Alfonso Molaro, one of SAPA’s Research & Development engineers, has presented the One-Shot Method at the Stuttgart Global Automotive Components and Suppliers Expo, explaining the difference between SAPA’s innovative technology and the traditional processes
Why has SAPA invested so much in the development of a new process for the manufacturing of plastic car components?
The answer is simple: SAPA looks far into the future.
It is very common to hear about robots, artificial intelligence and new technologies that will soon drastically reshape entire fields and industries.
The automotive field is different though.
Ever since I started working for SAPA, I’ve always wondered whether our company could really innovate our field.
Let me explain. I knew we were an important reality, manufacturing quality vehicles, but I felt like something was missing.
There were a variety of companies manufacturing the same quality components, but SAPA did not want to simply be a carmakers’ supplier.
SAPA wanted to lead the change.
How could it manage to do so?
Together with the entire R&D team, which would later be known as “Innovation Engineering”, I started working on this in the last few years.
First, we noticed something that was the norm for all of the companies working in our field.
Then, we looked into processes that could have been improved and optimized, in regard to cost, weight and production efficiency.
This is what Alfonso Molinaro talked about in Stuttgart, presenting practical examples of how the One-Shot Method is innovating the field, after years of research, to the benefit of our customers.
Think about the engine cover.
It surely is an important component, both technically and in terms of design.
Just to explain how SAPA acted on the elements I’ve mentioned, Alfonso showed this slide.
There is a clear difference.
While traditional technology involves numerous assembly stages of different components, the One.Shot Method is about a single component, manufactured by a single press.
This reduces cost and speeds up the process, thanks to:
- No manpower;
- No waste;
- A single production stage;
- Therefore lower costs and faster production.
How does this actually work?
Alfonso talked about this, showing this slide.
The moulding machine has two cavities. The first cavity is where injection moulding is executed on thermoplastic material. Then, a robot takes the material and moves it into the second cavity, where polyurethane skimming happens, thanks to the insertion of polyol and isocyanate. After this stage, the press opens and a robot exctracts the finished product.
The industrialized test was carried out on components for Jeep Renegade. We used a 1000 tons machine and dosing systems for high pressure polyurethane.
The One-Shot Method allowed us to get rid of all intermediate stages, reducing costs and the number of operators. Achieving a reduction of cycle time by 50%, while increasing productivity of 300%, with no transportation cost, nor storing costs from one area to another.”
Moreover, Alfonso talked about other components and described in depth the One.Shot Method.
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Plus, you can watch the teaser video for the event.
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Chief Executive Sales Strategist and Member of SAPA’s Board of Directors