The metering and dispensing Unit of Cannon expand their field of activity beyond Polyurethanes and reinforce the organisation with a younger management, to meet new challenges and an ambitious manufacturing schedule.
The recent reorganisation of Cannon Plastics activities, with the birth of a new Engineering Division announced on the cover of this magazine, also had an effect on the structure of Afros SpA, the Group’s Division specialising in metering and mixing equipment.
In addition to the traditional Polyurethane formulations, Afros has in the most recent years expanded their range of machinery to the process of other reactive chemicals: Epoxy, Silicone, Phenolics, DCPD, Nylon RIM. A new, younger management structure has been defined, to face with the right human resources the challenge of these new technologies and of the future years.
The «new» Afros managerial structure is lead by Maurizio Cusinato, appointed General Manager after having spent 22 years within the Company in manufacturing and engineering functions. Maurizio, 54 years old, received a mechanichal engineering degree from Milan’s Politecnico in 1984 and is now in charge of the operations in the Caronno Pertusella factory, north of Milan, Italy.
The Technical Director is Maurizio Corti, 58 years, with a long experience in reactive polymer machinery. He is in charge of all the new developments, R&D and Patent protection. Alberto Bonansea, 53 years, leads the R&D Team in the vast laboratory where all the new machines and mixing heads are conceived and developed.
Giovanni Pileri, 42 years, is now in charge of the Technical Office that designs machines, heads and ancillary equipment. Roberto Gagliardi, 49 years, manages Afros’ Manufacturing after a few years of experience in Tecnos. Adriano Fontana, 40 years, manager of Manufacturing, joined Afros last year. Pier Giorgio Brocca, 50 years, leads the Purchasing group: he comes from another Group’s company, Bono Energia, where since 1984 he matured significant experiences buying equipment for large installations and projects. Davide Lucca, 44 years, is the Sales & Marketing Manager. With Afros for 18 years, he coordinates the commercial activity of the numerous Afros agents and locations. Ivan Iamoni, 41 years, with Afros since year 2000, has recently been assigned to manage the Technical Service Global Network. Paolo Villa, 54 years, spent his entire career since 1978 in the Administration & Finance department of Afros, that he manages today coordinating the activity of eight people. Alessandro Bossi, 52 years, manager of the Information Technology Services of Afros and of the Cannon Group, celebrates in 2012 his first 25 years with the company. Cinzia Banfi, 47 years, in charge of Quality Assurance and Safety, is another employee which spent all her life in the company, on the trail of her father who was one of Afros’ first technicians. Alessandra Monetti, 32 years, coordinates since a few months the Human Resources team of the largest Unit of the Group.
A new management for Afros
The new managerial structure of Cannon Afros (above, left to right): Maurizio Cusinato (General Manager), Roberto Gagliardi (Production), Maurizio Corti (Technical Director), Paolo Villa (Finance and Accounting), Giovanni Pileri (Technical Office of Manufacturing), (below) Adriano Fontana (Manufacturing), Cinzia Banfi (Quality Assurance and Safety), Alessandra Monetti (Personnel), Alberto Bonansea (R&D), Alessandro Bossi (ICT), Pier Giorgio Brocca (Purchasing).
Davide Lucca (Sales & Marketing),
The whole Afros team looks forward to a challenging year: a positive 2011's orderbook provided numerous heavy projects for delivery during 2012 and 2013, and the manufacturing schedule is already tight. The new management - and all their colleagues - will be very busy to maintain all the promised deliveries!
A new R&D laboratory with more dedicated islands
With 1,100 msq of high-roofed space and seven dedicated dosing units - plus three presses, three robots, three refrigerator foaming jigs and numerous auxiliary components metering units - the Cannon Afros R&D laboratory is probably the largest development centre for the processing technology of Polyurethanes and other reactive formulations.
The current dedicated islands - housed in a comfortable environment that has been totally refurbished and extended during the past six months, adding 150 meters to the already existing ones - are dedicated to various Composites processing methods (InterWet, OuterWet, SoliSpray, ESTRIM injection for Epoxies), Gasketing, Clear Coating, Refrigeration (for conventional filling and vacuum-assisted technology, for both cabinets and doors) and multi-purpose applications.
Cannon reports a number of successful
Baypreg a Bayer MaterialScience Polyurethane system applied over a sandwich of glass mat and honeycomb.
sales in the past few months for processing ®
Various mobile digital working positions are collecting from the various dosing machines the process data for each experiment.
Alberto Bonansea, the R&D Manager, coordinates the activity of seven specialists, bearing an impressive number of experience year in various aspects of the process technology. Asked to comment their future projects, he comments: «Several additions to this comprehensive list of dedicated machines are expected during 2012, to include those technologies that will generate most of the equipment business in the next five-ten years. Our curiosity and dedication to reactive polymers keeps feeding new projects, and we need the appropriate tools to generate new solutions. Our customers - both current and future ones - love the opportunity that we offer them to try their formulations, their moulds and their ideas in our lab, surrounded by people who know what they are looking for!»
The R&D Team of Cannon Afros in Caronno Pertusella, near Milan, Italy More Cannon solutions for Baypreg
This process allows for the production of very light yet structurally sound composites valued by the automotive industry for their fuel saving efficiency. Parts can be stiffened only where necessary thus optimizing the use of raw materials and saving weight. For this mostly automotive application Cannon patented a special "Spray-and-stay" method which uses liquid natural Carbon Dioxide (CO ) as a 2 frothing agent which serves to prevent dripping of the formulation when it is applied to vertical walls.
A North American manufacturer, supplying large interior parts to Ford and other auto makers, is using a Cannon high-pressure dosing unit equipped with a CannOxide kit to dispense liquid CO directly into the mixing chamber of a
robot-mounted FPL head. The resultant parts are used in luggage compartments as spare tire and storage bin covers. The reason the Cannon solution was selected by this manufacturer was the technical advantages of metering the expanding agent directly in the mix head rather than a component tank as is usually done. The main advantages of method are the ability to control the exact amount of CO being used and the 2 ability to apply it only when and where it is needed.
In 2011, another major manufacturer of auto parts in the Far East Asia purchased a complete production system to make a similar product for a large vehicle supplied to the Chinese market.
An interesting note regards the PUR application technique. There are two ways to handle the spray head when producing a Baypreg part: one is to have it mounted on a robot and moving, while the other is to fix it at a point 1-1.5 meter above the sandwich (glassfiber + honeycomb + glassfiber) in the spray booth. When moving the mixing head two robots are needed, one for the head and one for moving the sandwich, while with the fixed head version only one robot is required, for the sandwich. The second solution means a lower investment, less programming and maintenance operations, more simplicity in the process. Cannon can provide both solutions, that are successfully installed and running in China today for different products.
Just this year, a Japanese supplier of PUR chemicals and formulations equipped their R&D laboratory with a complete Cannon system for processing Baypreg® formulations in order to develop applications for their local automotive manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers of energy saving auto parts.
Complete solutions for the production of Baypreg parts are available at Cannon (above), including the patented «Spray & Stay» foam application system (left) that avoids any dripping of chemicals during the sandwich rotation and manipulation phase.
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