LNP Engineering Plastics Inc.'s material technology and international manufacturing base have helped the firm land a supply agreement with Encap Motor Corp., a major producer of spindle motors for computer disc drives.
Exton, Pa.-based LNP could see its Konduit-brand thermally conductive compounds used in encapsulations on Encap's spindle motors as early as the end of this year, said LNP Americas President Richard Burns.
Encap, headquartered in San Francisco, will use a Konduit grade based on polyphenylene sulfide to replace several aluminum parts. The companies expect the move to reduce Encap's production costs by 30 percent and reduce noise levels.
Konduit also should offer improved thermal conductivity, according to Encap technology director Dennis Lieu.
``As the motor heated up, [older] encapsulation materials would expand ... causing the wire to break prematurely and the device to fail,'' Lieu said. ``Konduit composites help remove heat from the coils and dissipate it into the base plate.''
Cost will be reduced mainly through reducing the number of parts in the spindle motor from 12 to four, Burns said.
``We're replacing a lot of metal here,'' he added. ``Disc drives are being made more powerful and smaller, which drives up the heat and creates a greater demand for thermal conductivity.''
An international presence also was key to the Encap project, since the firm contracts with a number of Southeast Asian injection molders to produce its engines. LNP can supply those molders with Konduit made in the Seremban, Malaysia, plant it opened last year.
``Being global was absolutely crucial to this project,'' LNP's Burns said.
LNP can produce 3 million pounds of Konduit in Seremban annually and can crank out a similar amount in Thorndale, Pa. The firm also makes Konduit grades based on polypropylene and nylon.