M2 Engineering AB built its North American business with small and midsize replicators, but the Stockholm, Sweden-based production system supplier is finding ways to cut cycle time and appeal to the biggest optical media players.
With a new system, M2 guarantees a cycle time of less than 21/2 seconds and is pushing the envelope to reach two seconds by year's end. Other production systems generally guarantee a cycle time of three seconds.
``We can run the machinery faster,'' said Stefan Stockhaus, M2 president and chief executive officer.
M2 targets the industry majors with its SQ200 production system, introduced in May and scheduled for an October roll-out. M2 has collaborated with and pushed molding machine makers, toolmakers and, for anticipated polymer developments, material suppliers including GE Advanced Materials researchers in Pittsfield, Mass.
M2's exploration focuses on the bell-curve-like ratio between cooling time and temperature and takes time out through close integration between molding machine and the optical-media line.
``We had to make the line almost like an [air conditioning] unit on the inside,'' said Bill Laursen, president of subsidiary M2 America Corp. of Portland, Maine. ``We take the hotter substrate and set it in a stable, cool environment prior to processing in the finishing line.''