A product of Serco’s cutting-edge technology in the manufacture of trucks and trailers – a Protec steel reinforced refrigerated vehicle body – will be featured on the South African company’s stand at the Futureroad Expo at Nasrec in Johannesburg towards the end of September.
Panels on the new vehicle – known as the Frostliner – are manufactured using steel facings. Customised machinery designed specifically for the new process includes a de-coiler for the steel sheets and a clinching machine to join the coated steel facings into a single, full length sheet.
These sheets, which are up to 15,5m in length, are then lifted, using a spreader crane with suction cups, and transferred into the 900-ton panel press. A state-of-the-art system then mixes the Polycol and Isocyanate with a environmentally friendly blowing agent to create high density polyurethane foam which is injected into the panel.
Extensive testing has revealed noticeable improvements in thermal performance and panel strength in the Frostliner.
More than 50 Frostliners have rolled out of Serco’s expanded factory site in Durban since early this year.
Other Serco initiatives and new technology in line with the ‘Smart Trailer’ concept will also be on show at the Futureroad Expo, including park distance control, and electronic braking and temperature monitoring systems.