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(Munich, June 21, 2017) Criotec SA is one of the leading manufacturers of refrigerators and freezers in the Americas. With the investment in a modern, automated cabinet foaming line from KraussMaffei, the production capacities at the headquarters in Santa Catarina/Mexico have more than doubled. Today Criotec provides 1800 refrigerator cabinets with a foam insulation layer made of polyurethane every day in three-shift production, supplying customers all over North, Central and South America.
High level of automation
"KraussMaffei has convinced us over the long term as a system supplier. Thanks to the high degree of automation of the new cabinet foaming line, we have been able to considerably increase our productivity and thus the cost-efficiency," says Felipe Nuñez, Criotec Manufacturing Manager. The scope of supply for the entire line includes a RimStar Compact 40/40 mixing and metering system with mobile mixing head, an automated loading and unloading shuttle, six stationary fixtures and six adjustable foam molds for cabinet foaming, a preheating oven with two different cabinet positions, and a pentane monitoring system.
"Beside the high degree of automation, we also benefit from the consistently outstanding quality and dimension stability of the foam products manufactured," says Nuñez. One decisive factor for the high product quality is the RimStar Compact 40/40 mixing and metering system, which impresses with its particularly stable process and temperature control of the components, and thus ensures a permanently constant temperature. The mobile ULP 12/18 transfer mixing head can be conveyed on a manipulator and supplies the individual fixtures. The entire process is fully automated. The strengths of the transfer mixing head include the high precision in processing demanding systems and for the laminar pouring of the mixture into open molds. The high quality is mainly the result of the special angle of injection into the mixing chamber. Downstream of the mixing chamber, the output tube for reducing turbulence in the reaction mixture as it flows out is positioned at an angle of 90 degrees. The other advantages of the transfer mixing head include long service lives and low maintenance costs.
Flexibly positioned for new markets
However, speed, precision and top quality are not the only requirements that must be met at Criotec. The cabinet foaming line is at present foaming up to seven different sizes and models from the current Criotec portfolio. "In this flexibility, we see a further strength of the new cabinet foaming line, with which we are not only optimally positioned for the current Criotec products, but also for future developments and brands," says Nuñez. For example, the six hydraulically driven fixtures can be individually adjusted to the cabinet dimensions. The precise temperature control is a state-of-the-art energy-saving system. In addition, faster and easier mold changing is possible thanks to the partially automated changing devices of the fixtures, thus increasing the flexibility and availability of the unit.
A high degree of operating comfort of the unit is ensured by the intuitively operated KraussMaffei PLC control system. It controls important key parameters of the foaming process, such as, for example, the temperatures in the molds or in the sidewall panels of the fixtures, and thus ensures consistently high product quality. Furthermore, additional local control units allow the display and backup of individual data of the foamed end products.
On the configuration, delivery and commissioning of the new Criotec system, the KraussMaffei experts from the three locations Munich (Germany), Abbiategrasso (Italy) and Queretaro Mexico worked hand in hand. The mixing and metering system with the proven mixing head traditionally came from the main factory in Munich, the robust and at the same time precise foaming unit including the pentane monitoring system was provided by the Competence Center for White Goods in Abbiategrasso Italy. The customer obtains fast and professional service and support on location from the technicians of KraussMaffei Mexico.
» Download: Photo 1: System solution from a single source: The new KraussMaffei cabinet foaming line at Criotec in Santa Catarina/Mexico is characterized by a high degree of automation and consistently high quality and dimension stability of the foamed products
» Download: Photo 2: A strong team (from left to right): Gerardo Manrique (Criotec Operations Director), Angel Gonzalez (KraussMaffei Mexico, Manager RPM Division) and Felipe Nuñez (Criotec Manufacturing Manager)