Agriculture Case Study
Harvester Body Panel
Customers expect their farm equipment to withstand the harshest work environments, including high vibration, constant exposure to elements, fertilizers and other chemicals, and being bombarded with rocks, clumps of dirt and debris.
Manufacturers are looking for weight reduction and lower production costs while maintaining superior aesthetics over the life of the unit.
The OEM had been using SMC panels on their harvester previously, and had a large number of customer complaints because of the back panel being too fragile for wide, long and difficult to maneuver vehicles. In addition to the prime target of improving farmers satisfaction level, the engineers came to Telene with the objectives of reducing tool costs and improving finish quality for reduced prep time before painting. The size of the part (2,40m x 1,80m), its 3-D shape and the integration of functional elements posed a significant challenge.
Telene and its customer demonstrated how using Telene with the RIM injection molding process could reduce weight by 15-20% over SMC panels, be molded using aluminum tooling with a 1 to 4 ratio and reduce cycle times to fit a 4-6 minute window. The low viscosity of Telene allowed a long flow path, enabling integration of functional elements into a large part with very little afterwork required. Telene's Class A surface and excellent paint adhesion made finish work much less labor intensive.
Replacing SMC body panels with Telene has helped this farm equipment manufacturer reduce time and labor on their production line, take weight out of their equipment (for improved fuel efficiency) and deliver a product capable of withstanding the everyday rigors of farming and still look great for years to come.