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25-Year-Old Drive Shuts Down Plastics Manufacturer’s Production

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January 30, 2018


A composite plastics manufacturer’s 25-year-old extruder drive system was down, shutting down production and costing thousands of dollars per hour.  The obsolete drive system could not be repaired. With no replacements on hand, the plant manager began calling all of his sister plants across the country to see if another plant had a replacement drive on hand; none were able to help, but a plant AIC has worked with in the past suggested AIC may be their best bet for a quick solution. AIC received an emergency breakdown call from the plant on a Monday at 3:00pm. With the plant a 7-hour drive away, time was critical and the race was on.


AIC is known for having a large inventory on hand for critical turnaround times. Working by phone with the customer, we collected the information we needed to reverse engineer the design for a new Siemens 250 horsepower (hp) 6RA80 SINAMICS DC drive system and new custom control panel. Working back and forth with the customer for a quick design approval, we started the build.


Having taken the call at 3:00pm, we worked straight out on the design and build into the evening and early morning until it was completed at 1:00am. The 250 hp 6RA80 SINAMICS DC drive system and new custom control panel were loaded onto the FedEx Custom Critical truck by 1:00am for the expedited door-to-door delivery. The key to our success in helping this customer was twofold. First, our company culture of servicing the customer and going above and beyond the call of duty to help a customer, as shown by our employee’s willingness work nonstop well past normal operating hours to get the job done. The second key to our success in helping this customer is our large on-hand inventory; we had all 12 hardware parts needed in stock, including the Siemens drive.