We’re back from a wonderful week at Interzum in Cologne, Germany! No matter what you do in the furniture industry, Interzum is one of the best ways to learn about all the latest innovations. To top it off, it’s located in a city full of culture and history, meaning there’s plenty to do both at and after the show.
Attending Interzum is an invaluable opportunity for us at C³ to talk with foam pourers and mattress manufacturers all under one roof. The show gives us a chance to reach a more diverse audience at a global level. We like to listen to what’s going on – the new trends, features, and resources emerging in the market. It’s always enjoyable to hear where our booth visitors are from and what problems C³ can help them solve. Here’s our quick recap on our experience and what we’re moving towards next.
Growing Concern – How Do We Move Straight from Lamination to Packaging?
Many of our conversations this week revolved around manufacturers looking for ways to go straight from lamination to packaging. Perfect timing, as our engineers invested R&D time into this challenge earlier in the year. With our semi-automated lamination system, we were able to test different glues and how they responded to the lamination process and curing. Customers are concerned with the time it takes to cure glue before packaging, wanting a speedy result. Yet, if their laminator or spray process isn’t able to control the glue application, they can be left with wet, over-glued beds.
Through this research, we developed the automated gap control system. This feature allows companies to make exact glue applications to each layer without stopping, adjusting, and restarting the machine. It also adjusts to the layer, even if it’s a little lower or higher than the expected recipe. This guarantees the right amount of glue is applied to every layer, every time.
“We are able to control the gap between our rollers on the fly,” explains Roman, one of our account managers. “This way we can change the glue usage per layer of the bed. Trying to find the minimum amount of glue needed to get a good bond is the key to saving valuable dollars. The semi-automated lamination system is the key to precise glue usage with water-based adhesives.”
Compression Packaging Is No Longer a Differentiator, It’s a Necessity
The market was screaming – compression packaging capabilities are a must. Whether you’re interested in direct-to-consumer sales or simply being able to fit more product on a truck, compressing, folding, and rolling are necessary to stay competitive in today’s market.
We brought our compression packaging machine, the CF1396, with us to Interzum. This is not the same machine you remember from Interzum 2017. True to our engineering nature we have made many advancements on this machine, including our traversing stretch cart shown at the show. This, plus the fast throughput, protective heat seal bars, and press with just the right weight provide everything you need to make perfect packages. Alex, lead electrical engineer, remarked, “Every customer also commented on the durability and consistency of our machine. All this combined really sets us apart in the industry.”
The traversing stretch wrap addition showed visitors how to make the most of the same length of film. It moves side to side to wrap products of varying dimensions. For example, a folded standard queen mattress is around 42 inches, therefore you’d use a 50-inch stretch film in the machine. Let’s say you don’t fold some of these beds, so you’re rolling to the length of the bed at 80 inches. With the same SKU of stretch loaded in the machine, you can wrap this 80-inch package. Now you no longer need to swap out film sizes for larger or smaller products, saving tons of time and labor for your operators. We’re the only ones in the market with this feature!
One thing’s for sure, our visitors were ready to see how our automation will help them produce more with less waste. Many stopped to talk with us about our compression system, whether they’re upgrading, expanding, or moving into compression packaging for the first time. It was obvious compression packaging is no longer a market advantage, but a necessity in the mattress industry. It’s simply too expensive and labor-intensive to package beds any other way, even in developing markets. “More customers are moving towards compressing and rolling mattresses,” said lead engineer Alex. “C³, of course, will continue to create options for every different type of package the customer is looking for.” Those interested in keeping their manufacturing lean wanted to learn more about how our automated glue application solutions will help them achieve that. “People want to maximize their floor space by reducing WIP,” said Roman. “The LCN1000 will help them better meter glue usage with water-based adhesives, thanks to the gap control developments from our lamination team.”
Between our compression and lamination advancements, you can count on C³ for these kinds of non-stop developments that will help you in the foam and mattress industry. Expect us to continue to bring ingenuity that meets your needs to the market, both now and in the future.
See you again in 2021, Interzum!