Did you know that Green Vinyl Records is an open innovation project? This means that the technical knowledge that is gained is also shared outside the project team. For example, we ensure that companies from the plastics processing industry can optimize their production processes. One of the ways in which this knowledge is disseminated is by incorporating this knowledge into training courses. And let that be precisely what project partner Mikrocentrum is concerned with. Barend Blom, Course Manager of the field of Plastic and Mold Technology tells everything about it!
“As a knowledge organization, we are very curious how we can contribute the knowledge and experience gained in the project to our courses and training courses. This knowledge can be very valuable for students and companies in our network. It is precisely for this reason that we participate in the Green Vinyl Records project: we are happy to help valorise and disseminate the knowledge and can thus pass it on in our workshops, trade fairs, lectures, courses, training and education. ”Said Barend.
Trade fairs as a platform for the project
Mikrocentrum has become involved with Green Vinyl Records because they know Harm Theunisse from Symcon from the trade fairs they organize. “Think of the Precision Fair, Kunststoffenbeurs and RapidPro, which we organize every year in Veldhoven. These trade fairs offer a great platform for the project. Moreover, there is a lot of (technical) knowledge in the Brainport Region. For the future of this region, it is therefore necessary to continue to develop specialist knowledge and to bundle it where necessary. For example, it is super important to take a big step to produce more energy-efficiently. " Said Barend.
Courses as a bridge for knowledge dissemination
In addition to our trade fairs, Mikrocentrum also organizes 600 course trajectories every year across 12 subject areas, including Plastic and Mold technology, but also Process improvement and Product development and R&D. Barend: “We do not only do this in open course tracks, but we also provide in-company courses. This ensures that we come to many companies and therefore know what is going on and what is needed. We train people from all layers of an organization: from operators, quality employees and managers to product engineers, mold engineers and process technologists. This gives us the opportunity to spread the knowledge from the Green Vinyl Records project to a wide variety of (technical) professionals. ”
Measuring and adjusting essential in quality assurance
According to Barend, the biggest challenge of the project is to find a suitable plastic and to develop an injection molding process with which considerable energy savings are achieved for the production of vinyl records. “The challenge is to measure and control the material and process variables in such a way that we can guarantee consistent quality. We can guarantee this by measuring before and after processing. So in-line and to continuously feed back all measured values to the machine control. This is possible with temperature sensors, pressure sensors and special cameras, for example. The parameters are adjusted automatically so that the process takes place within certain limits. "
Barend continues: “In-line measurement is important because it makes you more effective. After all, measuring only afterwards means that you are no longer able to intervene during production, so that the chance of rejection is much greater. Your measurements and actions must be aimed precisely at making adjustments in an ongoing process with the result that no product is rejected. ”
Of course, if you want to minimize the impact on the environment when designing a product, you have to develop sustainably. Barend: “By the way, I don't expect that many records will be recycled. Music is emotion and you are careful with that; a vinyl record is not a disposable item. The savings are mainly in energy consumption during production and the prevention of rejection through the validation of the entire production process. So saving on material, energy and man-hours. "
The first developments already processed in courses
Meanwhile, the first new insights from the project are already shared during the Mikrocentrum courses. “During the development of the Green Vinyl Record, we saw that there was a lack of knowledge and expertise in the field of heat management during injection molding. We will therefore pay more attention during our courses to the thermal insulation of injection molds and the application of sensors in new and existing molds. In practice, we also make more use of the collected data via process charts on the machine control. And during the design process we teach trainees to calculate the position, shape and dimensions of cooling channels more accurately. ”Said Barend.