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case study mecalbi actividades de engenharia

SUPPLIER - Ceramicx
CLIENT - Mecalbi Actividades de Engenharia.
BUSINESS - Thermoplastic Shrinking Systems, Mechatronics
LOCATION - Castelo Branco, Portugal


At Mecalbi since our foundation in 2006 we have two principal areas of activity; the first concerns our state of the art shrinking systems, i.e. products used in the shrinking process of thermoplastics by applying heat. These are mainly used for the worldwide automotive industry. Our second area of expertise is in the design and development of custom projects for clients in the area.

Mechatronics is today defined as ‘the combination of Mechanical engineering, Electronic engineering, Computer engineering, Software engineering, Control engineering, and Systems Design engineering in order to design and manufacture useful products. Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field of engineering, that is to say it rejects splitting engineering into separate disciplines.’(Wikipedia, December 2012)

The design and development of these custom projects in the Mechatronic’s area begin from the idea/concept, to the final product, based on specifications and discussions provided by partners and customers.


Meantime, the Mecalbi STCS (Shrinking Tube Control Systems) line is the principal area for business and is the place where we worked on our heat technology with Ceramicx. Mecalbi offers a complete range of high quality products for industries that require these types of STCS systems. The main target market for these systems is the worldwide automotive industry. This fact results directly from the more than 20 years’ experience of its founder in the automotive industry.

In Mecalbi’s STCS area it is possible to choose from standard products to custom/application specific products; from mid process temperature to extreme process temperature; from standard heat shrinking tubes to waterproof applications; from semi manual process to complete automatic systems; etc.

Mecalbi products in this area are designed to comply with the latest security and safety international norms and are equipped with cutting edge technological features. We provide the most advanced systems on the market in terms of technology; providing immediate benefit; ready to use equipment and delivering great added value for our customers.

The STCS product range itself divides into 2 subsections: machines based on hot air blowers and machines based on infrared resistors. The IR heating range has the advantage of being more energy efficient. It also delivers higher temperatures but with the disadvantage of having a higher pre-heating time in terms of achieving the desired process temperature.

For this reason, and also considering the high production rates of the automotive harness industry, these machines need to rely on infrared ovens with high degrees of robustness and reliability. These types of solutions are not easy to find.


Our partnership involved the development of 2 new kinds of solutions: quartz-based resistors for the STCSCS 19 and STCS-RT machines, with the objective of providing a more robust form of heating.

The previous equipment set-up had been easily damaged by the cable’s terminals. Mecalbi also needed a small infrared oven for the STCS-IR500 and STCS-RCM machines, with the objective of providing high stability and energy efficiency.

Both solutions required strict specifications in terms of power, temperature, dimensions, stability and reliability.

After a visit to Ceramicx by Mecalbi, Ceramicx delivered its IR heating solutions to Mecalbi in Portugal.

We can say that it exceeded our expectations, and went straight to the heart of the matter in what was needed by our machinery.

In December, Mecalbi used the new infrared oven in its STCS-RCM machine for the validation of the machine in one of its major customers. This trial was received very enthusiastically and passed all the validation tests with success.

We can honestly say, after this first partnership, that Mecalbi’s machines have been given added-value by the Ceramicx IR heating know-how and that we expect to reap rewards with direct consequences in our image and future sales.

We expect to continue and reinforce this partnership with Ceramicx, providing together new and innovative solutions to the automotive industry.


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