Monday, March 12, 2012

How do you make foam: The Uratex Experience

Sing this line with me to the tune of Eraserhead's Huwag Mo Nang Itanong sa Akin:

Field trip sa may pagawaan... ng mattress.   
Ay katulad ng buhay natin. 
Isang mahabang pila...
May bed sheets at kay daming unan!

These are the lines that kept playing on my head while I join a group of fellow bloggers in a very interesting and fun-filled plant tour at the Uratex facilities in Muntinlupa recently.  It was cool!  The last time I had a field trip was during high school where we trek Mt. Makiling in Laguna.  It felt like I was sweet 16 again (Naks!)

As they say, every field trip is like a learning journey.  So I would like to share some new stuff I learned during the said tour.  Did I say it felt like I was 16 again?

 
Foam-making in the past may have been a tedious, manual labor-intensive job but the process was made even better, thanks to modern technology. By using state-of-the-art equipment, Multiflex RNC Philippines of the RGC Foam Group, makers of the popular Uratex foam, totally revolutionized foam-making not only in the Philippines but also in South East Asia.

Being one of the largest foam-makers in the region and with advanced foam manufacturing equipment, let us see how a Uratex foam product is made:

The Research & Development laboratory.  Just like cooking, a good foam starts with the perfect recipe, and in foam-making, the R&D facility of the RGC Foam Group, one of the country’s most advanced, is where it all starts. There, Uratex laboratory personnel develop formulations that result to certain types of foam and also conduct tests to ensure that the formulation will meet final product specifications that customers look for. Over the years, this department has developed thousands of formulations that benefited the Philippine industrial history, from the car development program of the 1970s to the footwear, garments and electronics boom in the 1980s and 1990s.



Foaming. Once the formulation is finalized, it is entered into the foaming machine’s computer system. There, up to 26 streams of different chemicals are doused using computer-controlled metering pumps for precision.  The liquid will turn into cream within seconds and then into solid state within 1.5-2 minutes, and where the solid foam block may be cut between 1 to 60 meters in length.  At the Muntinlupa plant, the foam is cut in 30-meter lengths. This high-tech machinery is complimented by a quality management system and ran by highly-trained personnel.

Curing area. The 30-meter long blocks are then picked up by an overhead crane and transferred to the curing area. Foam is produced via an exothermic reaction where the center may reach up to 145-165 degrees Celsius within 20-30 minutes. It will not start to cool for another 3-4 hours but will reach room temperature within 24 hours and is “cured”.

Foam block warehouse.  This is the storage area for the foam blocks. From there, the plant’s production department will request for a specific type of block with different sizes as per orders coming from customers. These blocks are then moved to the production area where they will be cut according to the desired sizes.

Production area. It is from this area where the Uratex products that we all see come from. The foam blocks are cut into the requested size and then “contoured” based on the type of product to be produced, whether a pillow, a mattress, or even a car seat foam. Once cut and contoured, the product goes straight to packaging under strict quality control standards, ready for delivery to the customer.

The RGC Group of Companies revolutionized foam making back in 1987 when they set up the first continuous foaming machine in the country called the “Vertifoam” process. This involves computerized metering of materials to form perfectly-shaped foam with lesser scrap that benefited both the market and the environment because of less wastage.

In 2001, the group further blazed the trail in foam-making when it installed new foaming equipment called “Hennecke.” Tagged as the “Mercedes Benz” of the foam-making industry, this German-manufactured equipment is regarded as the best in the world. On December 2009, the RGC Group invested on another Hennecke machine with the latest technological improvements to serve as back-up to the year 2001 version. For more details about Uratex, visit www.uratex.com.ph.


The day ended with a big hurray and I think I need not explain why.  Just look at our last group picture and you can tell that everyone just had a great time and are excited to go home and try the gifts given by our friends from Uratex.



Special thanks to Ms. Jenny Roxas of www.joyfullifeofjen.blogspot.com for the photos.

5 comments:

Monjheng said...

wow...like the pillow....next time sama na ako :D

Richard Mamuyac said...

oo nga e... sige pag may next event na lang :)

Bridal Cars Manila said...

Thanks for sharing us !!

Jen's Joyful Life said...

your welcome Richard

Cris Monde said...

Cool! Now I know, and you gave me an idea on how they make a great foam products!
Meron yata silang new site ngayon at pwede na ring ma view through our mobiles :D
Read more here -->http://www.myoptimind.com/uratex-consumer-website-launched/