Stretch Reel : Replacing metal with plastic to reduce costs and provide product improvement
Mastsystem Int'l Oy, a Finnish company that produces mobile radio masts, chose us to design, develop, test, tool and supply a complete guy reel including cleat.
Originally, Mastsystem used a sand casting to produce an aluminium stretch reel, fitted with a standard cleat, to tension guy lines on a new mast. Whilst the sand cast tooling was low cost the part price was high. As their original product became established, and sales grew, they wanted to improve appearance and reduce part cost and so decided to look at a plastic part.
Mastsystem were happy with the basic design of the alloy cast part. However, the design alteration needed to consider the properties of plastic and selection of the correct screw to hold the cleat onto plastic rather than aluminium.
Due to the arctic conditions in which the masts are used by the military, material selection was crucial. We worked closely with its suppliers to select a material that combined both acceptable mechanical and thermal properties with cost.
We were able to contribute significantly to the design specification using experience of manufacturing rope holding devices for the marine industry. Tensile, impact and environmental tests were carried out on sample mouldings concluding in some sections being increased in thickness. This resulted in a very strong part of an acceptable weight.
We produce the finished parts at our UK factory, using screws from a selected supplier. The finished assembly is then exported to Finland. A competitive price has been achieved through selective purchasing and single piece flow in production.