Quadrant Creative Moulding & Systems has proved to be an important partner for leading pump producer Grundfos in the development and production of important components for the new SCALA2 domestic water booster pump. The SCALA2 is the first venture by Grundfos into the consumer market for this type of product—and is already a considerable success.
Grundfos is a leading producer of heavy-duty industrial pumps, made almost entirely out of cast and machined metal. For the SCALA2, it needed a partner who could help it in designing components that could be produced in high volumes using plastics injection molding. Quadrant Creative Moulding & Systems (Quadrant CMS) was chosen for its experience in metal-to-plastics transitions projects, as well as its know-how in design for manufacturing.
Quadrant CMS is a fully-integrated manufacturer of injection-molded systems-critical polymer applications and sub-assemblies. It prides itself on delivering customized design, tooling, molding and assembly from a single source. The company’s main manufacturing operation is in Tielt, Belgium, and it has additional operations near Budapest, Hungary.
When the development project for the SCALA2 began several months ago, Grundfos was aiming to introduce a compact water booster pump for households where mains water pressure is low and/or variable. Most of the critical internal parts in this new development needed to be made in plastics instead of metal (mostly cast aluminum) because Grundfos wanted to create a pump that made so little noise that it could be located close to—and even inside—the house.
Injection molding would also enable Grundfos to create more complex parts than is possible with metal casting, and so allow it to design a pump that was more compact than any it has produced to date.
What followed once the companies agreed to work together was a period of intensive cooperation between the development teams within Grundfos in Denmark and the project team at Quadrant CMS, including CAD- and quality engineers in Belgium.
All parts designated for co-development needed to be engineered for molding in high volume series, using thermoplastics capable of withstanding high pressures and which were also approved by national authorities such as WRAS, NSF and ACS for contact with drinking water.
Quadrant and Grundfos together developed various parts, including components for the water inlet and outlet and for the non-return valve system, as well as for the housing for the turbine that is at the heart of the booster compartment. For the most critical parts, prototype injection molds were produced, while for others, functional prototype parts were created using laser sintering, a form of 3D printing that creates parts with characteristics close to those of injection molded parts.
Later on in the development project, the two development teams were joined by members from the Grundfos New Product Introduction (NPI) team at its production plant in Serbia, where the SCALA2 was due to be produced, together with a team from Quadrant CMS Hungary, where the serial production of the parts would be carried out.
Production molds were designed by Quadrant and built to its specifications, either in-house or at approved mold makers. All fine-tuning was carried out within Quadrant. Production of the first final parts, all of them in a polyphenylene ether/polystyrene blend, began in early 2016. The SCALA2 was launched on numerous markets around the world over the course of the year.
“With the engineering teams from the two companies working very closely together on the development of the SCALA2 pump, we have been able to achieve a perfect result,” says Grundfos Department Head Mikkel Essenbæk. “We have been able to balance product and production process demands to an extremely satisfying level.”
The SCALA2 pump has already achieved success around the world, thanks to its compact dimensions, low noise (more or less the same as a domestic dishwasher), ease of installation, its simple controls, and finally its high reliability.
“This has been an important showcase project for Grundfos, and it is enabling the company to gain prominence in consumer markets around the world, breaking out from its traditional industrial markets,” says Jan Claeys, Account Manager at Quadrant CMS. “We hope that the success of the SCALA2 will lead to further collaborative projects between the two companies.”
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About Quadrant CMS
Quadrant Creative Moulding & Systems (Quadrant CMS) is a fully-integrated manufacturer of injection-moulded, systems critical polymer applications and sub-assemblies. The company prides itself on delivering customized design, tooling, moulding and assembly from a single source. Quadrant CMS is headquartered in Tielt, Belgium, and has additional operations near Budapest, Hungary. This means the company can act as a true partner to world-class manufacturers in the automotive, beverage packaging, medical supplies, electrical equipment and other industries. Quadrant CMS is committed to state-of-the-art technology and industry-leading quality, demonstrated by its ISO 16949-2002 and ISO 14001 certifications and its compliance to the GMP and HACCP regulations.
About the Quadrant group
Quadrant is a leading global manufacturer of high-performance thermoplastic materials in the form of semi-finished products and finished parts. The company has locations in 21 countries and more than 2 700 employees. Its specialty engineering thermoplastics and composites are superior in performance to metals and other materials and are used in a wide range of applications, primarily in the capital goods industry. The company is continuously developing new areas of applications in close cooperation with industry leaders in a broad variety of customer markets. The Quadrant Group is well prepared to further expand its market leadership position.
Supporting the vision of our holding company, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (MCHC), Quadrant is committed to the realization of KAITEKI, “a sustainable condition which is comfortable for people, society and the Earth, transcending time and generations”. To realize this vision, the MCHC Group engages in corporate activities that provide products, technologies and services based on the comprehensive capabilities of the Group in the Performance Products Domain, Industrial Materials Domain and Health Care Domain, with chemistry as the basis of our activities. We jointly express and promote our commitment under the corporate brand THE KAITEKI COMPANY.
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