Vibrom s.r.o, a family-run company based in Trebechovice pod Orebem, near Hradec Kralove, the Czech Republic, has expanded its manufacturing facilities to meet customer growth and increasing production volumes. The expansion was marked with a ceremonial opening on June 20, 2018, attended by eighty, including staff, customers and business partners. Following the opening, PIM International spoke to Alzbeta Bronckersova, Process Engineer at Vibrom, about the expanded facilities and the growth which is driving them.
Speaking on the reasoning behind the expansion, Bronckersova stated, “Our existing customers are implementing more and more products in metal and we needed to increase our capacity. We also recognised the need to embrace the latest technologies and adapt to the recent industry trends. In particular, we see a demand for the production of much bigger parts than those that are typically associated with MIM production.”
The new facilities include an Arburg 420S Allrounder injection moulding machine with Regloplas Variotherm mould temperature controllers, a Kuka 6-axis CNC robot and a custom-built sintering furnace produced by Czech company Clasic using retort and heating elements from Plansee. Kuka’s 6-axis robot, stated Bronckersova, offers particularly interesting possibilities for the company; “It can do some post-processing on green parts during the moulding cycle. We have developed one application where it is capable of drilling six threads in one part after injection moulding.”
The addition of a custom-built furnace was also critical, stated Bronckersova. “Existing customers are implementing more and more products and the volumes are getting bigger. We were in need of doubling our capacity,” she stated. “So a furnace was developed to handle our low alloy parts, sintering just in nitrogen.”
Vibrom first introduced Metal Injection Moulding into its PIM portfolio in 2012, with its first MIM production hall being opened in 2014. By 2016, the company reported that it was focused on the production of complex MIM and CIM parts with high dimensional tolerances, typically starting at volumes of around 5,000 pieces.
Speaking to PIM International in June, Bronckersova looked ahead to the company’s potential development over the next five years: “We are expecting to produce parts in higher volumes, and to be producing more challenging and heavier parts,” she stated. Vibrom also sees its material offering developing in the near future. Currently, the company offers only those feedstocks available as part of the portfolios of BASF and PolyMIM, but Bronckersova stated that it aims to start producing its own feedstock from less common materials such as H13 (DIN 1.2344 tool steel) in the near future. “This is a project which we would like to start working on from the beginning of 2019,” she concluded.