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Knoxville, Tenn., July 27, 2020…Innovative Engineering Solutions (SOLING) was founded in 2014 by Javier Moreno, a leading executive for multiple composites manufacturing firms in the Colombia and the Andean region. Despite being a young company in the market, Mr. Moreno brings knowledge of more than 30 years in the composites industry and a proven reputation for providing solutions with engineering as a fundamental pillar.
Since its inception, Soling has relied on Magnum Venus Products (MVP) equipment to provide solutions for its customers. It quickly recognized the need to differentiate itself from its competitors through novel processing technologies that would enable entry into new markets.
In 2018, Bogota’s Water Utility Company presented Soling with the opportunity to develop a 143m x 109m or 15,587m2 (469 ft x 358 ft or 167,902 sq ft) drinking water storage tank in the south of the city. Their current operation had frequent breaks and costly repairs of its aqueduct covers causing countless losses and creating increased risk of contaminating potable water in the largest Colombian metropolis. As a solution, Soling proposed a series of 7.6m x 2.4m (25ft x 8ft) semicircular domes, with a surface area of approximately 28.5m2 (207 sq ft) per piece. Once the manufacturing design was defined, it was apparent that 840 domes would need to be manufactured to cover the total area for the project.
To make this design a reality, Soling called upon Magnum Venus Products (MVP) and its Colombian distributor, Minepro SAS, to provide technical support integral to the project’s success. By partnering with MVP, the team devised an effective process to reach a high production throughput with very low post-processing requirements. To meet the customer’s needs of a highly repeatable process producing good surface finish with isophthalic gelcoat on both sides, it was determined the most suitable process was a vacuum-assisted closed molding method, or Light RTM.
The Bogota Water Utility project required the manufacturing of up to eight 320 Kg pieces per day, a net increase in consumption of more than 2-tons of resin per day. MVP recommended its Patriot Innovator High Volume RTM System, which is capable of injecting material at this high rate with a single unit. The injection was performed with the full MVP LRTM process, which consisted of high-volume Turbo Autosprue valves, universal couplings, seals and mold accessories. The project also utilized MVP’s multi-color Gelcoat System.
The full production cycle for one piece, from the preparation of the mold to the extraction of each dome, took 4-hours with an injection time of only 40-minutes. In an 8-hour work shift, 2 pieces can be manufactured from the application of gelcoat to the trimmed and finished piece, ready for shipment. The process utilized a low viscosity resin specially formulated by ANDERCOL, a Colombian composites chemical manufacturer.
These new composite dome covers manufactured by Soling are expected to last much longer than those previously built with traditional materials which were prone to breakage and carried huge maintenance costs for Bogota’s Water Utility Company. These developments have raised the bar on size, efficiency, and production volume for the composites industry in Colombia.
To date, the Bogotá aqueduct domes manufactured by Soling are the largest parts by volume manufactured through a LRTM process in Colombia. The full implementation of the project took only six months thanks to a collaborative effort between MVP, Minepro SAS, ANDERCOL, and Soling. MVP’s team, including Latin America sales manager Andrés F. Collazos, technical specialist Herik Navarro and closed mold specialist Charles Tur, provided critical equipment expertise and technical support. MVP’s distributor in Colombia, Minepro SAS, coordinated many of the engineering, sales, and technical aspects during the process implementation, including equipment and fine-tuning of the LRTM process. On the materials side, Andrés Franco and the Service & Technical Development team in R&D at ANDERCOL, also played a key role in the formulation of the optimal low-viscosity resin, as well as early support with key design elements of the process. Additionally, the Soling engineering team led by Rodrigo Vergara, was in charge of integrating all information and data, and setting up the process.
“Partners like MVP enable us to bring these projects to life and deliver effective solutions. Their customer service and technical expertise is second to none,” said Soling Engineer, Javier Moreno. “Through this collaboration, we were able to redefine what is possible for the local industry.”
Soling is planning to continue producing covers for the second stage of the project and exploring more MVP closed molding solutions for even higher manufacturing volumes of various large-scale composite parts.
Magnum Venus Products (MVP) is a global manufacturer of fluid movement and production solutions for industrial applications in composites and adhesives markets. MVP collaborates with its customers to offer tailored production solutions to meter, mix, dispense, and apply materials. For over 80 years, MVP has been a leading equipment provider for the marine, infrastructure, pool and bath, oil & gas, transportation, aerospace, and wind industries. Learn more at mvpind.com.
Read more about this project in CompositesWorld.