 20 feet tall and 70 feet across. They are
big pieces of equipment, and that gives us tremendous capability to make almost any plastic product up to 17 feet
long and up to about 500 pounds."

Midwest

Another capability of Dutchland Plastics is adding soft or
rigid foam to the inside of parts to provide rigidity or insulation. "We foam-fill nearly half of the parts that we manufacture, so it's a tremendous capability that we have," Swoger
asserts. The company's ability to manufacture parts out
of PVC is less common in the industry. "It allows us to do
things that others couldn't do, like soft furniture or flexible
parts for lawn and garden equipment," Swoger maintains.
The carousel style of rotational molding machines enables mold changes to be made during a cycle. "We don't
have to stop the machine," Swoger points out. "We are able
to change molds without losing production. It's all about
having everything ready and having a very capable mold
changer who can switch out that mold for another mold
within a 15-minute window. While one part is being manufactured, he's switching the mold on another."

Computer Technology
As with most production equipment, computer control has
improved manufacturing and made it more accurate and

Unmatched Capabilities
On any given day, Dutchland may manufacture as many
as 200 different products, such as playground equipment,
pool slides, industrial tanks, coolers, institutional furniture
and floor care products. An additional capability for the
company is finishing parts.
"We have a customer in Washington state and we're in
Wisconsin," Swoger notes. "We not only manufacture the
complete kayak or canoe for them, but we will drop ship it to
their dealers so they never have to touch this product. That
allows us to service customers across the country rather
than just in a local region. We do secondary processes and
actually assemble most parts into finished products. We
even provide warehousing and logistics services so that
products can be shipped directly to the dealer or consumer.
This range of capabilities is unmatched in the industry."
MARCH/APRIL 2016 manufacturing-today.com

61


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016

Contents
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 1
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 2
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - Contents
Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 4
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