With many furniture manufacturers experiencing increasing safety issues when using manual bandsaws, coupled with the lack of skilled operators to use the machines, the need to find a viable alternative to safely cut shaped parts is becoming more important. Thankfully, there is a solution available from specialist bandsaw manufacturer, MZ Project (part of the Pade Group), which offers a range of machines that eliminate the need for manual marking-out and cutting of parts by hand. MZ Project’s exclusive UK agent, JJ Smith, says the machines are simple to operate, extremely safe and very productive.
The unique feature on all the MZ CNC bandsaws is that the blade will automatically angle +/-90° through the program, thus replicating how the operator has to move the part on a manual machine. This means parts with complex shapes can be produced.
Another big advantage is that the blanks to be cut are loaded and clamped on a moving carriage which runs on linear precision rails, with variable speed set via the program. The blank then stays clamped in position while the bandsaw and table move together to enable the shaped part to be cut.
The cut piece is then ejected at the rear side of the bandsaw on to a fixed table or optional conveyor. The machine table then automatically returns to the operator ready for the next blank(s) to be loaded, with the possibility to load/stack pieces up to 100mm in height.
The resident Imago software part drawings in DXF format can then be imported, and a program is then created for each different part required. A library of parts is built up, and it is then just a case of the operator recalling which one needs to run – no templates or manual marking-out required.
The only operation the operator may have to undertake is to manually adjust the workpiece clamps for different-sized blanks. Not only is there a big safety benefit, as the operator’s hands are kept well away from the cutting area, this type of machine helps de-skill the job. Also, the fact that the machine is CNC-controlled and works off computer generated programs means repeat machining accuracy is always achieved.
The two models of machine available, Basic and Hopper, can be supplied with carriages either 1300 or 2000mm in length (longer on request as a special). The Basic can accept material up to 1300mm long x 150mm wide x 100mm in thickness, while the Hopper has a 1300 x 1200 x 100mm capacity.
Both machines are equipped with safety mats at the loading area and safety fencing along the rear side and ends. In addition, there is a pneumatically operated Lexon bandsaw blade guard. Not only can these bandsaws be used for cutting furniture parts, they are also popular for cutting different types of insulation material, gun headstocks, composites or parts for specialist packing frames.
Special configuration machines are available on request. Exclusive UK agent, JJ Smith, believes this range of MZ Project machines can finally move bandsawing into the 21st Century.