Interview with Pedro Costa

Dieffenbacher: What was Inapal able to achieve because of the modernization?
Pedro Costa: All improvements we hoped to achieve with the modernization were realized:

  • Reliable systems with high system availability
  • Production of technically complex parts at shorter cycle times, thanks to shorter reaction times and higher speeds
  • Increased production process accuracy
  • Improved system diagnostics
  • Greater productivity

Dieffenbacher: Please briefly introduce yourself and your company.
Pedro Costa: I am an engineer (mechatronics) and the Head of the Systems and Maintenance department at Inapal Plásticos since 1998. Inapal was founded in 1973 and, at that time, produced metal parts, in particular, crankcases and mudguards. In 1985, we started the production of casted parts using the SMC procedure. In 2004, Inapal inaugurated a production site in the Autoeuropa (VW) industrial park in Palmela. I was co-responsible for monitoring the construction of the site that started production in 2005. Since then I have been responsible for the maintenance service at these two production sites. Today, we produce parts of fiber composites using methods such as SMC, GMT and LFT-D.

Dieffenbacher: To produce parts for the automotive industry you use a 2000 t Hoesch press and a 1000 t Dieffenbacher press, along with other machines. How long have you been using these presses?
Pedro Costa: Both presses were bought second-hand and have been in use at Inapal since the beginning of 1998.

Dieffenbacher: Why did you opt for a modernization?
Pedro Costa: On the one hand, we needed more modern and reliable systems to expand our production capacities and, on the other hand, we wanted to produce more complex parts at shorter cycle times.

Dieffenbacher: Which parts of the presses were reconditioned?
Pedro Costa: A modern control system was installed in the PHP1250 Dieffenbacher press, and the proportional technology of the hydraulics was refitted. The entire parallel motion system of the Hoesch press was refitted, and the corresponding control system was replaced by a modern system.

Dieffenbacher: What is your overall impression of the modernization concept carried out by Dieffenbacher?
Pedro Costa: Coordination with Dieffenbacher went so smoothly throughout the project that both systems started producing ahead of schedule.