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IAC Songjiang repeats orders to

Cannon for a profitable manufacturing system

As early as 1998 IAC Songjiang – a Shanghai-based manufacturer of automotive carpets and insonorisation elements, (shortly: IACSJ) – purchased from Cannon the first carpet back foaming plant equipped with the Cannon-patented Foam & Film technology. The satisfaction of the performance on the first plant pushed IACSJ to order a second foaming plant in 2009 and now a third one, installed in spring 2010.

Automotive market in China is enjoying a booming time. The foamed carpets produced by IACSJ – formerly part of the Lear Co. Group – were supplied to Shanghai General Motor for their car model Buick series as a start and later to Mercedes when they were present in Beijing. The existing plant, running at its maximum capacity with three shifts a day, could no longer meet the demand for the products. In the peak period the market growth rate reach 45%. Therefore reliable and higher productivity plan was urgently needed to support the demand from the automobiles makers. Plan for a new plant with high productivity was made during 2008 and discussions with Cannon Team started with Cannon Far East and Cannon Tecnos in sequence. The team work of Cannon Tecnos and Cannon Far East saw the results of the first new plant being installed which achieved immediately a 3-shifts operation in mid 2009. The satisfaction of the performance on the first new plant soon saw the second plant, with more versatility in handling PU chemicals, ordered and installed in the first quarter of 2010. The supply included a retrofitting work to the existing old plant, which still works with Foam & Film technology, to bring it to a latest control technology and driving system.

MjøsCon AS cuts the cold bridge

Envisaging new methods for a substantial reduction of the use of wood in conventional applications – such as those typically applied in the building industry – will optimise the use of precious oil resources. When this is obtained also lightening the foreseen problem of scarcity of good timber in the near future, the result will be even more appreciated by the “end users”, that is, generally, all of us. MjøsCon AS, based in Norway, have successfully tackled the problem with an innovative product that combines the traditional use of timber with the efficient insulation provided by rigid Polyurethane foam. A Cannon turn-key solution helps the client to produce it very efficiently.

When the development work proved that the final product was efficient and successful, MjøsCon passed to the industrial phase: it was quite natural for them to rely on the experience of Nortec, the expert distributors of Cannon Polyurethane technologies in Scandinavia for forty years. Based in Denmark and locally represented in each of the Northern Countries, Nortec join four decades of processing experience with an ideal cooperation with the raw material suppliers involved in this project, since once they were all part of the formerly-named Tectrade Company. Fast communication and few inputs were enough to build a solid industrial solution, able to lunch MjøsCon AS in this business quickly and efficiently.

A high-pressure dosing unit Cannon “A-Compact” 100 was suggested, with one self-cleaning FPL 24 mixing head mounted on a rotating boom, able to feed eight 3-meter long moulds placed in a fan-shaped layout in front of the operator. The rigid

Cannon Tecnos modular carpet back foaming plant featuring metering system, pouring robot, mould clamps working in tandem and complete set of safety system.

The two new foaming plants consist of component tanks for fast reactivity PU system, all relevant high and low pressure pumps, gauges and control with closed-loop controlled system, one FPL24 mixing head and accessories monitoring features to complete a foaming system built around a “A-Compact 60” dosing unit. The metering unit stands on a mezzanine floor, near the hydraulic systems of the two mould clamps. The foaming arm is a ABB Robot designed to cover the furthest possible the corners of the mould for best foaming performances. The two hydraulically-operated mould clamps, one on each side of the robot, are designed with a fixed upper platen and a 90° tiltable lower platen plus a shiftable loading tray. Both clamps work in tandem to maximize the productivity. The platens are designed to hold moulds for products of size up to 2,300x 1,500 x450mm.

The basic design of clamps, foaming method with robot, layout etc. was the same for the two new plants, with more complexity required for the wet machine of the second plant: here the foaming system was required to have totally 4 component tanks (2 for Polyol and 2 for Isocyanate) with only 2 metering pump groups able to handle alternatively the 4 components, for 2 different foam density systems. Hence, a carefully designed component circuit and switches minimise the material discharge, avoids possible contamination and guarantees foolproof interconnection during the switching of production. All this with a lower investment and reduced periodical maintenance for the pumping groups.

Since the installation the new system was running well and IACSJ was fully satisfied with the system performance. Up to date, the two new systems have been running on a 24- hours per day, 350-days a year cadence, with only 4 operators.

Since 1998 a successful and happy partnership among three parties, each specialized in his function, with IAC Songjiang as the end user, Cannon Tecnos providing the technology, backed up by Cannon Far East's strong local after sales technical service and spare parts support, designed a triangled co-operation relationship which stands firm and provides mutual benefit to all the involved players.

Over the next twenty years, economists predict that the demand for natural resources such as wood, fossile fuels, energy and water, will place tremendous pressure on a planet that's already under huge stress. Production of natural oil and of wood products will be insufficient to meet future requirements. The oil reserves problem is well known and debated – although not enough efforts are spent to tackle it as seriously as it deserves – but another problem has not yet made the headlines of the daily press: shortly, the global production of wood products will be insufficient to meet the new requirements. Competition for the land base will be fierce, and to keep up with demand by establishing fast-growing plantation forests in the tropics will compete with the growing need for food (both agricultural and animal proteins) and the growing need for bio-fuels. This will give a significant market advantage to those companies that can produce goods sustainably without displacing additional land that could be used for other purposes. If these assumptions are valid, it goes without saying that a more rational use of wood and energy even in current applications will contribute to a substantial saving and economic advantage for the community.

This philosophy has been applied in practice by MjøsCon AS a subsidiary of Mjøsplast AS based in Moelv, Norway, where the wood industry represents the main economic resource. Working in cooperation with Bayer MaterialScience's Nordic BaySystems polyurethane systems house in Otterup, Denmark, they have developed an intelligent solution for the year-round usage of wooden houses, based on rigid Polyurethane foam, which has the highest insulating capacity of any material on the market. If conventional insulating materials were used, walls would have to be made much thicker, and windows smaller, in order to achieve the same level of heat insulation. The adverse effects of this would be reduced living space and less natural light.

With the MjøsCon system, two wooden beams - one with a cross-section of 98 by 47 mm, the other 40 by 47 mm - are placed in a mould and the space between them is filled with a liquid Polyurethane system. The mould is then sealed and the composite

material is cured at a temperature of around 45 ºC.

The “A-Compact” 100 dosing unit with one FPL 24 mixing head mounted on a rotating boom is used at MjøsCon AS in Norway for the production of PU- insulated wood boards for traditional construction methods.


around 300 kg/m , is injected in sequence in the eight moulds, where the two wood beams have been manually placed and duly spaced, from a single injection point placed in the middle of the longer side. The Polyurethane system adheres extremely well to the wood substrate, thereby ensuring that the composite is also mechanically stable. The finished wood/Polyurethane beam can be removed from the mould after only a short time. With the addition of the 60-mm-thick layer of Polyurethane rigid foam, the composite timber now measures 198 by 47 millimeters. The board can be machined or nailed traditionally, but now its heat transfer properties are by far superior to those of a standard wooden plank having the same dimensions. Most importantly, thermal bridges between the interior space and the exterior are prevented.

foam's formulation, characterised by a final moulded density 3

The inventors have applied for patents for the product and production process and MjøsCon won in 2008 the prestigious DnB Norway Innovation Award in the New Creativity category for their development.

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