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Adapting to industrial challenges with Industry 4.0


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Team Plastique specializes in the transformation of plastic into technical parts and sub-assemblies. With 30 years of expertise in this field it has recognized know-how across its five core activities of thermoforming, vacuum laminating, machining, assembly, and pressure forming, as well as logistics. Most recently, it has become involved in the demands and opportunities of Industry 4.0 in its production processes; advantages that will be integrated in the new production plant.

“All the business indicators point to continued growth for Team Plastique in the coming years,” states CEO Régis Sauvion. “By expanding our means of production in this way, we will be able to respond to the increasing demand and ensure we have the production capacity to meet our clients’ needs in the future.”

At present, Team Plastique generates annual turnover of 20 million EUR. A 10% increase to 22 million EUR is targeted for this year. Investing in Industry 4.0 technologies will help the company to achieve this target. “We are poised on the cusp of major changes in our sector,” outlines Mr. Sauvion. “While we want to preserve our expertise in our traditional areas of activity such as tool making, thermoforming and assembly, it is vital that we embrace the new technical possibilities available to make us even more efficient.”

First and foremost here is investment in robotics and automation. Team Plastique is still a way off from installing fully automated production lines but it is committed to the use of digitalization, automation and robotization.

“We have been actively involved in Industry 4.0 technologies for the past two years and are very encouraged by the results,” states Mr. Sauvion. “We use poly-articulated robots and cobots in production alongside human operators and have automated control tools for mass-produced parts. There is also a digital tablet at each workstation to ensure that all documents are up to date and that change requests are acted on immediately and to generate quality alerts following quality deviations that may have been observed. The tablets also reduce the paper trail of all of these vital tasks, which goes towards helping us meet our sustainability goals.”

Régis Sauvion
Team Plastique has been heavily involved in developing new Industry 4.0-compatible production processes which can be seen in its new robotics and automated capacities. Régis SauvionCEO

Team Plastique is a contract supplier and produces parts and subsets in accordance with the specifications laid out by its customers. Its main customer market is the aviation industry, which accounts for half of its business, followed by general industry such as the automotive sector, medical technology, camping vehicles, forklifts, nautism and the food industry.

“We form what is referred to in the industry as thick plastic parts with thicknesses of between 0.5 and 10 mm,” explains Mr. Sauvion. “Our traditional speciality lies in applying decorative films to complex plastic parts. It took us two years to perfect the vacuum forming technique by which we can achieve a perfect finish, even on components with complicated geometries.”

In a third step, Team Plastique assembles the parts to a complete component or sub-assembly that is then supplied to the customer ready for integration into their production line.

As far as possible, or as far as customers allow, Team Plastique uses recycled plastic in the components it makes. “We collect and sort the scrap plastic produced during our production process and return it to our suppliers who turn it back into blanks that can be processed again with virtually no loss in quality,” explains Mr. Sauvion. “Nevertheless, this is not permitted by the strict regulations governing the aviation industry and the food sector so that our efforts to recycle are limited on this score.”

Thanks to its expertise and precision, Team Plastique is a well-known name in the sector and the company is respected for its ability to deliver high quality parts on time. “We make all of the tools necessary to produce the required parts in-house which allows us to react quickly to customer requests and also keep quality standards high,” notes Mr. Sauvion.

The company handover ensures that Team Plastique retains its independence. Shareholders will be the new CEO as well as other members of the management team. “Last year, we increased the capacity of our logistics operation to 1,500 m² and the new production unit will add 4,500 m² of production capacity,” says Mr. Sauvion. “The new plant will focus exclusively on orders for the aviation sector while the old site, which has also been extended, will deal with orders from other industry sectors. Within the next five years, we aim to increase turnover to 25 million EUR. Thanks to the forward planning of Didier Elin and the hard work and commitment of our skilled workforce, the future is assured for Team Plastique.”

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