Refrigerators must be well insulated if cooling capacity and energy efficiency are to remain stable. Criotec is one of the leading manufacturers of refrigerators and freezers in the Americas and has specialized mostly in products for industrial use such as refrigerators for beverages, refrigerated display cases or insulated boxes. Especially in these large-volume cooling units, insulation is critical to ensure an optimal trade-off between cooling capacity and cost-efficiency in the end. This task is handled by a layer of foamed polyurethane (PUR) produced on the new housing foaming system from KraussMaffei Reaction Process Machinery. “KraussMaffei has convinced us over the long term as a system supplier. Thanks to the high degree of automation of the new housing foaming system, we have been able to significantly increase productivity and thus cost-efficiency,” says Felipe Nuñez,Manufacturing Manager at Criotec. The scope of supply for the entire line includes a RimStar Compact 40/40 mixing and metering system with mobile mixing head, an automated loading and unloading shuttle, six stationary fixtures and six adjustable foam molds for cabinet foaming, a preheating oven with two different cabinet positions, and a pentane monitoring system.
High quality and dimensional stability
“In addition to the high degree of automation, it is the consistently excellent quality and dimensional stability of the produced foam products that we benefit from,” Nuñez continues. One decisive factor for the high product quality is the RimStar Compact 40/40 mixing and metering system, which impresses with its particularly stable process and temperature control of the components, and thus ensures a permanently constant temperature. The mobile ULP 12/18 transfer mixing head can be conveyed on a manipulator and supplies the individual fixtures. The entire process is fully automated.
"KraussMaffei has earned a longterm partnership with us as our system supplier."
A strong team (from left to right)Gerardo Manrique (Operations Director, Criotec), Angel Gonzalez (Manager Reaction Process Machinery, KraussMaffei in Mexiko) and Felipe Nuñez (Manufacturing Manager, Criotec).
Flexibly positioned for new markets
However, speed, precision and top quality are not the only requirements that must be met at Criotec. The cabinet foaming line is at present foaming up to seven different sizes and models from the current Criotec portfolio. “In this flexibility, we see a further strength of the new cabinet foaming line. Thanks to this line, we are perfectly prepared not only for the current Criotec products but also for future developments and markets,” concludes Nuñez. For example, the six hydraulically driven fixtures can be individually adjusted to the cabinet dimensions. The precise temperature control is a state-of-the-art energy-saving system. In addition, fast and easy mold changing is possible due to the partly automated changeover devices of the fixtures, increasing the flexibility and availability of the system. During configuration, delivery and commissioning of the new Criotec system, the three KraussMaffei locations Munich, Abbiategrasso (Italy) and Queretaro (Mexico) worked in collaboration with each other. The mixing and metering system, including the tried-andtested mixing head, came from the original plant in Munich, as usual, while the robust and simultaneously precise foaming system including the pentane monitoring system came from the Major Appliances Competence Center in Abbiategrasso. The customer receives prompt and professional service and local support from the KraussMaffei employees in Mexico. Production capacity doubles and foaming efficiency increases: In the end, it is not just Criotec who benefits from the new housing foaming system, but the end customers as well, who get to enjoy a perfectly insulated, and therefore energy-efficient, cooling unit.