Manufacturing Today - March/April 2016 - 97


Rotuba Extruders

Northeast

with its new system, rotuba can
provide different formulations
of plastic for the same type
of lens.

single customer, and you had to be
able to weigh these materials down
to such small resolutions on the fly.
You have to be able to dose it on the
line as you are running - because it's
very expensive to make up all these
batches - and you're doing so many
changeovers. But there was no technology on the market that allowed
us to do that in a quick fashion."

Worldwide Search
Extrusion Department Manager
Yohay Maymon led the quest for a
method to put additives in a plastics mix to change a lens' optics - its
haziness, light transmission, color
or diffusion - by minute particles,
sometimes by as little as one-quarter of 1 percent.
He located a company in Israel
that produced the needed type of
machine for blending additives on
extruding equipment. "We took
their existing system and with their
help we modified it," Maymon says.
"They used to have a system that you
set once and it ran for days, batch after batch of the same mix of materials. They never dealt with a system
where you needed to change the
recipe in between batches. That was
the biggest change to the system.
You needed to modify some of the
system, mainly the computer that
controls everything. With their help
and a significant amount of R&D
and polymer trials, we managed to
get to the core of the system."
Rotuba's system utilizes seven
additives in different combinations.
"Sometimes we use one additive, or
sometimes four all together," Maymon explains. "We have a system
that allows us to change the ratio of
percentages of each additive. The
variety and the range of product
that we can gain is almost endless

- you can go from one-quarter of a
percent up to a 15 percent difference
in a matter of seconds."
The new system is completely accurate compared with the company's
previous method - premixing the
plastic pellets and powdered additives
in a barrel and pouring it into the extruder's hopper. "Now the operators
click on numbers and everything happens automatically," Maymon says.

Three-Day Turnaround
According to Maymon, the new mixing system combined with Rotuba
Extruders' vertically integrated
tooling capabilities means a customer can send in a design on a Monday
morning and can see it running in
production by Wednesday morning.
"After we receive the initial design,
by Monday afternoon we will either
validate the design or provide a redesign that would optimize the light

efficiency for the specific lighting
fixture," Maymon says.
"We would send our customer a
3-D printed model that they would
receive Tuesday," he continues.
"They could see how it fits in their
fixture, and if they approve that on
Tuesday we could cut the tooling
in-house and be ready to run it in
production on Wednesday. Our customer could fly in on Wednesday
and see their new design running in
five different LED formulations."
That is the kind of lightning-fast
turnaround that customers require
from the company nowadays.
"You have to be able to tool and
make designs at a rapid pace to keep
up with the changing technology
for LED fixtures," Bell emphasizes. "Those are really the two keys to
why we've been able to be successful
- giving the optics and the speed to
market to all of our customers." mt
MARCH/APRIL 2016 manufacturing-today.com

97


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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
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