Guest Article: Atomic Oil leading the way in Injection moulding with Engel

Uses solar energy to power the entirety of its plastics injection process

ATOMIC Oil, an exclusive supplier of sample bottles and vials to the African oil and other industries, is now manufacturing its own plastic test tubes and vials in-house, thanks to an Engel e-Mac 160 injection moulding machine.

The South African company provides and distributes on-site condition-based monitoring oil analysis equipment and provides remote asset management solutions to clients in various industries in Africa.

Atomic Oil used to outsource the manufacturing of their plastic sample bottles and vials, but due to inconsistencies in supply, as well as power interruptions, Sean Cooley, CEO of Atomic Oil, decided to go the in-house route.

Atomic has been using the Engel IMM e- Mac 160 for six months now. Initially Cooley considered hiring a full-time machine operator for the Engel machine, however, GreenTech Machinery, local agents for Engel, reassured him that with Greentech’s help, such a resource was not needed.

Interesting is that Atomic Oil uses solar energy to power its entire plastics injection process as well as other areas of production. Martin Snyman of Voltdrop Electrical, carefully outlined the project’s requirements with Cooley, and have installed a solar power setup that enables Atomic Oil electrical independence and the ability to potentially operate around the clock.

We spoke to Cooley about the advantages that the new Engel e-Mac 160 injection moulding machine has offered.

What positive impact has the Engel e-Mac 160 had on your company’s productivity?

Because an electrical machine can perform numerous processes at once, production runs were enhanced, and cycle times were lowered to just a few seconds.

Engel e-flomo was included with the e-mac 160 to digitally control precise material flow and temperature, enhancing short regulating times.

What is the capacity of the modular Solar solution?

Eighty solar panels in total supplying 45kwh through the photovoltaic solution. Additional inverters supply up to 90kva in total when combined with batteries.

Uninterrupted workforce production for the Engel e-Mac and outstanding reliability have also proven vastly beneficial.

What are the Maintenance requirements for the Solar PV?

Every three months the connections, panels and cables are physically checked, especially for hot spots. Ongoing monitoring ensures that anything outside of the usual is noticed and addressed. The system includes an App to monitor usage and savings.

What has been your ROI thus far?

Atomic Oil is saving between R40 000 and R60 000 per month on its electricity bill. More importantly, I don’t have to worry about my production and power supply, it just works!

What would your advice be to companies looking to invest in solar power at this scale in a similar environment?

Conduct a proper and thorough study and don’t rely on rough estimates. Look at the peaks and troughs of your usage. Add a logger to your electrical supply for a week or two to establish total consumption. Then, always use an installer recommended by the OEM that will provide after-sales service and maintenance.

Share This