Maplan's injection molding machinery plays a key role in positioning it as a forward-thinking, environmentally conscious company, Puffer said, because the machinery Maplan produces is the conduit to the customer. More importantly, it's the side of the company that helps clients leverage their abilities to create a more successful business.
To this end, Maplan has leaned into servo-driven technology for all of its hydraulics systems, which operate at 40 percent higher efficiency rates than the more traditional axio-piston machinery, Puffer noted.
Servo drive does this by drawing on hydraulic fluids only when needed for the manufacturing operations. Instead of running constantly, the machine functions more on-demand, using the energy and resources only as needed for task performance. The technology is akin to a start-stop feature on a vehicle, shutting down instead of idling. The biggest difference, Puffer said, is that it takes just milliseconds for the machine to resume operations whereas a vehicle may hesitate long enough that the restart is noticeable.
So why is Maplan going all-in on servo? Simply, Puffer said, it's greener. Ecologically and economically.
"You save on the wear and tear on the parts because the pump isn't constantly running," Puffer said. "There are a lot of advantages from an ROI and the long-term use perspective, where if the parts aren't wearing out as fast, you aren't draining resources. … It wears hydraulic fluid slower, so it extends the life of the fluids in the machines.
"And the biggest component, at least for us, is that you have a system that doesn't necessarily need as much cooling, so people also save on water, and in places like California (that experience droughts) that is a really big deal."
Servo-driven technology is a foundation for Maplan, and it's a technology that has become an integral part of manufacturing operations in Europe, according to Technical Sales Director JR Mohl. A majority of new machinery sold in Europe features servo-drive technology.
North America, meanwhile, is slower to transition, Mohl said, relying more heavily on the purchasing of traditional axio-piston technology. But that, he said, is changing.
"We are starting to move that mark, and people have been very receptive to it," Mohl said. " … They are looking at the long-term investment and return, and people are really starting to care about the environment."