Competencies - March 2021

Rethinking fitting fabrication

Optimal production process for Geberit FlowFit

The innovative connection elements (fittings) for the FlowFit piping system launched in 2021 are manufactured at the production plant in Rapperswil-Jona (CH). What is special is that the injection moulding system and parts assembly are completely interlinked. Thanks to mobile assembly modules, the production lines can be refitted in a matter of minutes.

The optimisation of products and processes has a long tradition at Geberit. It was therefore only natural that the launch of the new FlowFit piping system with innovative fittings also brought with it some new production processes. In order to be ready for the market launch in spring 2021, the production lines already had to start large-scale production at the end of 2020. The corresponding systems for fitting fabrication were designed and built by the in-house equipment engineering team.

Optimised manufacturing process
The challenge for the equipment engineering team was not only to adhere to the tight schedule leading up to the start of large-scale production, but also to fully link together the injection moulding system and parts assembly for producing the FlowFit fittings. This is a first – at least in piping production at Geberit. Put simply, linking means that all production-relevant steps – from heating the plastic granules, curing the fittings and attaching the press body all the way through to packaging – have to be carried out directly on site. In other words, an optimal production process without downtimes or the need for temporary storage.

A few simple steps
Mounting of the seal ring, press body and protective caps is performed automatically. Anyone watching the process can easily follow the individual steps, including how the robotic arms take hold of and assemble the fittings at lightning speed. The newly designed, flexible assembly modules are fitted with rollers. This means the production line can be refitted to a different fitting size or shape in a matter of minutes. While a new mould is positioned in the injection moulding machine, the machine operator can replace the required modules simultaneously with a minimum of fuss. FlowFit is thus the result of a systematic development process – both in installation and in production.