Lego is a toy that has created many beautiful memories of children around the world. The first plastic brick was molded in 1949. From that moment, there were thousands of new and unique lego elements have been developed. Every time you pick a lego brick from a box today, it must fit with any brick that was molded decades ago. This is the result of great precision and commitment for more than 50 years. With many factories around the world, how they can produce thousands of bricks with such precision and in a wealth of colors every single day? All started from the moment they use raw materials to create a creative places – lego boxes.
Lego group usually has to use trucks to transport 28 tons of plastic granulates. These raw material is blasted from the truck into tall silos where is stored different types of plastic granules used depending on the function of each lego brick. The granulates spread down a labyrinth of long pipes in the factory. The pipes lead to the center of the factory. In the molding area, this factory is using the injection molding machines to produce lego elements.
First, they mix the raw granules with the dye. Hence, they can produce bricks with more than 50 colors. Then, the mixture is led into the molding machine and heated to between 230 and 310 degrees Celsius. These plastic melt into a texture like toothpaste with great force the paste is then going into the mold. Great forces will control during this process. The pressure can reach 29 thousand PSI in comparison with tire pressure in a car is 29 to 43 PSI. In the mold, the material become cool in a matter of seconds and comes out a new lego brick.
Plastic waste from the molding machine is ground and recycled straight away. Each mold can make one shape of lego elements at a time. Hence, they will replace it to make a different shape of elements of the molds.
The unique mold are parts of the secret behind the success of the lego group. In each factory, there’s a department delicated to regular cleaning and maintenance of the molds. The molds are made with great accuracy ensuring that all lego bricks always fit together perfectly. The molds are therefore handled with the greatest care. Each mold has a specific set of instructions which among other things cover pressure, time and temperature. They always do temperature tests and molding tests to ensure the machine is programmed to perfection at each replacement of the molds. After that, worker will send samples to the quality department which measures such things as the durability and precision of the element.
AGV stands for automatic guided vehicle. Robots like these were introduced into the production as early as 1987. These intelligent helped them replace it with a new empty box. The AGV then takes the full boxes to the conveyor system.
A unique barcode identifies the contents of each box. The machine will shake the box to even out the content ensuring it takes up as little spaces as possible. After that, it closes the lids. This is where the journey of the boxes end for now.
In high bay ware houses up to 37 meters high , the machine lines up the boxes and ready to transport anytime. When a specific lego element is required, the box is collected all registration and globalization is entirely automated. The boxes are then transported on wards from here.
Many element are taken directly to the packaging lines but not the yellow guys. Many figures must first get their own unique expression. A machine can produce more than 700 torsos per hour. Over half a billion mini figures are produced every year making them one of the world’s largest population.
In the first part of packaging process. Counting machine ensure that elements are put in small production boxes. One by one, they are weighed and measured to secure the right numbers in each box. The brick to be included in just one bag in a complete lego set are placed in row of counting machine. The content of each production box is then automatically put in a plastic bag. The bag are dropped into opening lego boxes along with the building instructions and large special elements. The most efficient packaging lines pack over 50.000 boxes 24 hours.
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