A new 2200 tonne injection moulding machine from Chinese manufacturer Borche has pride of place in a major expansion by Coventry-based Agema Engineering, intended to meet growing demand from the UK automotive sector.
The machine, the largest supplied into the UK from China, sits alongside five other new Borche machines, including 1200 and 800 tonners, in a newly fitted out facility, the company’s sixth in the Bedworth area. The larger machines, fitted with rotary platens and secondary injection units, will carry out multicomponent moulding on large auto components and are two platen models with auto tie bar removal for low level tool loading, while the three smaller models are toggle lock.
Agema Engineering, established by former toolmaker John Stringer in the 80s, has enjoyed dramatic five-fold growth in recent years with turnover now exceeding £16m and a workforce of more than 120. Confident of the firm’s ability to win new business, Stringer has overseen an investment programme totalling some £10m in the past three years, with Borche machines, supplied through agent Droitwich-based Plastic Machinery Sales, at its heart.
“Agema purchased the first Borche machine over three years ago and now have over 20; we have found the machines to be very reliable consistent and extremely energy efficient,” Stringer says. Analysis of the machines’ energy usage shows dramatic improvements over the firm’s older equipment, attributed to the servo driven pump system employed, which also offers lower noise and cooling requirements. Borche itself claims outstanding savings on energy consumption with machine prices up to 40% below comparable European-made equipment.
Combining toolmaking with a wide range of injection moulding, Agema is a Tier One supplier with capabilities spanning wood veneer back moulding, carpet back moulding and both over moulding and 2K moulding across a range of materials including highly glass filled nylons. The company supplies a range of interior and exterior parts as well as demanding under-bonnet components.
According to Terry O’Reilly of PMS,( Sales Director) Borche has capacity of some 800 machines a month from its two Chinese plants which have impressed Stringer, who is chairman of Agema with son Jonathon as managing director.
When PRW visited the company recently, commissioning of the equipment, which employs sophisticated Keba control systems and will be deployed with six axis robots, was underway. The new facility is expected to open this month.
Agema’s automotive customers are typically at the prestige level and the company also supplies mouldings for motor cycles.
Pix: Big Borche as supplied to Agema
John Stringer (left) and Terry O’Reilly in one of Agema’s earlier units