Plastics save on wear and tear

If you are a company that is in the business of manufacturing components for plant and machinery, it pays to do your homework on the type of material you use.

Plastic Machining Solutions is based out of South west Sydney, and director Django Rodriguez has been in the business for more than 30 years.

He knows his products inside out, and makes a lot of componentry for processing plants, especially those in the food and beverage industry. Materials matter to him. It is the difference between a good job and a great job.

The company manufactures all conveyor components from scratch including sprockets, as well as tracking systems that people put their conveyor belts or chains onto.

“Normally, somebody will give me a drawing of what they want, I’ll tell them the material that would suit it, and I go ahead and make it,” said Rodriguez.

A lot of the products he makes are from plastic, so he turns to plastics’ specialist, E-Plas, for his materials. He has been using the company for a long time and is particular about the type of products he uses.

“We mainly use their TIVAR range, PTFE products as well as some of their superior modified plastic materials,” he said. “These products are good for sliding properties and wearing properties. This means those on the shop floor can run their conveyors without lubrication. There is no drag and that’s because there are special additives in some of these higher spec materials that create less wear. We use TIVAR HPV material when we manufacture conveyor tracks.

“The E-Plas product will last longer, which means there will be less downtime,” said Rodriguez. “If I was to use the normal ultra-high – just the standard ultra-high – companies would need to replace components more often because it would wear quicker.

Other types of plastics the company sources from E-Plas include oil-grade versions, which are ideal for the food industry due to their hygienic properties, and polycarbonate, Perspex and acrylic that are used as guard rails for safety reasons on some of the machines.

And it is this long-lasting aspect of these products that is the key not only to satisfying Plastic Machining Solutions as a customer of E-Plas, but also the former’s clients in turn.
And there are upsides for Rodriguez’s company, too. His tools last longer.

“Another thing I like about these products is, with the solid lubricant additive for instance, it is much easier to machine,” he said. “The tools don’t heat up as much. In fact, if you used this material more, your tools would last longer. The appearance of the product is also high quality.”

Rodriguez jokingly said there is only one downside for him, and even that has an upside in the long run.

“The only downside for me is that I don’t get to supply my clients as often because the E-Plas material lasts longer,” he said. “However, at the end of the day, if these plastics solve their problem, they will come to me for other things. That is the idea. To have a relationship where you can get most of their work for other areas as well. It’s a very good product. I totally recommend it.”

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