IPF has developed My Foam Plant, a data capture and software system that can save foamers money and increase efficiency of their process. Angel Vinas talks with Simon Robinson.
Angel Vinas is a man with a mission: to make the continuous flexible foam industry more profitable and to understand how to produce a good quality block of foam that will give you the best possible cutting yield, under any circumstances, without the black arts.
Vinas’ main weapon in this battle is My Foam Plant, a combination of data capture and processing that can directly link the properties, the performance and the shape of flexible foam blocks to the age of raw materials; formulation, pouring, processing, curing and storage conditions in statistically significant ways.
One of the challenges in processing polyurethane is that there are many, many parameters over which they can be no control. ‘We are producing a solid out of a liquid in variable atmospheric conditions,’ he said. ‘During the process, the formulation, the physical parameters of the machine and the atmospheric conditions will change. As a consequence, the processing of a formula A on a machine B will give you a different result on a sunny day in Ecuador or a rainy day in England. Nobody is really tracking what is going on across the whole process.’
The industry ‘has the same problem: each new machine set up starts almost from scratch. Typically, there’s a professional on a platform, who cannot look at…