A leading manufacturer of quality pergola systems in Italy needed to significantly increase their manufacturing volumes. At the time, the production of pergola systems, including the cutting of the PVC-coated panels and the application of the omega and anti-drip profiles, was done manually. The company had traditionally focused on producing awnings and blinds, but decided to push pergola systems of both large and extra-large dimensions, thus were looking for a solution to speed up their manufacturing processes. The pergolas marketed by this Italian company were meant to be high-end and had to be visually pleasing, with flat and wrinkle free seams.
For this solution, we took our SM-370-HA flatbed welding plotter for the high-volume production of truck curtains and roofs in flexible PVC and adapted the welding heads. This way, instead of applying the classical horizontal-vertical truck curtain straps, they could weld the omega profiles and anti-drip-profiles.
Initially a single bridge with two welding heads, we added four more (for a total of six welding heads), moved the PVC fabric. This was firmly kept in place on the massive 9 x 17 m work surface by 4 powerful vacuum turbines and simultaneously applied up to 6 omega profiles or the anti-drip profiles on both the left and right edges of the PVC. We also installed a rotary cutting tool on the outer welding head of the machine to cut the PVC sheet to size during the welding cycle to save the time for this otherwise consuming operation.
Since the machine would be used for high volume production and operated six days a week, we designed the structure to be incredibly sturdy and installed components of the highest quality. The result was a machine so strong that our entire engineering team could pose on the worktop.
Simultaneous application of multiple profiles. Enormous time-saving.
The SM-370-HA proved to be an absolute winner. Instead of welding one meter of omega or anti-drip profile at a time with the traditional HF technology, our machine currently applies up to six profiles simultaneously, while still cutting the fabric to size.
The machine can process from either the (jumbo) roll using the motorized unwinder in front of the machine or weld on precut sheets. Spreading of the PVC-coated panels is done automatically by a heavy-duty grip-and-pull system.
SM-370-HA creates pergolas of the highest quality and has been working in our customer’s plant since 2014.