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The starlim//sterner virtual tour
Transcript of The starlim//sterner virtual tour
groups virtual tour.
Please use your computer mouse or use the
arrow keys to be guided through our factory.
group is the
world's largest processor of liquid silicone rubber by injection molding
. Single and multi component parts are manufactured for the
industry as well as for
The company takes on the complete responsibility for development and production orders - from idea to product design, tool engineering up to the fully automated series production of high volumes.
3D design based on the data and demand of the customer. The RD department creates a final design concept in preparation for virtual simulations.
Simulation (Finite Element Analyses=FEA) is done to validate development designs and to show the behavior of the part in different situations, for example in the demolding from the tool or in the assembly situation. Such an analysis shows the interaction of the individual components, including assembly force range to be expected, the deformation during the assembly process and evaluating the sealing function in potential worst-case scenarios.
What has previously been simulated on the Computer will be tested afterwards on the actual product. We use break strength testing to define the dynamic material parameters and the elongation not only for testing on finished products but also to define material models for our FEA. For example to test the required force during the assembly process, we use insertion force testing on real silicone parts and real connector plastic parts.
We also bring new and improved materials to our customers and are steadily testing these materials with real parts to evaluate their performance characteristics.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
At starlim//sterner the quality assurance includes visual screenings as well as machinery quality controls of the part. With the OGP measurement we control the exact measures of the part. Our modern Computer Tomograph allows us to check several part conditions: actual-actual comparisons (cavity-cavity), nominal-actual comparisons (CAD to cavity), wall thickness analyses, defect detection and dimensioning. It allows us to screen a part built in a system, without destroying the system and the part.
ENGINEERING AND DESIGN
Processing of components by spark erosion. We measure and match up the electrode with the appropriate insert. After the programming is downloaded, the robot selects the appropriate metal plate and electrode for the EDM. After washing the metal plate it is conditioned and electrodes are measured again. The machine can run 24 hours, 7 days a week.
All single items for the tool have to be matched and assembled. After assembly the tool has to pass a pre-production process. If that is successful, the tool is released (via run at rate) and is ready for production.
Five full-time trainers care for the apprenticeship of our 40 trainees in house. We offer four apprenticeships:
Toolmaker/Plastics designer – this is a double apprenticeship
Mechanical engineering technician
Additionally the starlim//sterner trainees have the possibility to pass the apprenticeship with (technical) A-levels.
In the packaging area we weigh, pack and label the parts for delivery. If the parts aren’t needed immediately, they go directly into the fully automated self-storage high bay warehouse via several conveyor belts, where they wait until demanded.
On product-demand from the customer, the process starts running in the starlim//sterner underground. The arm of the fully automated self-storage high bay warehouse collects the ordered parts and puts them on the conveyor belt to move them out of store. It follows the automatic and customized labeling of each single box. Then the robot stacks the carton boxes onto the pallet and surrounds them with a plastic layer. If the pallet is finished, the warehouse people prepare the rest for dispatching.
PACKAGING AND PRODUCT DEMAND
The starlim//sterner showroom gives visitors an overview about the markets we are producing for. It shows a large range of parts for the automotive sector, the life sciences branches and the industrial segments. Additionally we show the capabilities of our subsidiaries and partner companies.
Meetings, presentations, trainings and workshops – everything takes place in the starlim//sterner meeting rooms. Our rooms accommodate up to 35 people and allow larger groups the possibility to visit starlim//sterner.
Vending machines, microwaves, freezers and small cooking stations in the lunch rooms give the employees the chance to have lunch without leaving the premises. There are also several food courts in the surrounding area within a 5 minute drive.
We care for the health of our employees, that’s why we installed a company owned fitness area. It is open 24 hours, 7 days a week for the starlim//sterner employees, and includes a lot of fitness equipment for the training of strength and stamina.
In the design department the engineers decide the tooling concept. They create drawings of the base mold, the insert set, and demolding unit, and create the part drawing of the product.
We machine our base plates in the fully automated 5-axis Milling Center. After programming, a 6-axis robot arm moves the metal plates into the machine for processing. We have 20 storage pallets where other metal plates wait for their processing. During the day the machine will be loaded with new work, blanks will be prepared and the programming will be completed, so the machine can run automatically through the night. The machine can run 24 hours, 7 days a week.
The connection tunnel runs under the street between two buildings. One building is mainly for tool construction and the second is used mainly for production.
The tunnel permits the transportation of tools between these buildings and protects them from weather conditions.
WAYS OF PRODUCTION
With the single component production we refer to silicone processing. starlim//sterner’s main business is the processing of liquid silicone rubber (LSR) and high consistency rubber (HCR).
In the fully automated production facility we produce about 10 billion parts/year for the automotive industry, the life sciences business and the industrial sector. For example single wire seals, syringe components and parts for communicational devices.
Always in combination with silicone – this is the precondition for the multi material production at starlim//sterner. We combine silicone with silicone, silicone with thermoplastic and silicone with metal. Very interesting multi material products are for example the steering wheel switch and the very thin loud speaker membrane smartphones.
Sophisticated meter/mix systems for the material supply of the machines have been developed by starlim//sterner. The material supply is located directly below, meaning one floor lower, under each injection molding machine.
FOR SINGLE AND MULTI MATERIAL PRODUCTION
In the starlim//sterner clean room we produce parts with special hygienic requirements. Products for the medical and pharmaceutical sector, as well as small and micro parts for the automotive industry. Parts are moulded, post-cured, washed and packed in the clean room. The clean room is certified under ISO 14644-1 class 7 and 8, and GMP C and D.
Every silicone part with direct contact to the human tissue has to be post cured to burn off volatiles that remain after the initial cure process. Post curing also improves the cross link density of the material. This has a positive effect on many properties including but not limited to: temperature stability and improved compression set. In the post curing process the parts will be heated up to 200 degrees, for 2-4 hours depending on the product and customer demand.
In the starlim//sterner control center we visualize, control and monitor several technical systems of the company, for example the cooling of injection molding machines, air conditioning, compressed air, heating and other processes of the company groups locations. The central position of the control station enables the monitoring of the system with clear design for fastest possible interventions and best alarm evaluation.