As part of their core sustainability values, Cascade Cart Solutions strives to use more recycled material and reduce scrap. For Cascade’s roll-to-curb cart business, ENGEL provided a 4400 US ton ENGEL duo machine equipped with iQ weight control software. The result was an increase in production speed, process control efficiency and part weight consistency for the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based molder.
ENGEL takes Cascade Cart Solutions to new heights of sustainability
Quick installation to meet an urgent demand
In 2020, Cascade sought a way to improve upon their already high standards for increasing the use of recycled materials and reducing scrap, particularly for the production of roll-to-curb trash and recycling carts. And they needed a solution — fast.
ENGEL delivered and installed an ENGEL duo 4400 US ton injection molding machine equipped with ENGEL’s iQ weight control software in October 2020.
“We selected the ENGEL duo 4400 US ton to support a major pillar of our production — the roll-to-curb cart business,” said Plant Manager Ron Hoppa at Cascade Engineering. “It was installed quickly and we were running carts in a very timely manner.”
ENGEL then proceeded to conduct a production trial of the iQ weight control program, spearheaded by ENGEL’S Plastic Processing Engineer Josh Grasman.
“We were running about a 71-second cycle. It was a 96-gallon trash bin on a single cavity mold,” Grasman explained.
They let the machine run for 4 hours and then began the trial.
“During the trial, we changed the percentage and types of recycled material in the process and iQ weight control detected the change in the material viscosity and adjusted the process to meet this change,” Grasman continued. “This happens in real time, shot-to-shot.”
New heights of sustainability
“As one of the largest B Corps in the world, sustainability is one of Cascade’s core values,” said Cascade’s Marketing and Product Development Manager Amy Caudle.
Using business as a force for good, B Corps meet rigorous standards in social and environmental performance, transparency and legal accountability. To become a Certified B Corp requires completion of the B Impact Assessment, a demanding and thorough audit that assures companies meet certain standards in five areas: environment, workers, customers, community and governance. To maintain B Corp certification the Impact Assessment is conducted every two years.
“We are always striving to use more recycled material and are never satisfied with reaching a single target on how much recycled material we use or how we can reduce our scrap rate,” Caudle said. “The benchmark is always moving upward as well as how we can use the scrap we do have on hand to incorporate back into making our products.”
Cascade’s current goals of using 10% PCCR (post-consumer curbside recycled) material plus 40% scrap and other recyclable materials can now increase with the addition of the ENGEL with iQ weight control.
“The ENGEL iQ weight control feature has definitely helped us maintain a consistent process critical to our business,” stated Hoppa.
ENGEL’s iQ weight control software adapts the injection profile, switchover point and holding pressure profile to match the current conditions shot for shot, enabling a consistently high product quality, even with strongly fluctuating raw material quality.
“Cascade is very pleased with the ENGEL duo 4400 US ton machine with the iQ weight control option and how well it works with different materials,” said Larry Alvey, Vice President of Sales, North American Business Unit Manager Automotive for ENGEL. “They do not suffer from high scrap rates anymore.”
“Key to our partnership with ENGEL is that they help us keep sustainability at the forefront of our business — particularly because their machines can run faster and more efficiently, and, with the iQ weight control program, eliminate part inconsistencies,” Hoppa said.
The ENGEL difference
Cascade is also pleased with ENGEL’s fast machinery and quick technical support.
“What I like about the ENGEL duo is it just runs. It’s the fastest press we have. It out-produces our next best press by far in carts per week,” says Hoppa. “We’re big on process control and we want to make sure that the carts we make today are the same carts we make a year from today. The reliability and consistency of the ENGEL duo 4400 are by far my favorite features.”
“When it comes to technical support, we are always able to reach them and receive a fast response to all of our service needs,” he added.
Cascade has also recently installed a 2,500 US ton ENGEL duo at their West plant for automotive applications and will install another 4400 US ton ENGEL duo this fall.