'Space Base' Cycliq commissions bed base plant


PHOTO:  ‘Space Base’ – The new bed base system from Cycliq uses a modular construction in which the components can easily be assembled

CYCLIQ, a new injection moulding business, has commenced with the production of bed bases in plastic, a product which has the potential to create a new option in a product every single person knows very well.

The bed base market has traditionally offered wood as the material of choice, but Cycliq founders Graham Colman and Gianni Nosenzo saw an opportunity for change. Both veterans of the bed market, Colman and Nosenzo designed and developed the ‘Space Base’ bed base system: besides the fact that the design is sturdy and well suited as a replacement for traditional wooden bases, the base and its modular support components are lighter than wood and collapse into a far smaller space than traditional wood beds, by a ratio of almost 4:1. The Cycliq partners believe the fact that the base ‘kit’ will be easier to transport will be a big attraction. The base folds in two, saving space, with the full kit for a standard double bed weighing just 17kgs.

Recycled polypropylene is being used for the mouldings. After several years in the bed market, Colman and Nosenzo began to see the logic of the plastic bed and potential opportunities. Their basic design involves a lightweight base with support structures that are similar to roof trusses, in this case simply inverted so as to transfer the weight on the bed to the centre below. The modular structure will also allow for the inclusion of drawers, to fit under the base, in the next phase of the project.

But the concept was only the starting point: Colman and Nosenzo have had to think through all possible eventualities and, operating from their site in Wadeville, Johannesburg, have set up a major plant including three large Tederic injection machines operating in tandem with a complete PP recycling plant in an adjacent hall. At present Cycliq is still buying in rPP from dedicated recyclers.

The largest of the Tederic machines, a 2200 ton unit, is being used to produce the large surface bases with the two smaller machines (700 and 400t clamp force units) running the related components.

The moulds for the project were designed by Creative Factory of Johannesburg and built in China. The mould for the main base component is cycling at around 90 seconds presently, which is a good result for such a wide part. The partners also had to factor in the effect using recycled material would have on cycle times, with initial results being extremely positive.

Large quantities of bed bases are manufactured and sold monthly, in South Africa and increasingly in neighbouring countries, and the Cycliq partners believe their product will gain market share.