CUYAHOGA FALLS, OHIO (Oct. 15, 10:35 a.m. EDT) — You can trade recipes and discuss politics online — and now you can talk polyurethane processing.
An online PU discussion group went live Aug. 30 on the Web site of machinery maker Linden Industries Inc./EMB. Users can post questions and answers to the roundtable. Topics include processing, equipment and new technologies. Once a week, Linden sends out an e-mail report with the questions and answers. Subscribe to the free service at www.linden-emb.com/Rountable/rt_htm.
In other education news, Linden/EMB for the first time is holding a polyurethane training course, Optimizing Polyurethane Operations, at its plant in Cuyahoga Falls, Oct. 23-25. Linden created a classroom, seating 12 people, just off its factory floor. The cost is $500 per person.
During a recent visit to the company, Linden/EMB also revealed two new machinery developments,
It has developed a turnkey system for making car seat cushions, complete with 32 fully automated carts to carry molds. Linden would not identify the customer, citing a nondisclosure agreement.
The mold carts are carried on a conveyor in an oval racetrack pattern. The line of carts can move at speeds of 10-40 feet per minute.
The entire system can carry 64 molds, because each of the 32 carts can hold either one mold, for a bench seat, or two molds for bucket seats. Each mold cart is fully programmable, so each one can have a different shot mix, density, and weight — all with a single computer-controlled mixhead. The mixhead allows rapid changes in the ratio of chemicals dispensed, for each mold.
Molding temperature, opening and closing and curing time also can be fully programmed. For example, the mixhead can turn out a dual-density PU cushion for lumbar support, and then switch to standard seat. Theron Sherman, sales manager, said it normally would take more than one machine to handle the different seating requirements.
The heart of the machine is a Linden/EMB Innovator high-pressure metering machine with the capability to foam in dual density. A Fanuc six-axis robot directs the laydown of the foam. Parameters of each shot are recorded, turning up any variations and helping with troubleshooting.
Linden supplied everything, from a bulk storage system that takes chemicals from a tanker truck and returns the gases from the chemicals back into the tanker.
The company also announced a gas-infusion system that now has a sensor that continuously monitors and updates the level of carbon dioxide, nitrogen or dry air into the polyol compound of polyurethane formulations. Changing the gases can affect tooling wetness, improve mixing quality or material flow, and enhance molding characteristics.
Sherman said the machine works with any brand of PU processing equipment. Selling points include the continuous-feedback feature and the fact that the machine can run carbon dioxide. Unlike cycling machines, any change in density is detected immediately, and the gas-infusion system adjusts the amount of gas going into the mix.