A Cheshire-based company with a world leading position in a highly specialised technology is trying to make the world….lighter.
Researchers at Cinpres Gas Injection, have developed some leading edge processes which can make many of the common or garden items used in every day life lighter, without any sacrifice in functionality or strength.
So long as the item is made of plastic there is a good chance that Cinpres technology can reduce its weight – and the theory is being applied to everything from dog kennels and furniture, to vehicle trim and components for computers.
Managing Director Jon Butler said: “Most people in industry would bite your hand off if you tell them that you can produce the same item at, say, two thirds of the weight.
“Why? Because if you reduce weight, your distribution costs drop significantly. You can carry more items with fewer trucks; you can get more of them in a ship or an aeroplane without overloading it; and you use less fuel, which is better for the environment, so you improve your carbon footprint.”
The Cinpres technology sounds simple – essentially, it allows plastic components of all shapes and sizes to be made hollow. “There are many benefits to using Cinpres technology,” said Mr Butler. “If applied correctly, lower weight parts can be manufactured with lower costs and improved quality.”
Cinpres uses either inert nitrogen gas or water to hollow-out components but the effect – an overall reduction in weight – is the same.
For car manufacturers in particular, weight reduction is currently regarded as a Holy Grail – and the VW Group is already a user. Lighter cars require less power and fuel to generate the same performance, and distribution costs can be significantly lower.
Cinpres sells its technology to plastics injection companies around the world – and has fought hard in the international courts to ensure that its patents and licenses are protected.
“It is a highly competitive market but one in which British ingenuity and know-how has delivered a package of technical solutions which answer burning questions for manufacturers around the world,” said Mr Butler.
The firm is now focused on developing its operations in the burgeoning Chinese market.
“The Chinese are desperate for raw materials to feed their growing economy, and that has driven their foreign policy, and the strategy of their manufacturing corporations,” said Mr Butler. “They are using Cinpres technology not only because it allows them to make things light – but also because they have to use less raw material. It is a critical issue for them.”
Manufacturers also say that the Cinpres technology improves their cash-flow.
“A solid block of plastic can take a long time to cool, and until it has cooled, you can’t transport it,” said Mr Butler. “Hollow components cool faster – which means you can move on to produce the next one much quicker.”
For more information visit www.cinpres.com