Duderstadt, Germany – The first parts have been delivered from FoamPartner’s new converting centre. The Duderstadt facility was up and running 12 months after construction started in April 2019. By the end of June this year, more than 1000 different parts and components had been made.
The company invested EUR10m in the 8500 m2 facility, where 50 new jobs have been created. The company expects it will gain ISO 9001 certification before the end of 2020.
‘Our project team has worked hard to complete the centre within the shortest possible time frame, and started production in April 2020, despite the difficult circumstances caused by coronavirus,’ said Tobias Gruener, EVP for business in Europe. ‘The centre was purpose-designed as a "smart factory", in adherence to Industry 4.0 principles, with a highly digitalised and automated workflow.’
The centre has a modular design, including more than 50 different machines. Capabilities include thermal compression, horizontal splitting and vertical cutting of foam sheets, die cutting and stamping, horizontal and multi-spindle drilling, and milling. Welding, bonding, lamination and impregnation can also be carried out. A small-scale machining centre allows speciality products to be made in lower volumes.
SAP S/4 Hana ERP software enables efficient planning and coordination. Semi-autonomous material transport is achieved with automated guided vehicles, and there are floor-bound conveyors in the stocking area. Fully autonomous robots remove the finished products, and there is a robotic cleaning system.
‘By pooling our expertise – R&D, foam production, processing, application engineering, prototyping – we now provide the entire value chain for our customers at once, for fastest possible order-to-delivery and time-to-market at the highest quality and competitiveness,’ said FoamPartner’s CEO Michael Riedel.