PEARL, MISS. - Trilogy Communications Inc. recently added two injection molding lines for its unusual process for making cable for cable television, computer, telephone and cellular applications. The 10-year-old company employs 400 and has two plants - one at its headquarters in Pearl and another in nearby Flowood,Miss. The plants have 416,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space, said James W. Wonn, executive vice president of domestic operations.
The Pearl plant added two Van Dorn Demag injection presses, bringing its total to 16, plus 60,000 square feet of space for a finished goods warehouse.
Trilogy makes a low-loss, air-dielectric cable in which air space around the cable acts as the insulator. The patented process involves molding polyethylene disks around copper cable at specific intervals.
The disks are molded onto the cable four at a time in a multicavity mold through which 12 strands of copper wire run. Since the wire moves at a steady pace through the mold, Trilogy designed and developed a special movable platform on which the injection press sits.
The press actually moves slightly more than an inch during each cycle to accommodate the continual movement of the copper cable. The cable moves through the mold and into a device that automatically cuts the runners. Low density PE is then extruded over the cable.
The disks create individually sealed cells that prevent water from migrating all along the line, minimizing damage and making repairs easy. The disks come in five sizes.
Although Trilogy does not use regrind in its molding operations, it recycles all its scrap through a dealer that separates plastic from metal. Trilogy also has its own separating device that can strip PE tubing and disks from copper wire.
Because about one-third of the company's business is international, Trilogy recently completed a jacketing production facility in China that is part of a joint venture called Trilogy Yantai Communications Co. Ltd., based in Shandong.
The copper wire with the disks molded onto it is sent to China, where the plant there extrudes the PE jacket.