Perfectly foamed - Roller Shutter Casing Profiles from Roma

A high degree of automation and individual tool construction: this is the short description of a completely new polyurethane system for producing foam-filled roller shutter casing profiles at Roma KG in Burgau. With 1,000 employees, the company manfactures roller shutters, Venetian blinds and textile screens at five locations in Germany.

The demand for sun protection products is high, with the result that Roma decided to invest in a new PU system in 2015. For managing director Volker Pfaudler, the special machine designer of choice was the FRIMO Group: “It was clear that we wanted to create something completely new with this system. If you start from zero, you have to explore new avenues, rethink and adapt a lot of things. With FRIMO we had the feeling right from the start that our partner was primarily interested in how we could find the optimal solution together.” Fundamental issues such as handling, mold construction, control and sealing technology were worked on together.

Roller shutter profiles have been in series production since March 2017 in a total of 23 variants. This is a real challenge, as materials such as aluminum, wood, ABS and PVC are combined with PU here and filled with foam. Maximum dimensional accuracy is essential here, as the transition from the window to the roller shutter casing must be absolutely straight, even over a length of six meters.

With a total of eight operating stations, the system occupies a space of 50 x 17 meters. Each of the self-locking, liquid temperature controlled tools weighs up to six metric tons and is up to twelve meters in length. Nevertheless, FRIMO and Roma together have succeeded in making the system design as compact and flexible as possible. Tool refits are carried out as necessary using sliding mechanisms and insertion devices. A prototype tool was first built to test the sealing situation, closures or pressure points. After that, it went directly into the production of two serial tools, followed by six more.

To make the foam, two self-cleaning 4-component FMH 12-18-4C mixing heads are used on a mixing head gantry robot that moves over the system. In order to ensure the uniform distribution of foam in cross-section and over the whole length of the profile from casing type to casing type, the control system controls the temperature, pressure and output at each shot. All components circulate in an insulated guide system and are always ready. A large panel above each operating station shows the employees exactly when and in which tool the reaction is finished. This way, workflows can be planned in advance.

While the mixing head gantry robot over the eight stations is always in operation wherever it is needed, the handling for the removal of the finished profiles looks different. Two extraction suction grippers on the gantry robot operate four stations each. They never cross; the mixing head gantry robot is also available during the removal of a finished profile at a different location in the plant.

For Roma, there was one very important point: even if a tool is being refitted or maintenance is being carried out at one station, it had to be ensured that work at the other stations could still continue. The robot solution made this possible.

The FRIMO system control based on the latest Siemens TIA technology ensures that production runs smoothly at all the stations. The control is also responsible for process monitoring. The operator has a complete overview of the current status of the system - from the mixing and dosing systems to the mixing heads to the tools - at all times via the FRIMO FIP-D visualization system. All parameters are recorded and can be queried at the push of a button, at any time, relating to the delivery and the order.

The technology sets the framework, but is not the only key to success, according to the conviction of Roma. It is only when technology and experience of the plant operators come together, that the foaming process runs optimally.  

Contact for questions and further Information:

FRIMO Group GmbH
Jürgen Mauss
Hansaring 1
D-49504 Lotte

Tel.: +49 (0) 54 04 / 8 86 - 1 74
Fax: +49 (0) 54 04 / 8 86 - 51 74


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