IDI Composites upgrades SMC, BMC systems

IDI Composites has made several changes in bulk and sheet molding compound production to enhance quality and consistency.

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IDI Composites International (Noblesville, Ind.), a global formulator and manufacturer of bulk molding compounds (BMC) and sheet molding compounds (SMC), has announced the completion of several major manufacturing process improvements at its Noblesville location to improve productivity and ensure consistency across its manufacturing lines. Once fully tested and documented, the enhancements will also be implemented at the company’s facilities in Puerto Rico and China.

IDI Composites’ BMC and SMC processing lines now feature:
—Three-stream inline metering for SMC that enables continuous larger volume runs and improves quality and consistency.
—Automated paste dispensing and doctor blade system, also for the SMC line, that ensures even distribution of resin paste across the entire substrate prior to the introduction of fiberglass to the product; the addition of gamma gauge technology allows improved measuring of thickness of the applied paste for quality control and real-time processing improvements.
—Compaction control system, SMC line, providing improved compaction control pressures to optimize fiberglass wet out, and improved thickness control of the finished product.
—High-volume, automated mixing system for the BMC line for more consistent mixing of resins and fillers throughout the run.
—Feeder/bagging system to transfer BMC from a high-volume, automated mixing system to an automatic bagging system, the next step in the process.
—Automated extrusion line (BMC line) provides more control and adjustability for precise extruding of compounds.
—Temperature-controlled storage area (SMC line) allowing material to maturate in an optimum environment for better consistency of product, and providing for prolonged storage of material, when necessary, to enhance shelf life.

Additional improvements are planned in the temperature-controlled storage area and QC laboratory. “Improvements in the way we process product in our manufacturing facility shows the commitment of our entire manufacturing team. Together, we took a hard look at how we do things, and determined how we can do them better,” stated Tom Flood, vice president and general manager. “We’re certain this will result in far superior molding compounds for high-performance end products.”