We spoke to Matt Dunlop, Director at Australian Foam Laminators, about his business and his work with Joyce Foam Products.
Who started the company?
I started the company in June 2016, though I’d worked in the textile industry since 2000.
As companies chased higher productivity gains, the machinery and fabric used in production were increasing in size. I saw a need for a lamination service to accommodate foam greater than 1900 mm wide.
The Newcastle facility has two production lines capable of laminating foam widths up to 2400 mm and employs 5 people.
I’ve also seen an increasing demand in the Victorian market for foam lamination services. I recently bought a factory in Melbourne which will officially join the AFL group of businesses in October 2017. The factory employs a team of 7 and was previously owned by Toyota. As well as servicing the automotive and auto after-market industry, it added value to in-theatre seating, office furniture, and bedding products.
What products do you sell?
Flame lamination is a very effective method for bonding flexible foams and certain non-wovens to a variety of other substrates. These include fabrics, films, and papers. (A substrate is defined as “an underlying substance or layer”).
We offer flame laminating services as a low-cost and eco-friendly option for creating single-sided, double-sided, or multilayer laminations measuring up to 25 mm in thickness.
Here’s how it works:
- We pass a substrate (primarily polyurethane foam) through a controlled flame. This changes the surface of the foam to a molten state.
- Another substrate (textile) is then brought into direct contact with the molten foam under controlled tension and pressure (at the nip point).
- As the molten foam cools, a cohesive bond is formed at the interface between the foam and textile. The strength of this bond depends on factors like the speed and distance at which the foam passes through the controlled flame.
What are the core benefits and key characteristics of your products?
The key benefit of our lamination process is that there’s one less product being used – glue. Using glue to adhere a substrate to foam can lead to ‘delamination’ if not applied correctly. Delamination can occur when certain solvents and liquids come into contact with the laminated product. Heat can also lead to delamination of glued products.
We’ve proven that our flame lamination process can lead to both cost-savings and longer-lasting products.
What type of businesses use your products?
There are a variety of applications for our lamination services including:
- car seat cover manufacturing
- motor trimming upholstery
- acoustic barrier production
- office partitioning
What are the key ingredients to the company’s success?
The key to our success is our understanding of our customers’ business. We value all of our customers and potential customers and we work with each one to understand how we can fit into their business.
Once we establish a fit, we work hard to create a cost effective, high quality product. We have a small, experienced team dedicated to the engineering and service necessary to support long-term partnerships.
Our core values include the highest level of customer service and innovative solution-based manufacturing. We’ve got a passion for business and technological development.
Safety is an important element of our success. We abide by strict safety standards.
We’re also careful to track and record all jobs going through the facility at every stage of production. This enables us to trace all stages of the process and products used. Production runs are tracked in batches. This is especially useful in the event of a recall.
Innovation is paramount. We’re continuously looking at measures and products to make the process more efficient, not only for us but for each participant in the supply chain.
How have Joyce helped support your success?
The team at Joyce have been very supportive, particularly in the area of product development. I’m in a real growth phase of my business and I’ll be relying on them to support my product innovation with their extensive knowledge and experience.
Visit the Australian Foam Laminators website at www.austlam.com.au