Did you know that the world of quality foams and mattresses of Uratex started in 1968? Robert Cheng established Polyfoam Chemical Corporation to produce polyurethane foam. Shortly after, Uratex Foam brand was launched to the delight of quality-conscious consumers.
This and other great information were just some of the many new learning that more than sixty bloggers who participated in the recent media tour at the Uratex facility in Alaban, Muntinlupa.
Foam-making in the past may have been a tedious, manual labor-intensive job but the process was made even better, thanks to modern technology. By using state-of-the-art equipment, Multiflex RNC Philippines of the RGC Foam Group, makers of the popular Uratex foam, totally revolutionized foam-making not only in the Philippines but also in South East Asia.
Being one of the largest foam-makers in the region and with advanced foam manufacturing equipment, let us see how a Uratex foam product is made:
The Research & Development laboratory. Just like cooking, a good foam starts with the perfect recipe, and in foam-making, the R&D facility of the RGC Foam Group, one of the country’s most advanced, is where it all starts. There, Uratex laboratory personnel develop formulations that result to certain types of foam and also conduct tests to ensure that the formulation will meet final product specifications that customers look for. Over the years, this department has developed thousands of formulations that benefited the Philippine industrial history, from the car development program of the 1970s to the footwear, garments and electronics boom in the 1980s and 1990s.
Foaming. Once the formulation is finalized, it is entered into the foaming machine’s computer system. There, up to 26 streams of different chemicals are doused using computer-controlled metering pumps for precision. The liquid will turn into cream within seconds and then into solid state within 1.5-2 minutes, and where the solid foam block may be cut between 1 to 60 meters in length. At the Muntinlupa plant, the foam is cut in 30-meter lengths. This high-tech machinery is complimented by a quality management system and ran by highly-trained personnel.
Curing area. The 30-meter long blocks are then picked up by an overhead crane and transferred to the curing area. Foam is produced via an exothermic reaction where the center may reach up to 145-165 degrees Celsius within 20-30 minutes. It will not start to cool for another 3-4 hours but will reach room temperature within 24 hours and is “cured”.
Foam block warehouse. This is the storage area for the foam blocks. From there, the plant’s production department will request for a specific type of block with different sizes as per orders coming from customers. These blocks are then moved to the production area where they will be cut according to the desired sizes.
Production area. It is from this area where the Uratex products that we all see come from. The foam blocks are cut into the requested size and then “contoured” based on the type of product to be produced, whether a pillow, a mattress, or even a car seat foam. Once cut and contoured, the product goes straight to packaging under strict quality control standards, ready for delivery to the customer.
The RGC Group of Companies revolutionized foam making back in 1987 when they set up the first continuous foaming machine in the country called the “Vertifoam” process. This involves computerized metering of materials to form perfectly-shaped foam with lesser scrap that benefited both the market and the environment because of less wastage. For more details about Uratex, visit www.uratex.com.ph.