It has been over five years since JJ Smith installed the first MZ Pluris CNC working centre in the UK and, since that time, it has become the machine of choice for many of the leading sofa and chair frame manufacturers. 15 machines have been installed to date, the latest being at Blackburn-based ASF Sofa Frames.
The reason for the Pluris’ popularity in this manufacturing sector is its production capabilities and increased board yield compared to standard CNC nesting routers. On the Pluris, it is possible to machine a stack of panels up to approximately 60mm in thickness. For example this would be four 15mm plywood panels instead of only one or two on a standard CNC, meaning over double the production output.
The other unique feature on the Pluris is the fact it uses a bandsaw (which automatically angles) in conjunction with the router head to cut out the nested parts. As the bandsaw thickness is only 0.8mm compared to a router cutter that is, say, 14mm in diameter, it is possible to create much tighter nests, meaning more parts with less material wastage.
The machines are normally supplied with an automatic lift table for loading the stack of panels onto the machine carriage, the standard size being 2550 x 1250mm. On request, this can be increased in width to 1550mm or, for jumbo size sheets, the machine’s maximum capacity is 3100 x 2100mm.
In addition to the CNC-controlled router head and bandsaw, the Pluris is also equipped with a multi-spindle point-to-point drilling head and automatic quick setting of the table support arms and panel grippers through the program. Optionally, a circular saw working in the Y axis can also be specified. Whilst the Pluris is mainly used for cutting parts from sheet material, it can also be used for cutting, drilling, and shaping solid wood parts for items such as rails.
The Pluris at ASF Sofa Frames has now been installed for several months. “For our company it was a big decision to make such a significant investment, but one we knew we had to do to keep pace with an ever-growing order book,” comments co-owner, Mr Ashraf.
“Already we are seeing a twofold increase in production output, and a big improvement in sheet material yield.”
Contact JJ Smith to find out more about how this machine can increase productivity.