Roctool Deployed by Rosti for a More Durable, Paint-Free Enclosure
Rosti turned to Roctool’s induction mold-heating technology to consolidate components in the enclosure and extend its service life.
After more than a year of researching the technology, injection molding and contract manufacturing company Rosti Group AB (Malmö, Sweden) installed its first Roctool system. Roctool’s patented technology quickly heats the tool surface by induction and then cools it rapidly.
John Kidd, regional technical director at Rosti Integrated Manufacturing Solutions (Suzhou) Co. Ltd., told Plastics Technology that his company had prior experience from past innovation with rapid heating and cooling technologies when a customer came to them seeking to eliminate painting of a cable box enclsoure.
Rosti’s innovation project team created a development tool with Roctool to prove the concept and ensure that aesthetically the component had the same finish as the painted predecessor. The original enclosure design featured three parts with gloss and matte finishes. Rosti knew Roctool would allow those different surface aesthetics in a single part. So instead of three tools molding the enclosure parts; painting one of those; and then assembling them into a single part, the finished enclosure would eject from the mold in one step.
Kidd said sustainability was the key trigger for the customer’s interest, and by switching to the Roctool process, the carbon footprint of the part was reduced by 40%. After proving out the development tool within the Rosti Innovation Lab, Rosti is now kicking off a dedicated cell for production and have ordered a second mold to further boost production. Rosti is considering linking two molding machines through a single Roctool generator, for even greater productivity.
In addition to boosting the sustainability of the product, Rosti’s application of Roctool addressed a pain point for the cable boxes. In the previous design, the main element, which was 25-mm high and featured a high-gloss painted logo, often suffered from scratches in the field or showed defects when molded. The boxes are designed for a lifetime of 9 years but often need replacement due to surface damage. With the process Rosti developed using Roctool, the customer gets a more durable surface compared to the painted version, and the box’s are expected to have longer service life in the field, further improving on the carbon footprint of the product lifecycle.
Roctool’s technology allows a variety of surface finishes to be achieved in a single part without secondary operations.
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