Winzeler Gear Merges Fashion With Precision Injection Molding

Injection molder John Winzeler feels that precision molded plastic gears are haute couture, and he established a fashion program in collaboration with students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). The goal was to introduce future dress designers to the creative process his design engineers employ for gear design and plastic gear manufacturing.

He established a Fashion Gear Art Gallery at his plant and online that shows examples of

Even the machines look pretty snazzy at Winzeler Gear.

Even the machines look pretty snazzy at Winzeler Gear.

work by the dress designers, photographers, and artists.  After a press conference at a K Fair a few years back he handled out business cards with photos of a snazzy fashion model.

It’s a neat hook for a family-owned business formed in 1940 to produce stamped metal gears.

And by the way, he’s a pretty good injection molder.

Cavity pressure sensors are used at the prototype molding phase of each program developed with RJG at Winzeler Gear.  If gears molded with the prototype process meet dimensional and durability requirements, Winzeler can move more easily from prototype to production by matching the pressure fill curve template. 

All gear production is performed on horizontal Engel machines, with over 50 percent of the 39 machines in the facility being tie-bar-less. Five new hybrid tie-bar-less Engels were installed recently. The company uses a combination of linear and six-axis robots when automating their systems, along with automated box loading with bar coding traceability. The focus on automation is to ensure consistency of production and eliminate human intervention.  Some 120 million gears ship annually from the plant in Harwood Heights, Ill.

A plant wide mold transfer and storage system is used to speed mold changing. The team designed the system, including a mold cart, with storage centers located near the machine cells.  Each storage center (or mold rack) holds approximately 10 molds.

DuPont, which supplies polyacetal, is also a strategic partner.


About Doug Smock

Former Chief Editor at Plastics World and Senior Technical Editor Design News

Automotive, Industrial, Injection Molding, North America, Polyacetal , , ,

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