The buzz and enthusiasm at Ligna 2015 could be felt everywhere you went. You could clearly sense it peak, however, on the Homag stand when Titan the robot was presenting the fully networked furniture production concept. The 2.5m tall man of steel presented the 100m long batch size 1 production process several times each day. The networked cell was not only the highlight of Ligna, but also, as a fully automated, interlinked and networked cell, it was a world first at an exhibition.

All the pre-show hype focused on ‘Industry 4.0 for furniture production’ and the Homag Group’s network production cell demonstrated how this concept is already being implemented worldwide by Homag customers. The idea behind ‘Industry 4.0’ is to produce customised furniture on an industrial scale, in the most efficient way and at a similar cost to that of mass production.

With Homag’s networked production, machines know precisely where each component is required at a specific point in time, how the component is to be processed, what the quality standards are and where bottlenecks may occur in storage. For this to work, all components involved in the production process, including machines, units, handling and storage systems, independently communicate with one another via sensors and networks.

Fully networked production delivers increased energy and resource efficiency, reduced time-to-market, more complex products, increased flexibility, customised mass production, high productivity and increased competitiveness.

Holzma revolutionises the cutting process
The new Holzma HPS 320 flexTec beam saw revolutionises cutting in order-based production. With this intelligent cutting cell, Holzma has introduced a concept that completely redefines the parts flow in customised production and makes fully automated sequences a reality. This saves time and materials which in turn reduces costs.

Thanks to its intelligent sequences, the HPS 320 flexTec is able to significantly reduce scrap in batch size 1 production. Previously, when performing manual recuts, the single parts were temporarily stored and repeatedly fed to the saw – a complex and time-consuming process. The HPS 320 flexTec completes multiple recuts fully automatically, flexibly and without any limits.

At the heart of the system is an industrial robot that takes over the task of handling parts and strips during the cutting process. The robot is highly versatile, fully automatic and considerably more efficient than conventional solutions. The result is up to 1500 parts per shift from a user-friendly and easily maintained cutting cell.

What is more, the HPS 320 flexTec can be connected to an automatic horizontal storage system from Homag Automation or integrated in an industrial production line, making it attractive to both the trade sector and industry.

In terms of design, Holzma has adopted a radically new approach and is the first company to introduce a saw concept specifically devised for cutting single panels. This provides many benefits including a small footprint, high material yield, time and cost savings, and optimum energy and resource usage.

Attention-grabbing entry-level HPP 130 from Holzma
Another big show-stopper from Holzma was the new entry-level HPP 130; an innovative and compact beam saw that comes equipped with everything that smaller manufacturers need for cutting single panels and small series.

The HPP 130 costs little more than a well-specified circular saw whilst providing a much more precise and efficient cutting process. It also has a small footprint to fit neatly into most manufacturing facilities.

New Homag KAL 370 edge-processing machine
Built around one platform with numerous options, the new KAL 370 edgebanding machine offers a wide range of options for edge processing. The new models are based on the experience and feedback gained from selling over 1000 Ambition and KAL 310 machines.

The new Ambition series offers even more options. Where previously a fully automated changeover from one profile to a chamfer was possible, on some models a fully automated changeover from two profiles and a chamfer is now possible.

Customers can specify various equipment packages, such as for gluing solid wood strips of up to 20mm or for processing nesting parts, that offer the right solution for every application. All machines can be constructed with an empty slot for attaching a grooving or belt sanding unit.

With the growing diversity of materials used in the furniture industry and rising cost pressures, manufacturers are looking for machines that offer economy and performance no matter what materials are used. The versatile KAL 370 profiLine delivers in spades. It has a robust design with a capability to process all types of material and consistently delivers first class edge quality.

Homag’s Venture BMG 300 CNC processing centre
The Venture BMG 300 is considered the flagship of the Venture series machines and has been designed to provide manufacturers with the exact machine for their specific needs. Each customer follows a simple three step process to specify their bespoke solution.

Firstly, the user selects the correct length for his Venture machine. If space is limited, the short length M is ideal; for larger manufacturers, the length goes up to XXL for processing parts up to 6m in length or for processing doors and high cupboard side panels in shuttle operation.

For clamping and setup, the table options range from a universal K table with various clamping systems and setup aids through to automatic positioning consoles for flexible window production. There is also the A table for automation in batch size 1 up to the R table which is ideal for nesting, processing shaped parts and many other applications.

To complete the order the customer selects the trimming spindle, tool changer and drilling head on the gantry. Each machine can be configured flexibly for specific applications from basic through to multi-purpose with more drilling spindles for efficient panel processing, to high-performance panel processing.

Surface lamination – the new Homag FKF 200 series
Homag’s new professional series FKF 200 comes with a range of new features set to transform the entry level machine, launched last year, into an automated solution. Surface laminating machine FKF 200 features a hot melt, PUR application roller making it capable of practically unmanned sheet lamination.

A new infeed system is used to align and clean the sheet material (PMMA, HPL, etc.) without a feed stop before feeding it to the ready-glued work piece. This solution is also ideally suited for high-gloss processing of substrate material.

Also new is the Profi FKF 200 with ‘reacTec’ nozzle application which uses the ‘completeLine’ method. In a single work stage, the wide and narrow surfaces are laminated with material off the coil and the narrow surface finish is completed at an integrated wrapping line and finish processing unit. The integrated double pay-off station allows coil changeover without interruption, enabling continuous production and a high output. As a result, this ‘completeLine’ method which is popular in the industrial sector, is now economically viable for medium-sized enterprises.

Homag automation – material management
Successor to the ground breaking TLF 210 horizontal storage system, Homag’s new TLF 211 has been completely re-designed from the ground up. The new system takes all the strengths of the TLF 210 and combines them with increased speed, enhanced panel handling precision and an enlarged transportable panel spectrum.

The TLF 211 optimises transport routes and measurably reduces material and time consumption. Standard interfaces link the storage system with production machines to create a truly effective production process. No matter whether in the size of a double garage or up to the maximum 600m2, The TLF 211 will drastically improve the efficiency and productivity of any manufacturing facility.

Another time and money saver from Homag Automation is the uprated VKS 230 cardboard-box cutting machine. Whether furniture is supplied for self-assembly with high value fronts or as a fully assembled, finished item, it must be packaged in the best possible way so that the customer receives it in perfect condition.

The VKS 230 enables manufacturers to minimise packaging costs whilst maximising product protection. The QuickScan measuring device captures the items dimensions and transfers them to the VKS 230 which automatically cuts the cardboard to the correct dimensions.

Equipped with a twofold endless cardboard changing system, the VKS 230 features a ‘side-by-side’ feeder where up to three track widths can be accessed individually. For flexibility, the system can accommodate continuous cardboard of varying track width and quality.

BHX 200 – Weeke’s flexible powerhouse
Since its introduction, Weeke’s BHX vertical CNC drilling range has been immensely successful. To further enhance the versatility of the BHX 200 model Weeke introduced some new options at Ligna.

As an alternative to the split-head configuration (with some 36 high-speed drilling spindles), a separate drill head with 25 high-speed drilling spindles is available.

In addition, two more options are offered for integration into the single-head configuration: an additional disk router which enables processing for the Clamex-P connector, and/or an additional three-spindle drill head for applications such as drilling hinge holes in only one cycle.

Completing the upgrades for the BHX 200 is the ‘dowel insertion’ option. The improvements offer users more flexibility and greater choice in a compact vertical CNC drilling machine with a footprint of less than 10m2 and a work piece processing capability of up to 3050 x 1250 x 80mm.

Brandt – setting new standards with perfect edges
Whether for entry-level, medium-sized or demanding batch size 1 production, Brandt has led the field in cost-effective, high quality edgebanding machines. The big news from the brand at this year’s show was the introduction of the airTec AT 10 unit which makes zero joint technology possible for the entry-level Brandt 1200 series.

The popular Highflex 1230, therefore, now has the option of featuring an airTec AT 10 unit for perfect zero joint edging. It is also equipped with the new easyTouch control system. This 7in display enables quick and simple access to the logging of production data, the selection of programmes or the glue temperature.

With an excellent price/efficiency ratio, the Highflex 1230 makes possible complete processing of work pieces, thanks to pneumatic adjustments of the pressure zone, end trimming unit, trimming and scrapping units.

Brandt now offers three airTec units in all models from the 1200 to the 1800 series. The AT 10 has an 8m/min feed speed, the AT 15 which delivers 15m/min and the AT 20 for industrial producers running at 20m/min.

The show also saw the introduction of the new Brandt KDF 650 edition edgebander which features an air-table at the machine in feed to facilitate easy handling of large and heavy parts. The machine has the option of a perfect zero joint airTec unit or a QA 45 unit for hot melt glue or PUR/EVA adhesive application via a glue roll.

The KDF 650 has a multi-functional contour trimming unit for corner processing and, thanks to the servo motors, it is optimally suited for the processing of high-gloss surfaces or lightweight panels. First class finishing is guaranteed thanks to the multi-stage scraper, a radius scraper and a buffing unit.

“Ligna was a triumph for the Homag Group,” says Simon Brooks, sales and marketing director for Homag UK. He concludes: “The 100m networked production cell, shown off to great effect by Titan the robot, stole the show. It was, however,  the sheer breadth and width of innovations and product advancements from all the brands in the Group that truly impressed.

“There was a fantastic reaction from British visitors to the show and in particular to Homag City. This enthusiasm and interest has already translated into significant sales, new customers and broader awareness as to the scope of solutions available from Homag Group companies.”

For more information, or a demonstration of the new Homag Group machinery and software, contact Adele Hunt at Homag UK on 01332 856424.