Spring treat for mattress makers
A UK manufacturer is now able to offer mattress producers lower costs, reduced materials over-usage and faster production.
UK pocket spring mattress machinery manufacturer Springform Technology has made patented improvements to its flagship DB coiler which should allow its customers to reduce material cost without reducing the spring's performance - resulting in improved profitability.
The new coiler was unveiled by Springform at Cologne's Interzum exhibition and Managing Director Ian Whitworth is still tight-lipped as to how he has achieved this design break-through. Whitworth told us: "Ever since I came to the furniture spring industry, which is almost 20 years ago, I noticed that the machines that were available were highly inflexible and totally unsuitable for integration into a modern manufacturing environment.
"I am devoted to lean manufacturing techniques and could see many ways of increasing productivity. We set up Springform twelve years ago to develop a range of pocket spring machinery that is powerful, versatile, innovative and designed to meet the demands of lean manufacturing. Our patented CNC coilers and assemblers have been constantly improved over that time and are now producing high quality inner springs in many parts of the world. We have a patent pending on our latest coiler design. The secret lies in the way we heat-treat the spring without incurring any extra set-up time.
The timing of this innovation should prove to be a good one for the company. Bedding manufacturers are seeing an increasing demand by the public for more comfortable and ergonomically designed mattresses. It is a fact that pocket sprung products give more support to the back and spine and therefore have fewer pressure points than traditional open coil mattresses. The extra support improves comfort and quality of sleep.
The company's range of coilers and assemblers are selling successfully in the UK, Eastern and Western Europe, the USA and also in parts of Africa to bedding companies and also to manufacturers of inner springs who sell their products on to bedding and mattress producers.
The DB automatic pocket spring coiler has become renowned for its time-saving features. For example, one major benefit is that it controls the spring geometry not by the usual cams and gears, but by state of the art technology, giving complete control to the user. Spring set-up time is reduced to seconds rather than hours and materials over-usage can be eliminated. The DB coiler produces up to 90 springs per minute with heights from 8 to 20cm in a range of wire diameters from 1.2 to 2.0mm. Changeovers are effortlessly managed through the machine control panel and an infinite number of spring shapes can be produced.
The VGA fully automatic pocket spring interior assembler has a nominal speed of up to 440 springs per minute, it comes as standard with four input conveyors to take coils from four coilers. It can produce a full range of parallel, nested and zoned beds but is also able to mix springs of different diameter and height in the same product leading to endless possibilities for the customer. The machine automatically hot-melt glues each row of pocket springs using the very latest PLC controllers.
The smart manufacturing cell is totally integrated. It takes in raw materials and produces completed inner springs with optimum labour efficiency, avoiding work-in-progress and over-runs. The DB coiler and VGA assembler combine to produce a king size mattress interior in two minutes on a one-shot lean manufacturing basis utilising CNC coiler technology, ultrasonic welding and hot melt adhesive bonding. Previously this process would have taken several days.
The GA semi-automatic assembler can produce the same complex shaped springs as the VGA, and changes in tooling are just as simple. The key difference is that it is significantly lower cost than the VGA; it is hand-fed by an operator but can still assemble at up to eight rows per minute. That is the equivalent to 15 king size interiors every hour.
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