Revolutionizing Lights-Out Manufacturing
Since the company’s inception, PCI’s Morse Drive facility has expanded from an original size of 10,000 square feet to its current size of 40,000 square feet. The facility houses 47 fully-automated manufacturing cells (35 – 500 ton) and is home to our entire administrative, business development and engineering team. Morse Drive is also home to “Automation Lane”. This encompasses new technologies in automated insert molding as well as automated layer packing of highly engineered components.
The Bunsen Drive facility has operated on a fully-automated, “lights-out” basis since its opening in 2011. After nearly four years in operation and peaked production capabilities, 2016 marked a notable year when a 23,000 square foot expansion was made to the facility allowing for an additional 14 manufacturing cells to be implemented, doubling the expected number of cells from 20 to 40.
The fundamental premise of the manufacturing strategy at Bunsen Drive is to run the facility “lights out,” with no direct labor used to produce components. State of the art material handling systems, part conveyance systems, and robotics allow parts to be produced without the need for human involvement. This is the growth strategy for Plastic Components Inc. and this is how the company remains globally competitive.
Bunsen Drive is the future of manufacturing and is in fact, one of its kind. The United States Government issued PCI a patent to validate the processes that take place within the facility. Every detail from the lighting to the part conveyance system, has been meticulously planned. This attention to the little nuances of a manufacturing plant is what separates this facility from others in the world. Infrastructure expansions will set the stage for the additional production presses.
The acquisition of a five-ton crane now allows the facility to be outfitted with larger machines. This will provide PCI and our customers the ability to spread the highly efficient manufacturing process across a wide array of press sizes, depending on demand. PCI looks forward to Bunsen Drive being a key area of growth.