A Look into the Process Behind Some of RGE’s Most Complex and Exciting Projects

Our wide range of machinery and equipment at our sites across the UK, Lithuania, and China allows us to meet the demands of our varied customer base. With over 150 plastic injection moulding machines, and clamp force capacity ranging from 25-tonne to an impressive 3150-tonne, RGE is able to supply our clients with everything from high volumes of varied products, through to large injection mouldings parts, classed as mouldings of 2kg up to a maximum shot weight of 20kg.

RGE can produce upwards of 100,000 injection moulded parts each week across our sites, and we produce approximately 6 million large parts per year. We operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to ensure that our service is quick and reliable. Producing such large quantities enables us to match our customers’ needs, whilst maintaining an exceptional level of customer service and quick turnaround times.

Our recently installed Borche BS60-III injection moulding machine was bought to fill a gap in our capacity at the smaller size range as part of RGE’s long term plans to investment in new machinery and equipment throughout 2021, in order to meet the needs of our customer base and welcome in new clients. Our expanding range of machinery ties into our commitment to reduce our environmental impact, as we select new equipment that uses less energy and produces less waste.

Alongside our extensive manufacturing capabilities, RGE also provides post-moulding assembly, printing, hot-foil stamping, welding, and in-mould labelling. Each of these processes is undertaken by a trained professional resulting in a high-quality finish.

Find out more about some of the exciting projects that RGE have been able to work on, as we take a look at the injection moulding process:

The Alrik Flat Pack Chair

The Alrik chair was designed by our Design Manager, Mark Temple, in collaboration with IKEA. During its run, over five million chairs were produced at our site. One of the main requirements for the product was for it to be extremely efficient from a packaging point of view. Being able to transport flat packed goods to minimise transport cost is synonymous with the IKEA brand, and the Alrik was designed specifically to fit into a small box to allow up to sixty chairs to fit onto a single pallet. The chair base also required an innovative knock down design to fit into the box with the other parts, as chair bases usually take up large amounts of space when transported.

This was the first knock down chair base made by RGE, and was a particularly impressive design. The whole chair only required two screws for assembly, and was easy to assemble at home for the customer. The chair could also move up and down and swivel side to side with the use of a gas lift. Due to its small size, the Alrik was especially popular as a desk chair for children and was available in two colours: red and blue. Multiple tools were made to produce the chair, using two impression tools and three sets needed due to the large volume of chairs required.

Alrik flat pack injection moulded chair

Bosch Indego Mower

The Bosch Indego Mower was made from a two impression tool at our own RGE toolmakers in China. A 21 tonne tool was used to make over 30,000 units, using a 13,000 tonne Negre Bossi injection moulding machine. There were hydraulic and mechanical side actions on the tool, and the process involved making lots of mating parts, all of which had to be very precise in size and diameter.

The motor cover for the unit was made up of smaller mating parts. Silver masterbatch was used to make one part of the motor cover. Using this colour material can easily result in flow marks, so RGE tested lots of mould flows in order to find the smallest length of weld lines. These lines were most visible around the windows of the cover, so tests were completed to move these lines down to the sides where they were no longer visible. There was also a living hinge on the back of the motor cover, which had to be made live before the product was boxed up. This was a complex project, requiring lots of precise parts and meticulous engineering.

Bosch indego mower injection moulded motor cover

Mesh Filter

A mesh filter we manufacture for a white goods customers is made using a complex two moulding process, using our in house machines at RGE. The stamped out nylon filter is picked up by a robot and held onto the tool face in order for the material to be moulded on top of it. The filter is then placed into another cavity for the TPE to be injected around it, creating a strong singular part.

Our 365 Twin Shot machine allows for two different materials to be over moulded in one moulding cycle. This process is ideal for products such as buttons, switches, handles, grips, and caps for containers which often require two different materials within one part. The part being moulded can be composed of two separate parts while using one moulding process instead of two, usually using hard and soft materials.

injection moulded mesh filter

Council Refuse Collection Bin

Creating these 240 litre refuse collection bins required the use of RGE’s largest machine with 3150 tonne capacity – the Husky. A 21,600 kg tool was commissioned and started up on the Husky machine. The machine also allows for a 25 tonne lifting capacity to hold the tools up on two sides, 50 tonnes in total over the two halves of the tool.
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