The technical innovations of the past century have led to amazing advances in all fields of science and technology. In the 20th century, manufacturing required large capital investment, which has in part led to a modern world dominated by large companies. However, in the last thirty years, the evolution of compact, affordable computer systems and rapid-prototyping machines enables individuals and small companies with limited capital to take their ideas and make them into practical prototypes. The step of taking these ideas and prototypes to production proved to be a challenge because of the large capital investment required including expensive tooling and large equipment.
This molding machine can mold parts larger than the machine.
Recently, Omachron has made major breakthroughs in the small-scale manufacturing of plastics and metal components which minimize the capital, space, and power requirements for taking ideas and prototypes to production. Just as the “eat locally grown food ” movement of the last 20 years has changed many of our eating habits, Omachron hopes to inspire a “buy locally made products” movement where local entrepreneurs will economically manufacture their products whether they need a few dozen parts per year or hundreds of parts per day. This will benefit entrepreneurs, workers, consumers and the environment.
In 1959, Volkwagen ran a very successful advertising campaign for its new Beetle model with a very simple slogan: “Think Small”. The campaign – directed by Helmut Krone and written by Julian Koenig sparked a turning point in the American auto industry which was dominated by large vehicles of the 1950's and was competing with the emerging “muscle car era” of the 1960's. Until that point, large cars and “muscle cars” were the vehicle of choice of most people and very few would have even considered surrendering their prized possession for a modest-looking alternative. However, the smaller, cheaper, less complex and more efficient, Volkswagen would become a major player and led to a positive transformation in the U.S. Automobile Industry.
Similarly, a decade later the Nucor Corporation developed the “mini mill” also known as the truncated steel mill. Mini mills were smaller, less capital intensive and could be built close to their end customers, thereby displacing the large steel companies which had dominated the marketplace.
The technical team of Omachron Science has been developing new manufacturing technologies for over 40 years, using as a guide the mantra of always striving to do more with less. That mantra has now evolved into memorable mottos: Make More with Less™ and The Power of Small™. The new Omachron machines extrude, mold, cast, and form plastics and metals and enable low-cost, distributed manufacturing. These machines are a fraction of the size and cost of conventional machines, and use only a fraction of the energy of the machines that they are replacing. These machines use tooling which can be made for a fraction of the cost and in a fraction of the time it takes for conventional tooling.
The initial commercial offerings are now available. They include plastic extrusion and plastic injection-molding machines that are smaller than an office desk and use an amount of power similar to a household stove. They are designed to make parts ranging from microscopic, high-precision items with features smaller than a human hair, to large parts such as a car bumper.
These machines have a wide range of applications, from small startups in a garage, to the manufacture of commercially meaningful volumes, to large part manufacturers who require as few as a dozen parts per year, to companies requiring moderate to large quantities.
The small size, lower energy use, and low-cost tooling of Omachron’s Plasti-Block™ molding process also enables distributed manufacturing, thereby reducing shipping costs and the associated logistics issues.
The Plasti-Block™ molding process also allows the use of 100% recycled plastic as a feed material for making many types of new products. This enables the practical local recycling of plastics, transforming plastic waste into a resource with cost effective re-use.
Omachron™ - Sustainable Technologies for a Better Future™