Manufacturing Automation – Polyurethane Metering
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Head Restraint Back Foaming

Molded Headliner Back Foaming of Head (HIC) Restraints


The foaming of the headliner impact blocks is both a cost and time saver for the customer. Most of the headliners today have a molded urethane (HIC) block attached to the headliner for head impact. Each one of the blocks is unique to the area on the headliner, which means there is inventory for each one and each style of headliner. The blocks also have to be attached with an adhesive and then verified and not fall off during handling and installation.

Konal has developed a system to mold the blocks to the back side of the finished headliner. This system not only guarantees that all of the blocks are in the proper place, but it also helps in the attaching of the wire harness.

Wire harnesses are typically placed onto the back side of the head liner and then stapled and/or glued into place. Using the molding fixture, the wire harness can be loaded into it using locator clips. When the foam is injected into the mold, it also covers part of the wire harness giving it a good attachment. This helps in reducing the rattling noise if the normal adhesive is not applied properly.

The system uses a urethane metering unit, mix head(s), ring line (see our ‘Metering Systems” section), robot and a number of presses with specific molds.

The following is an example of the sequence of operation:


  • Tool opens
  • Door opens for entry
  • Operators de-mold finished part out one side
  • Operators load substrate on top side (vacuum is applied during this period to hold part)
  • Operators clean vents
  • Operators load lower side of tool with components
  • Operator exits and robotic mold release is applied
  • Tools are signaled to close upon buttons pushed by both operators
  • Integrated mix heads shoot individually, depending on the design of the headliner will determine the number of mix heads required for each tool.
  • Mold remains closed until cure is complete
  • Tool timer opens the tool for de-mold
  • Door opens for entry


This process will help lower the cost of headliner production by less floor space for HIC block inventory. This allows a running change in that a rework of the mold will mean that there is no confusion of if the HIC block is of the old or new design and that old inventory does not exist. It also helps in the elimination of additional assembly fixtures, since this one can incorporate attaching additional items (wire harnesses, clips, etc.) and man power needed at each fixture.

This in turn will reduce the opportunity of damaging the headliner as it is moved from fixture to fixture.

This back foaming process can be used on any of the headliners being produced off of Konal’s lines (Spray urethane, wet urethane, thermal forming). Besides headliners, door panels also need to have side impact blocks mounted on them and this is a possible answer to that process.


Please contact us with any of your questions, we will arrange to have a salesman meet with you to discuss any of your questions or concerns and help to customize a system to the requirements needed for your product.