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Roller shutters manufacturing: increased profits and sustainability with coil-to-window systems

20/10/2017


This article explains how coil to window Dallan systems can generate savings over 219.000 Euro every year for the rolling shutter window producer, what are the main factors that generate such high savings and why this production method is more sustainable and eco-friendly.

Aluminum PU-foamed rolling shutters are more and more popular in Europe and abroad thanks to their multiple advantages: energy saving, increased privacy and safety, easy automation, high quality and resistance to atmospheric agents.

The standard production cycle for rolling shutter curtains starts form 6 meter long bars, that are cut to length and assembled with a scrap rate between 10 and 15%.

Modern coil-to-window production systems, instead, start from the aluminum coil and produce cut to size rolling shutter curtains with a scrap rate close to zero.

Follow the link and discover more about coil-to-window rolling shutter production systems.


Traditional production method from roll formed bars

The most common production system starts from roll formed slats, cut in the length of 5,6 to 6 meters. The bars are cut to length and depending on the width of the window, a piece of bar remains unused. The following table shows scrap rates on a 5,6 meter long bar, for different curtain widths.

Rolling shutter window producers have tried different ways to optimize the scrap rate, for example by cutting different sizes on the same bar, sorting them afterwards. Clearly, these operations are time consuming and need to be assisted by an operator.

Generally, the scrap rate assumed with this production method is between 10 and 15%.


Coil-to-window rolling shutter production system

Coil-to-window production systems produce assembled and fixed curtains directly from the aluminum coil.

Production data such as the window width, height and quantities are loaded via simple excel tables to the system.

This automatic line includes:

  • Decoiler that holds the aluminum coil
  • Roll forming machine forms the aluminum slat
  • Foaming machine where polyol and isocyanate are mixed
  • Set of curing benches to complete the expansion of the foam
  • Flying sawing unit that cuts the slats to size
  • Punching machine to process the ventilation holes in the slats
  • Stacking bench to insert the slats and automatically form the curtain
  • Final assembly unit adding the plastic caps to locks the curtain, which is then delivered to the machine operator

Such line requires the presence of just one operator during the production. The following video shows the machine in operation.


Calculation of the raw material costs

25000 windows require between 2 and 2,5 million linear meters of profiles, depending on the profile size. Let's now analyze the savings in raw materials generated by the coil-to-window system for different sizes of profiles.

The following table shows the aluminum and PU foam weight per linear meter of rolling shutter slat. The cost for the aluminum and polyurethane are variable and can be required to PU and coated aluminum producers.

The slats have been selected among the most significative out of a 300 profiles catalogue. The offer of rolling shutter profiles has segmented to cover high quality profiles and first-price products ("eco" profiles). Eco profiles have generally a smaller band width and a lower thickness: Aluminum, in fact, represents 86 to 92% of the raw material cost.

The production of 2,5 million meter of products, results in the following cost in raw material. The table shows also the saving generated by reducing the raw material purchase by 10 to 15%.


Notes

  • The indicated values are obtained calculating just the aluminum and polyurethane cost. If rolling shutters slats are purchased, these costs have to be increased adding the machine operation cost, energy and operator cost, fixed costs repartition and markup (and this may increase the figures by two or three times).
  • The weight of PU has been calculated with standard density foam and the raw material costs (PU and Aluminum) refer to October 2016 values.
  • Yearly production for a 37 meter per minute coil to window production system working one shift 220 days per year is 2 to 2,5 million linear meters - this figure can vary depending on profile size, medium window sizes in height and width, number of coil changes per day. When working two or three shifts, the savings are multiplied by two or three, making the coil-to-window machine payback extremely short.


Sustainability

The scrap on 2,5 million meter of profiles equals in average to 300000 linear meters of aluminum and PU, which in turn correspond to 30,8 tons of aluminum and 2,7 tons of polyurethane foam. These materials need also to be disposed of: in European countries they are considered a special waste, and companies need to pay for the disposal.

By reducing waste, coil-to-window production systems reduce the impact of the production on the environment, AND introduce additional savings for the rolling shutter window producer.


Conclusions

In the search for efficiency, innovative technologies introduce new paradigms, increasing productivity, efficiency and sustainability in the production.

Coil-to-window technology is a great opportunity for the rolling shutter window producer to introduce advanced automation, continuous processes, quality control, process control and integration with ERP systems.

In this article, I focused on how coil-to-window technology easily introduces a 10 to 15% saving in raw material, in particular producing of the same quantity and quality of final products, with less raw material and less scrap.

This makes the production of rolling shutter windows a lot more profitable, and also more sustainable and eco-friendly.

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