Manufacturing: Manufacturing Processes

“We didn’t invent this industry, we just played a major role in making it better.” - John Pavanel

Beyond our unique ability to recycle materials and reduce the cost and carbon footprint to our customers, Hematite offers a full-service solution which includes Waste-stream Recycling, Thermoforming (Vacuum and Compression), Extrusion, and Injection Moulding.

Hematite’s Thermoforming processes have been uniquely designed to be “material neutral”, which provides a wider range of solutions available to our customers.

Hematite’s vacuum forming and compression forming processes convert thermoplastic roll-fed or cut-sheet and palletized materials into a variety of formed panels and liners used in automotive applications for air, sound, and water management. Products manufactured using these methods include shallow to medium draw underbody rocker shields, engine shields, or hood liners, deep draw wheel arch liners, and various other parts with similar function based on a formed panel, cover, or liner.

Vacuum Forming

Hematite utilizes in-line as well as rotary systems. Multi-stage and/or zone controlled pre-heat ovens apply heat where needed to achieve the desired sheet temperature profile prior to forming and cooling on-mould. Moulds have multi-circuit cooling systems and our advanced formers have a wide range of functions and controls for applying the vacuum forming techniques required to meet customer requirements and to optimize the product and process.

Compression Moulding

Our experience and technology allows us to process a range of sheet materials and construction including multi-layer non-woven materials and reinforced composites, and our forming capabilities include full size underbody panels or deep draw wheel arch liners. Continuous production lines for thermoplastic materials apply heat using multi-stage, multi-zone ovens prior to forming and cooling under tonnage. Otherwise for materials with thermosetting properties heat is applied through the mould while forming.

 

Extrusion and Injection Moulding

Our extrusion lines are another example of the processes available at Hematite. Based on acoustic and material property targets, recycled PVC, EVA and TEO’s are ground and blended into individual recipes designed to meet customer specific requirements such as tensile, tear, stiffness and specific gravity.  These extruded materials are customizable to our customer’s needs.  Further value added extrusion capabilities include inline lamination of decoupler materials for enhanced acoustics such as polyurethane foam, PET, and cotton shoddy, as well as plastic films for adhesion and water intrusion functionality. The extrusion process enables Hematite to provide our customers with acoustic and water barrier solutions which are available as inline die cuts, sheet goods or rolled good formats. Consistent with our Reform™ approach, trim scrap is returned to our closed loop recycling process.

Working with our Strategic Partners, Hematite has developed techniques for the efficient injection molding of blended recycled materials. Products include body plugs, deflectors, air dams & duct adaptors, WAL sections, etc. Parts are manufactured from PP, PVC & TEO and are all formulated, using post-industrial recycled materials, to meet the strictest of automotive standards.

Trimming and Assembly

Perimeter trim, holes, and other cut-out features used for attachment, fit, or function are accomplished using various cutting methods such as high pressure water, 3D bypass, or kiss-cut trimming. Custom assembly machines are used to attach pins, clips, grommets, washers and like components used for on-vehicle assembly or function-specific components such as heat shields and ducts. Our product identification and packing methods meet strict automotive requirements.