FOAMPARTNER
EUR 10m investment in digitalised foam production plant in Germany / Another German site closed
By the end of June, FoamPartner (Wolfhausen / Switzerland; www.foampartner.com) had manufactured more than 1,000 different components at its new foam processing site in Duderstadt / Germany. The firm in Duderstadt, FoamPartner Converting Center, which the Swiss group set up for this purpose, was commissioned 12 months after the groundbreaking ceremony in April 2019. The new branch is to supplement the group’s capacities and provide a vertically integrated value chain from polyurethane foam production to customised precision components. The managing directors are Nils Bender, CEO of FoamPartner, and Karl-Heinz Koppelmeyer, who is also site manager and managing director of FoamPartner Germany, which is the neighbouring foam production plant in Duderstadt.

The facility covers 8,500 m² and represents an investment of EUR 10m. Around 50 jobs have been created. However, the company’s site in Stadtallendorf / Germany was closed at the end of June. Only one of the 60 or so employees of the firm Kureta, which is based there, has taken up the offer to move to Duderstadt. Plasteurope.com was told that two employees are at least temporarily working at the new site. A number of machines have also been relocated. Following the addition of machinery, the aim is to manufacture more than 5,000 different items by October. Quality management certification to ISO 9001 is also expected before the end of this year.

“The centre was purpose-designed as a ‘smart factory’ in adherence to Industry 4.0 principles, featuring a highly digitalised and automated workflow,” said Tobias Gruener, FoamPartner’s executive VP for the European region. One of the highlights, he said, is a thermal press for the compression of foam sheets in controlled millimetre steps, which is especially important for filtration foams.

The modular design of the plant with over 50 machines also enables virtually all machining and joining processes to be carried out for foam production. There is also a small-scale machining centre available for speciality products. Automated guided vehicles handle semi-autonomous material transport, and there are floor-bound conveyors in the stocking area, all linked to plant-wide wifi. Finished products are removed by autonomous robots, and robots were installed for cleaning work too.

The converting site in Duderstadt obtains most of its technical PU foams from one of FoamPartner’s three foam plants in Europe. As a global player for PU foams, the Swiss group has become specialised in solutions for a number of technical applications, such as acoustic foams for soundproofing household appliances, sealing foams, filtration foams for air-conditioning units or water filters and protective packaging.
22.07.2020 Plasteurope.com [245542-0]
Published on 22.07.2020
FoamPartner: Verarbeitungszentrum für SchaumstoffartikelGerman version of this article...

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