Case Studies


Case Study #1

Problem: Shortly after 9-11, a customer unexpectedly found itself needing to run product for the treatment of Anthrax, in addition to its usual product line. They decided to overhaul an unreliable machine. Typically, this kind of overhaul would have taken 8 weeks. Given the circumstances, they needed it completed more quickly.

Solution: IIM offered to perform the overhaul in 4 weeks, at no additional charge, as a contribution to the war on terror.

Result: Upon completion of the overhaul, the customer was delighted to learn that the efficiency had increased to 98.4 percent. Previously, this machine performed at 90 percent efficiency. Just the extra 8.4 percent increase would result in an extra 126 capsules of output per minute. This alone would mean an additional $54,000 worth of output daily.

Case Study #2

Problem: On occasion, encapsulation personnel would find the need to adjust only one side of the Bead Feed Assembly. Unfortunately, the OEM’s original design only offers a single adjustment for all of the positions.

Solution: IIM offered an alternative design, enabling the customer to adjust individual rows of tooling independently of one another.

Result: The customer was able to produce more accurate weights, thereby increasing uptime and producing more sellable product.

Case Study #3

Problem: A technician notified us that their OEM sorting block tooling was scratching the brand name off of the capsules during orientation. The technician’s attempts to communicate with the OEM’s U.S. office only resulted in frustration. Once the language barrier was finally breached, the technician was dismayed to learn that the OEM would not make any recommendations or special accommodations, insisting that the problem was with the capsules.

Solution: IIM offered sorting blocks manufactured with a surface finish superior to that of the OEM.

Result: The customer installed our tooling and resolved the problem involving the brand name being scratched off of the capsules. This resulted in long term savings through elimination of a quality defect, increased sellable product and increased productivity.

Case Study #4

Problem: Sticky formulation on an encapsulator required maintenance personnel to stop the machine every 3-4 hours, dismantle the machine, wash the segment blocks and then resume production.

Solution: IIM offered alternative tooling solutions, including plating and micro-polishing, in order to maintain steady output and reduce downtime. IIM also offered a machine upgrade (also available to Bosch and Zanasi machines), which would support the separation of capsules and clean the segment block tooling better than anything the OEM could offer.

Result: The customer opted to upgrade its machine, and as a result, the machine produced 16,000,000 capsules of product without once stopping. When the machine finally did stop running, it was merely due to running out of product, not capsule separation problems.

Case Study #5

Problem: Our customer complained that excessive powder, captured by the OEM’s concave closing pin design, was causing dimples in the capsules. Also, the machine would occasionally go out of synch, causing the closing pins to score the bottom of the lower segment blocks, basically destroying the lower segment blocks.

Solution: IIM offered upgraded shear closing pins that would shed powder during operation and reduce the likelihood of damage to the lower segment blocks.

Result: Our customer resolved the capsule dimpling issue. Additionally, these closing pins were hardened such that they would snap when confronted with a shear load, rather than destroying multiple lower segment blocks; thereby minimizing the costs, increasing uptime and reducing downtime.

Case Study #6

Problem: A machine operator notified us that encapsulation machinery in his facility would occasionally go out of synch, causing the ejection pin tooling to score the bottom of the lower segment blocks, thereby destroying them.

Solution: IIM offered upgraded ejection pins, ground and hardened such that when confronted with a shear load, they would snap rather than damaging the lower segment block.

When the machine occasionally goes out of synch, the ejection pins shear instead of destroying multiple lower segment blocks, thereby minimizing the replacement tooling costs, increasing uptime and reducing downtime, producing “more product out the door.”

Case Study #7

Problem: The customer would experience capsule separation problems with their tooling, when the vacuum system was impaired by powder accumulating in the vacuum lines.

Solution: IIM offered an alternative for this particular machine, which enhanced the vacuum flow.

Result: The customer experienced significantly better separation for longer periods of time, overcoming the marginal powder build-up taking place in the vacuum system.

Case Study #8

Problem: Our customer was experiencing excessive powder loss with their tooling setups on their German-made encapsulation machinery.

Solution: IIM offered to overhaul the machine, in order to address these tooling and wear issues.

Result: Upon placing the overhauled machine side by side with one of their existing encapsulation machines of the same vintage and model, running identical products on both, the customer experienced 7 kilograms less product loss per batch. This equated to a savings of $5,000 per batch for this overhauled machine.

Case Study #9

Problem: The customer experienced excessive powder loss in the dosing station due to poorly documented OEM procedural setups.

Solution: IIM developed a special setup tool to allow the customer to dial-in the dosing disc separational distance between the tamping ring and the dosing disc.

Results: The customer was able to dial-in their thickness within 0.0005 of an inch. This enabled the customer to experiment more accurately with proper procedures and setup distances, resulting in a significant reduction in powder loss.