Fraxinews 2023 PPC Pools 1

Why does the company work with PPC?

Wim: “Polypropylene is used for a wide range of purposes, from textiles to concrete or panels. Since it’s a chemically resistant product, it’s often used for the walls of silos that will be exposed to highly acidic products. And it’s also perfect for swimming pools, since the contact with the chlorine-treated water doesn’t cause any problems. The sides and bases of our pools are not just chlorine-resistant; they’re also UV-resistant, and thus overall highly durable and a great long-term investment.”

How are your swimming pools created?

Wim: “Our pools are made on the monoblock principle – they’re assembled into a single unit in our workshop and then transported to the site. The PPC base and sides are solid coloured in white or grey tint, depending on the customer’s choice in their order. No additional finish to the panels is needed – there’s no liner. You can swim in the PPC basin as it is. All our auxiliary products, such as skimmers and suction inlets are also made and welded from PPC. That’s how we ensure that our swimming pools are 100% watertight.”

Denis: “The panels are delivered here and we weld them into a custom basin. The base and the sides are welded together using our plastic welding
equipment which has a built-in extruder. The basins are welded twice. From the outside, we use a high-volume filler rod, which makes the system effectively elastic and thus practically unbreakable. For the inside, we use finer equipment and you can barely see the weld seam. This part of the process isn’t automated as we want to maintain close control of the watertightness of the welded seams. Wim used to handle welding the reinforcement ribs onto the sides, but that’s now done by the robot.”

Wim: “Manually, it took me a day to affix the reinforcement ribs on the sides. Using the robot, we’ve been able to cautiously increase our production capacity, since our plastic welders can be assembling one basin while the laser robot is busy with the preparatory work for the next.”

In addition to the welding robot itself, a lot of thought went into the table
that the panels are set down on.

Denis: “The panels that the reinforcement ribs are being welded onto can be as long as 19 metres. That means the tabletop the forklift is positioning them on, needs to be perfectly flat for the welding robot to do its work properly. That’s hardly a sinecure with a tabletop of that length.”

How did you and Fraxinus get together?

Wim: “We contacted Dominiek from DD Automation for information about robotisation, and soon after that Fraxinus came on board to design and build the mechanical systems around the robot. It was clear pretty quickly that we’d found the right partners with Fraxinus and DD Automation.”

Denis: “It only took a few discussions with Fraxinus and DD Automation to come up with the final result: a user-friendly, easily configurable robot that works hard!”

We’re delighted to hear it!

MG 3709 high


PPC Pools® was founded in 2020 by Denis Dierickx and Wim Devreese. The company builds swimming pool basins out of polypropylene copolymer, which are supplied to professional swimming pool builders in Flanders. Business is growing rapidly and the four-strong team currently produces on average two swimming pool basins a week.

Fraxinews 2023 PPC Pools 1

The installation in a nutshell

The reinforcement ribs are made in-house in two sizes, with heights of 100 or 180 mm. The ribs are then placed ready in a holder that is coupled to the robot. The holder travels in parallel with the robot across the rack that the PPC panel is lying on. The ribs are pushed upwards one by one so that the robot can take them out of the holder. The robot arm rotates each rib by 90 degrees and positions it in the right place on the panel. Then, while the arm holds the rib still, the welding robot welds it into place from both sides. The distance between ribs is calculated automatically by software, based on the input length of the panel.

CEO Fraxinus

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