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Uratex Foam Cebu Multimax

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A Plant Tour Report


In Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for ChE 140 Chemical Process Industries
University of the Philippines Visayas
Miag-ao, Iloilo
____________________________________

Submitted to
Dr. Lucita De Guzman

Submitted by
El Nio B. Estores
Hazel Jan B. Fuertes
Clarence P. Lopez
Rodgin Grace D. Regencia

April 23, 2015

INTRODUCTION

Foam industry provided comfort, support, safety and durability to its


consumers. From homes and schools to businesses, it catered furniture and
mattresses for consumers daily use. Flexible polyurethane foam is one of the most
versatile materials ever created. This cushioning material can be found in beds,
sofas, car seats, carpets.
Currently, there are many companies that produce polyurethane foams. One
of the largest manufacturers of high quality foams is the RGC foam group which has
now several factories around the country. Their production is mainly governed by
man-controlled machines that are exported outside the country.
In partial fulfilment of the requirements for the course ChE 140: Chemical
Process Industries, the class conducted a plant tour at several plants in Cebu from
April 13-15, 2015. One of the plants visited last April 14, 2015 is the Uratex Foam Cebu Multimax. This paper mainly discusses the company profile and history of
Uratex Foam, the process of foam production used by Cebu Multimax and the
names and markets of the Uratex products.
COMPANY PROFILE
The RGC Foam Group produces the Uratex Foam and is part of the RGC Group
of Companies, one of the most progressive manufacturers in the Philippines today.
The companys thriving foam business began in 1968 when Robert Go Cheng
realized his dream of producing high-quality foam. Together with his wife Natividad
Cheng, the current Chief Executive Officer, he founded the Polyfoam Chemical
Corporation and started with less than 10 employees in a rented warehouse in
Pasay City. Some parts of the foam production and company meetings were held
under the shade of asantol tree. Later on, the companyexpanded into related
businesses to address the growing needs of the automotive, furniture, bedding,
footwear, garment, textile and food industries.
In 2001, the companys 50-hectare State of the Art Foam Factory was
established in Plaridel, Bulacan. The State of the Art Cebu Foam Factory was
established in 2008. Additional foam plants in Naga, Pangasinan and Davao and
Cagayan de Oro were constructed in 2010, 2011 and 2013 respectively. They have
currently 16 factories located in 12 locations across the country which are the Miller
Foam Conversion Plant (Polyfoam RGC International), Alabang Plant (Multiflex RNC
Phil.), Pasig RGC Textile Plant, Valenzuela Plant (Polyfoam RGC Phil.), Lamination
Plant, InoacCanlubang Plant, Plastic Injection Plant, MultiflexCanlubang Plant, RGC
Mufflers Plant, Leaf Spring Plant, Canlubang Radiator Plant, Stamped Auto Parts
Plant, Plaridel Plant in Bulacan, Naga Marcos Highway and Pangasinan Plants,
Cagayan de Oro Plant and Showroom, Davao Plant and Showroom, Iloilo Plant, and
Cebu plant. Aside from foam production, they also produce good quality plastic
wares such as chairs and tables, and offers lamination and fabrication services.
The companys State of the Art Cebu Foam Factory, or also known as Cebu
Multimax, was established in 2008 to cater the Visayas and Mindanao Markets.The
Cebu Plant occupies 5 hectares of land area in Plaridel Street, Barangay Umapad,

Mandaue City, Cebu. It has a total of 200 personnel in the manufacturing section.
The Cebu plant also includes a showroom where they showcase their high quality
products.The products produced from this plant are marketed both locally and
globally.
The company upholds their vision which is to be the number one foam
company in Southeast Asia in terms of customer satisfaction, quality, market share,
technological advancement and commitment to world-class excellence. They intend
to attain this vision through teamwork, innovation and total quality management.
They also aim to satisfy customers through quality products that are competitively
priced, delivered on time and developed through close coordination with their
customers. The company have three missions which are to be the customers choice
with products and services that can be relied upon and depended on, to be the
employees choice with a commitment to their welfare and their growth and lastly,
to be able to contribute to the community we are in and to the Filipino society as a
whole.
FOAM PRODUCTION
TheUratex of Cebu branch utilizes 6 drums of raw materials which usually
weigh25kg per drum. The chemicals used such as polyoland TDI are kept at 8 OC to
20OC in order to produce high-quality foam. The raw materials utilized by the Cebu
Plantcome from global suppliers such as Bayer, BASF, Shell, Dow, and Mitsui. The
chemicals are mixed in desired ratios and a chemical reaction is obtainedto produce
the stable, long chain polymer known as urethane. Small blocks of foam are formed
from the chemical reaction. Different colors of foam are produced for different foam
densities. Each color corresponds to a specified density.The small blocks of foam are
then tested using the tear test machine at the Quality Assurance Room. If the
quality of the foam is within the acceptable value, the large scale production of
foam begins.
The formula for the foam production is introduced in a conveyor machine
which also acts as an oven to solidify the liquid foam. This machine is called the
Laaderberg Foaming Machine from Norway. It is equipped with a MaxFoam
Computer that controls all the processes from mixing of chemicals to speed of
conveyor. The machine could foam 5.6 meters per minute. Paper with plastic is
coated at the top and sides of the produced foam to avoid the sticking of foam in
the machine. A mechanical roller is also used to flatten the foam. The paper is
removedand the solid foam is coated with the plastic material. The solid foam is cut
every 18 meters since the Cebu Plant only utilizes cranes that can transfer the
mentioned length of foam. However, the main plant of the company in Plaridel,
Bulacanadopted a high-tech process of producing quality foam with the use of
HenneckeMultiflex Machine.The technology features a well-designed high pressure
mixing system with a powerful drive and can produce 60 meters block of foam. The
dimensionsof the foam in the Cebu Plant are 18m x 33.5m x 80m and its weight is
approximately 1 ton.The insidetemperature of the foam is approximately 150160OCand it is allowed to cool down for 24 hours at the curing room.The foams

inside temperature is constantly monitoredusing digital temperature-measuring


equipment.Sprinkling system is also prepared in the curing room in case of fire due
to heat from the foam. Once the inside temperature of the foam is at room
temperature (32OC), samples from both ends and center of the 18-meter block of
foam are obtained. These samples are subjected again for quality test. If
thesamples fail the test, the foam is rejected and is utilized for the production of
rebonded foam.Rebonded foams are made from excess foam cut into smaller
pieces.If the samples pass the quality test, the 18-meter block of foam is transferred
into the cutting area.25 blocks of 18-meter foams per day can be produced
regardless of the quality test.

Different cutting machines are used by the Uratexinorder to produce wide


variety of products. The Horizontal Cutting Machine cuts foam horizontally. A built-in
roller helps press the foam to exactly give the desired foam thickness. The cutting
settings are automatic and made possible with its digital control in a separate panel.
The Vertical Cutting Machine is used to cut the long block into short blocks. Short
blocks are converted into cut sizes or slabs depending on customers specification.
The vertical cutting machine is also used in trimming foam block sliding before
slicing the foam to its desired dimension. Some of the products from using these
machines are the Fold A Mat (FAM), Kiddie Sit n Sleep, Senso Memory Foam and the
Assorted Mattresses.
The Wintech Profiler Machine is another cutting machine that cuts the foam
according to the drawing made by an operator on a computer. A software would let
the computer communicate with the cutting machine. Contoured pillows, sofa beds,
contoured sofa and seat cushions are some of theproducts produced using this
machine. On the other hand, the Bio-Aire Machine is a cutting machine that
transforms regular foam slabs into contour shape or egg-tray shaped foam after
passing the machine rotating blade. Bio-aire Mattress Topper, SensoAire Pillow,
Contour Plus Pillows and Snuggles are some of the products made using the said
machine. Bio-aire products are also used in sport equipment such as the protective
gear. Figure 1 shows some of the products produced by the Wintech Profiler Machine
and Bio-aire Machine.

Fig.1. Contoured pillows, Snuggles and

Springs are added in foams for mattresses in the Spring Department of the
plant. The springs used are either Bonnel springs where the springs are
interconnected, or Pocket springs in which they are individually created and placed
in fabric pockets. The Pocket Spring Machine and Assembly is used in producing the
pocket springs. The design of the pocket springs allows the springs to move
independently to achieve the right support regardless of differences in weight. The
adhesive used to produce the Pocket Spring Mattress is a water-based chemical
supplied by Simalfa from Switzerland which is non-toxic, water-soluble, and is
therefore very safe to use. Figure 2 shows the adhesive supplied by Simalfa.Uratex
is phasing out the use of Rugby, a toxic petroleum based flue, for its mattress
fabrication.
The different foams that were cut for different designs are covered by fabrics.
The quilting section of the plant utilizes a machine that imprints the various quilt
designs on to the fabrics used for covering mattresses. Through the control panel of
the said machine, the operator can draw designs and command the machine to
start the quilting using complex set up of needles and threads. The average quilting
rate is 5 minutes per meter. The tape edge operation of the plant uses a machine
that is used to close by tape edge sewing the edges of foam and spring mattresses
to produce a completely enclosed mattress. There are two machines available each
with a capacity to produce 100 assorted mattress per 8 hours. The product is
covered with plastic, with its warranty placed inside, at the packing section. It is
then transferred at the plants warehouse for storage until it is transported to
different clients buying the foam.
The different problems met in the foam production are due to environment,
man, and machine. For the environment, uncontrollable temperature changes cause
severe effect on the process of foam production, especially during strong
thunderstorms and rain. On the other hand, human error occurs when there is
inaccurate analysis of the quality of the foam. Human errors are also observed in
inaccurate handling of the different cutting machines. Finally, machine error occurs
when the equipment suddenly stopped in operating or the machine overheated.
Thus, it is a necessary to continuously check the equipment to avoid such
circumstances.
Solid and liquid wastes are produced during processes of foam production.
The company hires a contractor who will manage their solid wastes. After an
operation, the solid wastes are collected and the contractor will be the one to
dispose it. On the other hand, there are mixtures that stick in the walls of the
machines. Through cleaning of these machines, those that stuck in the walls will be
removed, and this will be liquid wastes. These liquid wastes are then mixed again
with raw materials. Mixed colored foams are then produced.

NAME AND MARKET OF PRODUCTS

Listed below are the commercial names or brands of the Uratex Products.
These products are found in the local market.
UratexFoam
Massage Pillow
Permahard Foam
Purifoam
Uratex Premium Mattress
Therapoint Mattress
Safe & Clean Mattress
Scatola
Comfort Zone Latex Plus
Premium Touch Comfort

Comfort Plus
Comfort & Joy Sofa Bed
Orthocare Mattress
Senso Memory
Viscoluxe Memory
Sleep Comfort Memory Mattress
Play and Grow Baby Seat
US Rubber Foam
Premium Touch CozyLatex
Trapunto

Due to the world-class quality of their products, Uratex also caters the global
demands by exporting their high-quality foams. Table 1 shows some of the products
exported to different countries outside the Philippines. Export furniture makers
based in Cebu such as DEDON and PCFR patronises Uratex products. The expertly
crafted cushion items produced by the Uratex meet the strict quality requirements
of European and American Furniture customers.

Table 1. Exported Products of Uratex


Product
Country
Pocket Spring
Japan
Leaf Spring/Radiator
Germany, United Arab
Emirates
Uratex Foam
USA
California Gray/White 160
USA
CMHR
Europe
Rebonded foam
Guam
CFWSO1
USA
Sponge
Japan
Permasoft Pink with FR
USA
Comfort Plus with FR
USA
At present,Uratex is considered as one of the top 30 foamers in Asia and
arguably number 1 in Southeast Asia.Uratex standards has acceptance by
automotive and motorcycle OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers). Uratex
products are accepted by the export market such as Suisse Sense of Europe, NFLof
United States of America, the multinational companies DEDON, Ford, Mazda and
Inoac of Japan.
CONCLUSION

Among the foam companies in the country, Uratex uses the most advanced
technology and machines in producing their products. And to compensate their
products quality with the quantity produced, they have a monitoring system which
ensures that the high quality envisioned is reproducible to every batch of products
that will come out. Uratex has also a Foam Research and Development and Process
Engineering Departments that are dedicated in continuous development and
acquisition of advanced technology, equipment, and processes all over the world.
They ensure that Uratex Foam - Cebu Multimax and other Uratex plants are updated
of the latest advancements in the foam industry and that the foams produced are of
high quality and of world-class standard. Therefore,the Foam Research and
Development and Process Engineering Departments are the key and significant
contributors in making Uratex a world-class foam company.
With their world-class formulation and process engineering expertise in the
foam industry, Uratextoday continues to be at the forefront of product innovation,
technological advancement, and fulfillment of the increasing product and service
demands of both local and international customers.