FSI Donates $40,000 to Help Grant Local Wishes for 4th Consecutive Year

Todd Keske, CEO at FSI, presents Make-A-Wish’s Lisa Kral-Lauterbach with a $40,000 grant on Feb. 15, 2022, at FSI’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO. The grant will support four life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.

ST. LOUIS — Feb. 15, 2022 — Continuing its support of Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Missouri & Kansas, FSI (Foam Supplies, Inc.), the world’s leading polyurethane systems house, has once again granted $40,000 to the nonprofit organization for the fourth straight year. As a Wish Benefactor Partner, FSI’s annual gift will help grant wishes to local children between the ages of 2 ½ and 18 facing critical illnesses.

“Since our founding 50 years ago, FSI has had a longstanding resolve to be a contributor to the community it serves,” says Todd Keske, CEO at FSI “Through our partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, we can help enrich the lives of children facing challenging circumstances with hope, strength and joy.”

Helping others and giving back is a valued tradition at FSI. Throughout the year, FSI employees volunteer their time and energy to making a positive impact on Make-A-Wish and other charities throughout the St. Louis area. This employee volunteer initiative annually raises thousands of dollars through grassroot fundraisers and internal campaigns.

“We are incredibly grateful for FSI’s continued generosity and commitment to our mission and wish kids,” says Lisa Kral-Lauterbach, Senior Director of Community & Corporate Philanthropy at Make-A-Wish Missouri & Kansas. “A wish forever transforms the lives of children, their families and entire communities. FSI’s generous gift, and the continued support of their employees, puts us one step closer to achieving our vision of granting the wish of every eligible child.”

###

ABOUT FSI

FSI, a global chemical supplier, is a leader in the polyurethane industry whose vision is building a better tomorrow. We create a sustainable environmental and social impact that positively changes the world and improves life. Our innovative products are trusted because we stay true to our core values of Sustainability, Innovation, and Caring. FSI’s patented Ecomate® technology is the most tested and proven environmentally friendly blowing agent on the market today. Ecomate has zero global warming potential, zero ozone depletion potential, and has no volatile organic compounds.

With a global presence along with multiple international manufacturing locations, FSI is headquartered in St. Louis, MO. Since our founding in 1972, we have been a purpose-driven organization, with a passion for our trade. We persevere by putting people first and remain privately held with family-based values that focus on more than just profits. Industries served include automotive, boating & marine, commercial refrigeration, construction, HVAC, refrigerated transport and spray foam. To learn more about our pursuit of environmental responsibility, please visit our websites at foamsupplies.com and ecomatetechnology.com.

ABOUT MAKE-A-WISH

Make-A-Wish® Missouri & Kansas creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We are on a quest to bring every eligible child’s wish to life, because a wish is an integral part of a child’s treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Make-A-Wish is the world’s leading children’s wish-granting organization, serving children in every community in the United States and in 50 countries worldwide. The local chapter is headquartered in Ballwin, Missouri and serves all counties in Missouri and Kansas.

Since 1983, Make-A-Wish Missouri & Kansas has granted more than 9,000 wishes to local children with critical illnesses. For more information about Make-A-Wish Missouri & Kansas and how you can transform lives, one wish at a time, please visit our website (wish.org/mokan) and connect with us on Facebook (makeawishMOKAN), Twitter (@makeawishMOKAN), Instagram (@makeawishMOKAN) and YouTube (MakeAWishMOKAN).

Process control parameters impacting foam garage door panel manufacturing

The foam that makes up the core of many modern garage doors is possible thanks to some very specific chemistry.

But solid chemistry alone is no guarantee for success.

Optimal processing conditions must be maintained to produce quality panels. If they’re not, common quality problems such as underfilling, overfilling or an array of surface defects can result.

Many foam garage door manufacturers experience unacceptable scrap rates which occur because the process parameters discussed below are not appropriately controlled. But with a better understanding of these parameters — and how they relate to one another — manufacturers can become key front-line troubleshooters that save time, money and material.

Know the 4 main process control parameters

In foam core garage door manufacturing, four main process control parameters impact finished product quality:

  • Temperature (including storage, processing equipment and ambient)
  • Dispensing rate
  • Line speed (in continuous applications)
  • Demold time (in discontinuous appplications)

While determining ideal process control parameters begins during process design, we’re not going to talk about specifications at any length. This resource is meant to help you understand the things you can control right nowwithout going back to the drawing board.  

A picture of several bulk storage tanks for foam inside a factory.

Temperature

Temperature might be the most difficult process parameter to control because it impacts foam garage door panel manufacturing quality at a few different stages. 

Bulk storage – The two components of a foam system are usually stored in large tanks in ambient conditions. Bulk storage temperature is easier to manage if the tanks are inside a climate-controlled facility. But if facilities lack climate control or the tanks are kept outdoors, the foam components are at the mercy of frequent seasonal and daily temperature fluctuations. As temperature deviates more and more from the ideal processing range, operators’ options for correcting the problem by tweaking other process parameters significantly diminish.

Day tank storage – Prior to mixing and dispensing, foam components are kept in “day tanks.” Most modern equipment features heat exchangers in these tanks designed to regulate the temperature of the foam. But if the components enter the tanks too hot or too cold, the heat exchangers won’t do their job in time. If precursors are dispensed outside of their normal process temperature, they might not mix or dispense properly. 

Processing equipment – For garage door panel foam to cure properly, the temperature of hardware such as platens, molds or conveyors must be maintained according to the foam system’s specifications. If contact surfaces are too hot, foam could cure before reaching its full rise. If they’re too cold, the foam could cure to a gummy texture and pull away from surfaces it should stick to. 

Ambient – If facilities lack climate control, seasonal or daily temperature fluctuations could cause quality problems that operators must constantly work to correct. A lack of ambient temperature control could exacerbate quality problems if the other temperature parameters noted above also are not well-controlled. However, if the other temperature parameters are well-controlled, ambient temperature is less of a factor in product quality.

Dispensing rate

The amount of pour-in-place foam deposited from a mixing machine to a mold or conveyor platen can influence its expansion and curing. This rate is settled on the premise that other parameters (such as line speed, demold time and temperature) also are optimized. A common misstep is for manufacturers to observe defects like voids or underfilling in finished panels and crank up the dispensing rate in response. 

That might be the right answer, but it might not. Was the temperature of the foam components or equipment too hot or too cold? Was the line speed too fast or demold time too brief? 

Line speed

That same logic applies to line speed for continuous panel manufacturing. This speed is determined in advance in harmony with other process parameters and the foam’s curing characteristics. 

If line speed increases without a commensurate increase in dispensing rate, there won’t be enough foam applied to fully fill panels and underfilling will result. Even if dispensing rate is adjusted to match a faster line speed, higher speed could result in foam that never fully cures. 

Conversely, if line speed slows, too much foam could be dispensed onto the conveyor unless the dispensing rate also is dialed down. Lower speed could also extend the curing time beyond what a foam system requires, potentially resulting in over-cured foam. 

Demold time

Demold time — which refers to the amount of time foam is held in a fixture to cure — is the discontinuous manufacturing version of line speed. Essentially, the same problems described in the line speed section can occur if demold time is adjusted upward or downward.

A picture of a variety of bulk storage tanks and smaller totes for foam inside a factory.

Take a holistic approach to troubleshooting

Foam garage door panel manufacturing is a complicated process where many variables must be tightly controlled. They must also be collectively optimized.

Fortunately, most quality problems can be solved by making educated process parameter adjustments. It’s merely a matter understanding the why behind a problem. 

But if problems still persist, the technical support and product guidance offered as part of our high-service business model is just one reason why a relationship with Foam Supplies is different. Are you experiencing persistent quality issues? Are process parameter adjustments not helping? It might be time to get some help. Contact a technical expert here

Technical Superiority and Support: Another FSI Advantage

For nearly 50 years, Foam Supplies has been distinguished not just by our products, but by our technical support as well. In fact, we are the only major polyurethane systems provider to offer routine, on-site maintenance to our customers to make sure that unplanned downtime is kept to a minimum.

At FSI, “Service What We Sell” is more than just a slogan – it’s one of the founding principles on which our business is based. And after nearly five decades, we’re proud to say that no other company can match our proactive approach to meeting all of our customers’ polyurethane needs – including their associated technical and troubleshooting needs – through our ongoing commitment to service.

Offering regular on-site service, training and support is part of our total commitment to customer success. It all starts with developing the right chemical system for your unique needs, progresses through extensive trials and demonstrations to optimize processes and ensure product performance, and continues with ongoing communication and personal visits to assure your operation runs smoothly and successfully.

Foam Supplies is not just a polyurethane chemical provider… we’re a true partner who’s there with our customers every step of the way. Find out more about our technical service and support here or contact your FSI representative to discuss your maintenance and support needs.

Don’t Let the Coming Cold Affect Your Foam’s Performance

With the hot days of summer behind us, it’s time to start planning for the cold days ahead (depending on your location, of course). Process control is important in any weather, but for polyurethane foam users, fall and winter are particularly important times to pay attention to chemical temperatures.

Foaming with chemicals that are too cold can adversely affect final foam performance, sometimes significantly. It’s important to keep your polyurethane chemicals within a consistent temperature range, especially with temperatures dropping below freezing – not to mention below zero – in many parts of the US. Properly storing your polyurethane chemicals is also critical to maintaining optimal shelf life.

Here are some important facts to remember:

  • Do NOT store chemicals at temperatures below 50°F.
  • Pre-heat chemicals to 75° – 90°F prior to use. Depending on vessel size, pre-heating will
    take a minimum of 12 hours and up to 48 hours in an 85°F temperature-controlled
    room.
  • Maintain chemical temperatures of 75° – 90°F during use.

When in doubt, Foam Supplies is always here to help! You’ll find optimal storage and use temperatures, as well as other important information, listed in the Safety Data Sheet for each chemical system we offer. And of course, always feel free to contact your FSI representative if you have any other questions on how temperature can affect your foam performance.