The foam used for furniture and mattresses involves a special production process as well as a special way of transport.
Polyether foam and High Resilience (HR) foam (a type of polyether foam commonly referred to as cold foam) are produced through a polymerisation reaction between polyols, isocyanates and water. The foam is produced in big slabs of 1,200 mm high and cut into applicable dimensions. Since polyether foam is a flexible and elastic material, it is mostly used in products for which comfort is an important factor, such as furniture and mattresses.
Regular transport takes place between the producer of the foam slabs and the processing companies that further process and manufacture the foam. Van Eck, in conjunction with various foam manufacturers, has developed a transport solution especially for the transport of polyether foam slabs. Not only does this solution save money for the manufacturer, it also saves the environment.
In 1969, Van Eck developed the first special vehicle for transporting polyether foam. During the past 40 years, Van Eck has gained extensive knowledge of the market and the product. Based on these many years of experience, Van Eck marketed various innovative solutions in the past years, providing polyether foam manufacturers with an opportunity to take a headstart in the their overall business operations. Ever since 1969, Van Eck has manifested itself as the right partner for the development of efficient and permanent transport solutions and is regarded as the European market leader for polyether foam transport solutions.
The Ecksclusive Foam Combination
Early 2009 the latest version of our compression vehicles was introduced to the market. This vehicle enables the carrier to transport 9 foam slabs of 1,200 mm stacked on top of each other. The total number of foam slabs that can be loaded strongly depends on the length of the slabs. With dimensions of 2,400 mm in length and 1,200 mm in height, a total of 54 foam slabs can be loaded. By means of a hydraulic double compression system in combination with a hydraulically adjustable intermediate floor and roof, this vehicle reduces the cargo volume by 76%, thus only 24% of the original volume is left. The carrier can transport the cargo of 3.6 normal trailers using a single ‘compression’ vehicle.
Thanks to the 360% increase in volume, this vehicle comes with a large number of advantages. It generates gigantic savings in driver, fuel and toll costs and reduces CO2 emissions by 75%.
Double compression system
The hydraulically adjustable intermediate floor and roof are raised by means of 4 cylinders per bodywork. The 4 cylinders raise the roof over 3.5 metres so that the 1,200 mm high foam slabs can be easily loaded and unloaded. Compared to other vehicles in the market, the compression capacity of this vehicle is extremely high. The latest model enables the carrier to transport 76% more cargo. The design of the compression system is suitable for all types of foam. That means that heavier qualities such as ester foam can be easily compressed to 24% of the total volume.
The transfer from the first to the second compression process is carried out by means of a PLC-controlled pneumatic transfer system.
Since the roof is built by means of a single whole steel sandwich construction, the vehicle benefits from a perfect synchronising system. Thanks to the steel finish of the roof and a perfect rubber profile sealing between the roof and sidewalls there is absolutely no leakage and the risk of damage to the foam is minimised.
Automatic loading and unloading system
The vehicle is fitted with an automatic loading and unloading system. The floor and the intermediate floor both have an automated conveyor belt. The first floor has an alternating reversible conveyor that automatically unreels by means of a cable at the rear and that winds up again by means of a reel at the front. Using an alternating reversible conveyor belt wins height in the bodywork.
The intermediate floor is fitted with an endless loop conveyer belt that consists of two endless loop tracks with antiskid profiles, making it suitable for heavier loads. The decision to use an endless loop conveyor belt makes working with spaces between the slabs unnecessary, eliminating delays during loading and unloading.
The foam slabs are loaded and unloaded by means of a forklift with hydraulic side clamps and a reach of at least 5,000 mm. The loading time for 54 foam slabs is 45 minutes; unloading takes only 30 minutes.
Eckstra reinforced sidewalls
The bodywork consists of polyester sandwich sidewalls that are 160 mm thick. Reinforcements have been fitted in the polyester walls in order to compensate for the pressure exerted by the foam onto the walls to prevent the walls from bulging out. Furthermore, a total of 6 guide bars have been fitted in each wall, reinforcing the bodywork as well as protecting the foam slabs during loading and unloading. Since the guide bars move along while the roof is raised, the slabs are kept in position in windy conditions.
Long life cycle
The development and construction of the vehicle has seen a strong emphasis on prolonging its life cycle. All steel sections, on both the outside and inside of the vehicle, have undergone a high-quality surface treatment. All steel components have been galvanized, while the exterior sections and the chassis have also been finished with a two-component paint in a colour of personal preference. The whole constructions process is based on a guaranteed life cycle of at least 15 years.
The development of the vehicle involved some serious considerations concerning the safety of the vehicle for operating staff. The compression cycle and the loading and unloading system can be entirely operated via wireless remote control. The whole system can be controlled effortlessly from a distance of 20 metres.
We would be pleased to further inform you on the possibilities that will give you a headstart in your logistical service provision. For further information or questions about our transport solutions, please contact the Sales department
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