Simon Brooks, sales and marketing director of Homag UK explains: “CNC technology is turning the industry upside down as manufacturers begin to truly understand the massive benefits this technology can bring to their businesses.
“The Homag Group has always been a pioneer of this technology, with both Weeke and Homag leading the field. Through these two companies, the group can provide the right CNC solution for any woodworking business from the small joiner to the industrial volume manufacturer.”
Highly flexible drilling solutions
Weeke’s BHX 050 and 055 models are extremely compact CNC controlled, throughfeed machining centres with an equally trim price tag. Available from stock in the UK, they are the perfect drilling solution for the smaller panel processing company as well as one-off production specialists and larger businesses looking for a flexible ‘jobbing’ machine.
Although the BHX 050/055 models are classed as entry level models, they come with an impressive specification including vertical and horizontal drills, a router spindle and a grooving saw, indeed everything you’d expect from a high end Weeke machine and with no compromises on build quality or safety.
Simon again: “Last year we installed the 1000th machine to Interfocus in Cambridge and worldwide sales are now in excess of 1600, highlighting the popularity of this little gem. Flexible finance options are available to make these machines even more affordable”
The Weeke BHX 500 with twin machine heads for drilling two panels at once or single panels on both sides is the BHX 050’s big brother. The BHX 500 is ideal for automated infeed and outfeed, making it the perfect machine to increase production volume.
Alternatively, the BHX 500 can be supplied in throughfeed mode for integration into carcass assembly lines. Weeke can also supply turnkey systems with robot handling for infeed and outfeed, eliminating the need for operators.
Nesting – the key to fast, efficient production
CNC technology has been the driving force behind the nesting concept, a methodology that maximises the usage of panels, reducing costs and improving efficiency. Between them, Homag and Weeke offer models to suit all raw panel sizes from 2440 to 7400mm in length and from 1220 up to 2150mm in width.
Weeke’s Vantage range of nesting machines includes the cost effective Vantage 100 and 200 series. These are available in three and four axis formats and offer the extremely versatile Flex 5 function for more detailed work. A wide selection of router heads, toolchangers and drill block configurations enable individual customers to specify their ideal machines.
The Vantage range can be supplied as stand-alone models or throughfeed systems with automatic material handling and part identification. They can even be integrated into the Homag Group’s increasingly popular board storage systems from Bargstedt. This enables material to be called from stock on demand and fed directly onto the machine table without any operator intervention – perfect for make-to-order production.
Homag’s 600 series twin tabled routers boast high productivity combined with extreme flexibility. The 600 range has a choice of table sizes and a wide selection of head configurations – up to four router and drill units – to suit most requirements. Homag ’s intelligent process control and independent X-axis control allows both tables to be used at the same time (processing different programs) offering massive efficiency gains compared to conventional twin tabled routers.
The optional automatic electronic tracing rings are an exceptional feature on the 600 series. A godsend for door producers working with MDF, they position automatically in accordance with the various tools from the toolchanger and trace the panel surface to compensate for variances in panel thickness, guaranteeing a consistent depth of cut.
These machines can be installed with automatic panel infeed and full nest offloading systems to create completely automatic production cells.
Panel processing CNCs
The Homag Group’s established range of CNC equipment encompasses a vast array of machinery. It covers all levels from entry level point-to-point models through to sophisticated CNC edgebanding and processing centres.
A very popular model for the UK market is Weeke’s Venture 109M. This is a truly versatile machine that can handle almost every application with ease. It has a generous working field of 3130 x 1550mm and can be used to pendulum load panels for greater efficiency. Supplied as standard with a 12kW main spindle, fully interpolating c-axis, 16 position toolchanger, 18 drill spindles, a grooving saw (X+Y) and a comprehensive software package, the Venture 109 is a real all-rounder.
The Homag BAZ has led the CNC market for shaped panel processing for almost 20 years now. The range offers models for various production demands including the high volume BAZ 723 triple-headed, twin-tabled machine for the office furniture market. This features automatic console positioning, intelligent process control to permit simultaneous machining of different products at speed, a panel splitting function for improved material yield and an option for fully automatic feeding and de-stacking of components.
Recently launched in Europe, the new Homag Venture 300 series brings CNC edgebanding technology within the reach of more companies than ever before.
It has a range of options to suit all needs including a selection of table lengths up to 6m, drill blocks with up to 35 spindles and a grooving saw. It also offers a fully interpolating c-axis with electronic and pneumatic interfaces, a choice of router spindles up to 18.5kW, various toolchanger options, LED positioning systems for quick and accurate placement of the vacuum pods and beams, Homag’s ultra-versatile Flex 5 unit and of course, the powerEdge CNC controlled edgebanding system. The fast, easy-to-operate and very affordable Venture 320 is a particularly versatile machine.
As if this wasn’t enough, Homag has now perfected its laserTec technology for the entire BAZ range to complement its already hugely successful throughfeed laser edgebanding range.
A selection of heavy duty CNC routers designed specifically for the joinery market are available from the Homag Group in three, four and five axis formats for door, window and stair processing. The newly-created Venture 312 was developed to meet the demands of today’s joinery market – speed, flexibility, accuracy and a high quality finish – the 312 ticks all of these boxes and offers much more besides.
It features easy positioning of the vacuum pods and consoles – program controlled – a range of solidly built clamping systems to securely hold even the most difficult of timber sections, a generous toolchanger capacity with the ability to hold large diameter cutter blocks and much more.
On the five-axis front, the Venture 316 has been selling well in the UK and global markets since its launch in 2011. It brings affordable five axis technology to the joinery market without compromise on quality. Driven by Homag’s in house woodWOP software, the machine is very easy to operate and extremely versatile. Homag offers a full range of five axis machinery to cover the full spectrum of requirements.
A machine is only as good as the control system that drives it. That’s why Homag has always produced its software in-house. WoodWOP is the group’s programming system for every CNC machine supplied by Homag and Weeke. This approach benefits from the obvious advantages of cross transferrable programs from machine to machine. The woodWOP software is extremely user friendly – no specialist PC capabilities are required to operate a Homag Group CNC machine and full training is provided by Homag UK prior to installation to ensure a smooth transition from traditional machining to modern age CNC processing.
The software enables seamless transfer of programs from office to machine. For total piece of mind, there are in-built safety and collision checks to reduce set-up and testing times to almost nothing and to prevent damage to the machine. With graphic visuals of all components to be machined and automatic generation of the vacuum clamping positions, it’s no wonder that customers using Homag and Weeke CNC machines enjoy such high productivity and machine utilisation.
Taking product design to a new level
WoodCAD|CAM 9.0 is a new addition to the group’s software portfolio that takes product design to a completely new level. This powerful software package can design traditional cabinets and freeform products, such as reception desks and furniture parts, from scratch.
All products can be designed parametrically to enable one template to be used to produce various sized products, with just a click of the mouse. WoodCAD|CAM 9.0 automatically incorporates industry hardware and fittings, eliminating time-consuming programming. Once the products are designed, they can be viewed in 3D and fully rendered if required – the system can also be used as a sales tool. On acceptance, the machining programs are sent directly to woodWOP without any further intervention.
Go with the market leaders
Simon Brooks sums up: “No matter what size or type of woodworking business you operate, the Homag Group can provide CNC technology that will not only help your business grow, but also reduce costs and improve efficiency.
“The technological advances your business will gain when you buy a Weeke or Homag CNC machine will ensure your decision makes for a sound investment now and into the future. With such a broad range of machinery to choose from, we have something for everyone. We also offer flexible finance solutions on our complete range of CNC machinery along with an extensive range of service and support plans which can be tailored to suit individual customer requirements.
“Customers are welcome to visit our fully equipped showroom at Homag UK to see the advantages of our advanced machinery and software systems for themselves. Our experienced sales team are on hand to provide honest, professional and comprehensive advice to ensure that our customers make the very best decisions for their businesses."