Project Histories

Developed High-Speed Trimmer

The Challenge – A major plastic bottle manufacturer discovered that during the neck-finishing process loose plastic chips were falling into the bottles. As a result, a labor and capital intensive process of removing the chips from the bottles had to be implemented, lowering the company’s profit margin. The company sought a process that would eliminate this problem.

Autotec Solution – Autotec was hired to devise a process that would keep chips out of the plastic bottles. Our engineers studied the problem and developed a high-speed trimmer that removes the rings from the bottle necks, finishes the necks and gives them a smooth, even finish. Most important, it keeps chips out of the bottles.
Once our prototype was approved, we built and installed the system, which has become a significant component of our customer’s bottle-making process. The trimmer has been an enormous success over a number of years, eliminating a major problem and improving our customer’s bottom line.

Nike: Engineered Take-Out

The Challenge – One of the world’s largest – and most famous – footwear makers made polypropylene air insoles for their athletic shoes. The process involved blow molding the insoles, putting them on a conveyor, and then trimming and curing them. Nike engineers had an issue with the insoles sticking together as they were moving them onto the conveyor belt.

As a result, they had to scrap a high percentage of the insoles, making the process economically ineffective. Nike sought Autotec’s assistance to automate the processes of removing the insoles from the blow molder and stacking them into a racking and curing system to cool down and dry before being handled by assembly operators.

Autotec Solution – Autotec designed and engineered a take-out system for Nike’s blow mold machine. We also developed a system in which the insoles were stored vertically in metal racks after traveling along a carousel and onto a ramp before stacking. Concepts and prototypes for each system were tested and approved by Nike, leading to the building of the first systems, which were an immediate success. Our success, in part, was the result of Autotec engineers working hand-in-hand with Nike engineers at Autotec and Nike facilities during each phase of the project. The Autotec-built systems solved Nike’s problem, saving the company money and improving the efficiency of its polypropylene air insoles manufacturing process. Nike was so impressed with the result it ordered multiple systems from Autotec over the next decade.