Automated handling system for the production of mattresses
For many producers of mattresses, the subject of automation has gained enormously in importance and has become much more than a trend. “In the high-tech market of labor-intensive countries, the trend is leading to higher output through increased process optimization. Not only have the demands made on precision and simultaneously short lead times increased but larger levels of flexibility are now required”, explained Jan Leisse, CEO of the Albrecht Bäumer GmbH & Co. KG.
The number of mixed productions for making spring mattresses and foam-filled sandwich mattresses has also increased and has posed handling and adhesive application technology with new challenges.
And it is in this very sector, that Bäumer will be presenting a new and very convincing handling system at this year’s “interzum” trade fair in the form of the OFS Twincut horizontal contour cutting machine in combination with the adhesive application unit Lamit HM. The Lamit HM is mainly used in the manufacturing of spring mattresses, but by extending the unit with a variety of options, Bäumer will be demonstrating its use in the production of foam-filled sandwich mattresses. A robot functions between the two machines.
Automation generates added value
Each part of the production line has its intrinsic advantages which together create extraordinary added value for more flexible and cost-efficient production. No manual handling is required and therefore the quality is higher. This handling system avoids waste and the material can be used more efficiently.
Contour cutting machine OFS-Twincut
This machine is available directly with two functions. One option is its use as rotating knife for cutting upholstered parts and mattresses quickly; or alternatively it can be used as an oscillating knife for cutting high-density materials. The oscillating blade provides a more precise cut of intricate mattress sections. Both options combined in a single cutting unit to provide increased flexibility.
Adhesive application unit Lamit HM
In the classic production of spring mattresses, the makers primarily opt for the hotmelt process for bonding the mattresses. This is because a variety of fibrous and non-fibrous materials are used in the making of spring mattresses thus practically predestinating them for the non-contact hotmelt application of adhesives.
Foam-filled sandwich mattresses on the other hand are usually bonded with a dispersion adhesive applied using a roller. Therefore, if both options are required, then it will normally involve two processes and two different machines. The Lamit HM, a classic hotmelt machine has been modified with technical innovations and options to permit its universal use in mix production processes.
The Lamit HM features motor-controlled adhesive dispensing heads allowing freely-programmable applications. Its additional benefit is high because, whatever the product – sandwich mattress or spring mattress- the surface coating is freely programmable regarding the connection point and the width position. The oscillation and intermittent function opens and closes the adhesive dispensing head at freely programmable points and needs up to 30% less adhesive. A further plus is the automated return function which reverses the layers and sandwiches fully-automatically. No manual handling is required.
Robots have already demonstrated their abilities in many production halls. And now Bäumer will be presenting a handling robot to be used between the two machines described above.
After the mattress layer has been cut to shape with the cutting machine, the robot brings the individual layers of the cut block directly to the adhesive application unit. Here the layer is placed precisely and without offset. The operation is camera- and laser-controlled. The first layer is given a coating of adhesive and the robot places the second layer on top of the first one. The process is repeated until all of the layers of the sandwich mattress have been bonded together.
A variety of depositing and stacking machines are used conventionally but this robot can do so much more. Because of its rotating function, it can handle several stacks in a variety of materials. The production line can therefore be equipped with 5-6 different material positions.
The robot’s arm features a needle gripper. The gripping mechanism is available either with a pneumatic drive or a servo drive; the pneumatic version is designated for up to two layer thicknesses, and can been programmed as desired. The inverter-controlled servo drive provides a more flexible use where a variety of different layer thicknesses are to be handled and allows any number of exactly defined penetration depths of 10 mm and more.