Synthotec  image

The Company ownership changed in 1990 and there followed a period of growth and consolidation as the UK market leader for plastic bearing cages, working closely with market leading bearing manufacturers.




There has been growing demand in recent years for higher efficiency bearings featuring lower friction loss, saving energy and conserving resources and at the same time increase the performance and competitiveness.

Whilst the basic design of a bearing has not changed a great deal in the last 60 years, typical bearings have resulted in new cage designs increasing the service life and static load ratings of their original counterparts.

Traditional materials used for bearing cages include steel and brass.

Typical applications of bearings include:-

-           Gear boxes

-          Automotive power transmission

-          Planetary gear sets

-          Air compressors

-          Industrial plant and tools



The origins of Synthotec were in the early 1970’s as the in-house injection moulding department of a UK bearing manufacturer.

The Company ownership changed in 1990 and there followed a period of growth and consolidation as the UK market leader for plastic bearing cages, working closely with market leading bearing manufacturers.

This close development with customers provides the best possible quality of product, consistently at the lowest possible cost.

Synthotec include the ability to develop production processes including design of moulds that

enable manufacture of high volume products to precise dimensions.



The demands on production in early 2014 of plastic cages due to the ever increasing demand of next generation low friction plastic cages manufactured from 2 grades of nylon including PA66. Synthotec had to look at ways of creating a higher throughput, and more efficient drying of the materials whilst at the same time creating space for the new system and new machinery on the shopfloor.

As an existing supplier since 1998 Motan Colortronic was approached to discuss the existing system and the new requirements of Synthotec.

A visit by Motan Colortronic Sales & Technical personnel to site and discussions with the customer established the following:-

Currently 2 nylon grades are dried via an existing central Motan MDE 70 with 2 x 150 Litre drying bins and in addition to this 2 x single beside the machine dryers are used.

Due to increased output of materials the existing drying system could not cope with the new output requirements generating on average 12 hours lost start up machine time on Monday mornings costing £264.00 per week.

The existing MDE 70 is located in a corner of the mould shop connected to the machine via a central manifold system.

This space is required in future for an additional machine capacity and automation equipment currently 13 to 15 + in the near future.

Current machine sizes range from 60 – 150T, shot weights 1g – 120g multi cavity tools.

Currently the existing outdated logic conveying control will not allow for future growth from the existing 13 machines.

A proposal picture of old logic control was submitted in early 2014 covering a new smart dryer and conveying control from which Synthotec evaluated in depth the proposal from which Motan Colortronic were once again invited to discuss the updated requirements of Synthotec.

New up-dated requirements were as follows:-

-           New smart fully automatic drying system with 4 drying hoppers for 4 materials.

-          New hopper loaders to fill the 4 drying bins to be located on a mezzanine floor to create floor space, conveyed from 4 bins over 40 – 50 Metres.

-          New manifold system located on the mezzanine floor to enable simple changeover of material.

-          New Canbus based conveying control to replace the old logic control with FIFO (first in first out scanning software to optimise the system capacity.

-          Conveying from the drying hopper to the machines with dehumidified air and line purge facility after every conveying cycle to ensure no moisture pick up of material in the pipes.

-          Designed and installed during a Summer shutdown to ensure no lost production.

-          Energy saving devices and reducing scrap rates and improved production of parts.

-          Help quantify and justify the investment with savings and gains for the Company Management.

-          Help Synthotec with savings and gains to apply for a green funding initiative set up to help SME’s.



Motan Colortronic requited Synthotec as per quotation 14802, and enclosed floor diagram in April 2014 asking Synthotec relevant questions and issues to enable them to carry out and submit on cost savings and benefits as part of the proposal to be used for Company Management and the green funding initiative. In addition to this the old dryer supplied in 1998 was evaluated for its energy usage and compared to the new dryer as part of this proposal. 



The current drying units consume on average of 11kW/hr.

The new Luxor A smart dryer with stable drying consumes an average of 5kW/Hr, based on running 24 hours, 6 days per week/48 weeks per year and an average of 8.825p/kWh equals a running cost for the old MDE dryer of approximately £62,726.40.

Based on the same calculations the new Luxor A dryer would have a running cost of approximately £30,499.20 saving £32, 226.80 per year.

The supplied Luxor A dryer is this case would automatically detect non-use or low usage of material, compensate the drying conditions to save vast amounts of energy, maintain consistent drying conditions so eliminating damage of material due to over-drying.



We would expect from this a reduction in downtime on Monday mornings due to material related issues of approximately 5 hours, saving £110.00 per week or £5280.00 per year in direct labour costs/additional machine up time.

The reduced downtime on Monday mornings would also have a cost saving of material over the 5 hours of approximately £40 per week or £1,920 per year.

Due to the consistent drying of the material it is estimated a reduction in scrap products of 0.5% saving an estimated £5,000 per year.

The new Canbus FIFO conveying control integrated into the new Luxor A Dryer would also reduce stoppage of the machine due to lack of material saving an estimated £1,500 per year.



Total saving per year £44,198.80

Total Investment £63,924.88

Payback 1.466 years.


The system was delivered and installed as requested after gaining the Green Initiative Grant during the Summer shutdown of 2014, according to the requested plan.

The project clearly demonstrates what can be achieved with working closely together as customer and supplier and in this case achieving a financial cost saving and quality gain by the customer.




10 February 2016

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