The Weeke BHX range of compact CNC drilling centres includes three vertical processing centres – the BHX 050, 055 and 200 models – and a gantry processing centre, the BHX 500.
For their size, all the machines punch well above their weight and have proved to be highly productive and reliable machines.
Launched in 2009, the Weeke BHX 050 set the ball rolling. It was an instant success and has been incredibly popular with total BHX machine sales of over 3000.
It caught the imagination of the market because not only does this state-of-the-art drilling and routing CNC centre have an incredibly small footprint and an equally trim price tag, but it can also match the rapid processing times of much larger machines.
With these credentials, it’s no surprise it soon became the benchmark as the ideal drilling solution for all businesses whether small, medium or large.
Simon Brooks, sales and marketing director of Homag UK comments, “Since its introduction, sales of the BHX 050 have consistently out-performed expectations. With over 3000 BHX machines sold, the market has clearly given it its seal of approval.
When you see what this machine is capable of, you begin to understand why it has become the favourite CNC machining centre, particularly for kitchen, bedroom or office furniture manufacturers.”
The BHX 050 is a reliable 3-axis processing centre which can drill on five sides and is capable of grooving and routing at fast throughput rates whilst, at the same time, keeping energy bills down due to its low energy consumption.
This versatile workhorse is capable of processing panels as small as 200 x 70 x 12mm up to panels as big as 2500 x 850 x 60mm as standard. There is also an option to increase this working length to 3050mm.
Simon continues, “The BHX 050 can process any type of wood panel and is most commonly used for MFC and MDF. We have had situations, however, where even demanding materials such as Trespa and solid wood components are being handled by this robust machine.”
A real time-saver that offers true value
“Once the programming has been done, the set-up takes just seconds – it only requires the push of a pedal and press of a button to get it started,” continues Simon.
“A really productive feature on the BHX 050 is the panel holding system. There are no vacuum pods or beam positions to think about, the machine automatically positions the panel clamp correctly to suit each panel.
“The BHX 050 is great for one-off production due to its immense flexibility and we have many customers using the machine for make to order cabinet by cabinet production. All the operator has to do is load the parts – it’s simple and efficient.”
Fast and simple controls with powerTouch
The powerTouch system combines design with functionality. Featuring a large wide-screen multi-touch monitor, it enables the operator to control the machine’s functions by simply touching the screen.
The ultra-modern user interface offers an array of help and assistance functions, which radically simplify the operation of the machine.
Standardised control elements and software modules ensure that all Homag Group machines can be operated with the same familiar look and feel using powerTouch. This not only simplifies the operation of different machines, but also makes for greater efficiency by significantly reducing time for training and servicing.
Weeke BHX 055 – More capacity, more spindles
The success of the BHX 050 prompted Weeke to develop a higher specified version, the BHX 055. This powerhouse has all the benefits of the original 050 but includes automatic adjustment of work piece thickness, a maximum working length up to 3050mm and 13 vertical spindles as standard.
“The BHX 055 is a great little machine,” claims Richard Meakin of Contour Furnishings.
“As a specialist manufacturer of bespoke bedroom furniture, we have a lot of panel drilling and routing to do. We’ve had a pod and rail CNC from Weeke for many years, but we needed a more flexible back up to the Venture 3 that would give us high throughput.
“The 055 is perfect. It is quick and easy to set up which means most of the team in the factory can operate it with ease. Being an upright CNC, it only occupies a small footprint and so was simple to fit into our facility without causing disruption.”
Weeke’s BHX 200 – The next generation
Weeke unveiled its BHX 200 CNC processing centre, the next generation of small footprint vertical CNC technology, at Ligna 2013.
This compact power pack requires less than 10m² installation space and selectable features include a powerful 9kW HSK routing spindle with a 4-fold tool changer as well as a tiltable grooving saw.
It is the big brother to the BHX 050/055 series and utilises the same vertical machining style. The BHX 200, however, boasts considerably faster machining speeds whilst maintaining high levels of precision, despite its small size.
The machine is equipped with two individually moveable high-speed drilling heads, which activate a total of 36 high-speed drilling spindles enabling, for example, rows of holes to be processed considerably faster.
Alternatively, the machine can be configured with a large single drill block including a special unit for the increasingly popular lamello jointing system.
As standard, the BHX 200 is equipped with two CNC-controlled no-vacuum clamping devices to precisely position and fix the work pieces during operation, so no setting times are required.
The adjustable clamping system allows for larger work piece loads as well as a motorised work piece thickness adjustment.
BHX 500 CNC gantry-processing centre
The BHX 500 has been designed as a highly versatile, fast gantry CNC processing centre, which can be used in automated or manual production cells. With a travel speed of up to 130m/min, it is extremely fast as Russell Teal, director of Lamtek, a leading kitchen carcase manufacturer explains: “It was back in 2009 when we invested in one of the first BHX 500 machines in the UK market.
“For our business, it is the speed and accuracy of the BHX 500 that makes it stand head and shoulders above the competition. It is so much quicker than anything else; we use it for mass production rather than bespoke pieces, as we can drill pairs of carcase end panels at the same time.
“The BHX 500 guarantees that when drilling pairs of panels they are perfectly matched which is vitally important to ensure we achieve squared up carcases every time. Although the machine can be used for routing shaped parts, we focus its use on drilling and shallow grooving (5-7mm deep) as this gives us the best productivity for our processes.
“It has been a real workhorse for us. We have never had any major issues with the machine and it has paid for itself several times over,” concludes Russell.
Control and consistent drilling accuracy
Two CNC-controlled clamping devices ensure permanently firm and precise positioning of the work pieces, regardless of the speed. Even a work piece thickness of up to 80 mm (2 x 40 mm) is easy to handle. Thickness control and length measuring ensure safe process cycles whilst the patented spindle clamping provides a permanently exact drilling depth for all drilling operations.
The closed straight guiding system is protected against dust and dirt and is therefore very durable. The machine also features a Smooth-Pressure System which provides a protective air cushion below the work piece, ensuring high-quality work piece handling.
“Weeke’s BHX range continues to be incredibly popular and our flexible finance solutions put this versatile CNC technology within the reach of customers at all levels of business. Those wishing to arrange a demonstration of any of the Weeke BHX range can call Karen Payen at Homag UK on 01332 856500,” concludes Simon Brooks.