Mastering all parts of an edgebander will lead to an overall improvement in finished goods.

 

Two simple ways to maximize the edgebander’s productivity are to make sure it is equipped with the appropriate stations and to keep the glue pot clean and fully functional. Four of the industry’s leading edgebander suppliers have provided a few tips to help woodworkers with their edgebander purchasing and maintenance questions.

Q. When the owner of a custom woodworking business is purchasing a new edgebander, what do you think is the most useful optional station he should add, beyond the basic stations?

A. Peter Tuenker, president, IMA America Corp.: Especially in a custom woodworking shop, flexibility is a must. That means that an edgebander should not only be equipped with an electronic controller (most machines these days are equipped with PC-controls), but the processing stations themselves should be equipped with servo motors and encoders that allow for automatic changeovers between different edge thicknesses and heights of material.

Today, it is not unusual for companies to change over their edgebanders 10 or more times a day. An automated machine reduces the time from job to job to seconds, where a manual changeover can easily take 30 minutes. It is important, though, that the quality of the equipment allows for perfect repeatability of these automated setups.

A. Ed Moran, edgebander sales manager, Biesse North America: The most useful options to a custom shop applying, for example, 0.5 PVC or veneer coil, HPL strips, wood strips or thick PVC 3mm coils could be the following units:

• A full servo control top and bottom super finish station. This station should have the ability to go from a bevel finish to a radius finish and, lastly, to a flush cut finish. This gives this type of customer with constant changeovers the ability to save all these finishes in the programming of the machine and “one-touch setup.”

• Another unit to take into consideration, depending on the percentage of the different types of finishes, could be a multi-position combi super finish/corner-rounding capability. Some of the newer corner-rounding units on the market are also designed with dust extraction that travels with the work motors and four positions of cut action. This allows the unit to be utilized as a “Super finish” or corner-rounding unit (for example, bevel 1/bevel 2/bevel 3 and a radius cut of 3mm).

A. John Park, general manager, Delmac Machinery Group: Pre-milling is a station typically not required, but quite useful in certain cases. For customers that use a vertical saw or beam saw, removal of the scoring line can be accomplished with pre-mill. This is especially important if the saw is older or difficult to calibrate the scoring line and requires the scoring to run deep to prevent chipping.

If the customer is nesting, they may tolerate some very small chipping in the melamine for end panels to extend their bit life. But for doors and drawer fronts, this would be unacceptable. They can use the pre-mill to super finish doors, especially when they are applying 3mm banding.

Edge swell, edge contamination, removal of slight banana caused by panel stress and rebands are other reasons to use pre-milling.

A. Tim Sermonet, product manager, SCM Group USA: The best optional station to add to an edgebander would be the corner-rounding station. [Some] corner-rounding stations are capable of trimming the entire panel; they are not limited to just the corners. It is like having an additional set of top and bottom trimmers. It can go from 3mm PVC to thin tape through the controller. All a customer’s 3mm PVC and thin tape can be run through the corner-rounding station, leaving the top and bottom trimmers set up for another application.

This makes it possible for the operator to run a number of different products through the machine without ever having to get under the hood to make adjustments. Quicker changeover times result in more production.

Q. What are “best practices” an edgebander operator should follow to reduce the potential for glue pot problems?

A. Tuenker: It is very important to keep the gluing area of an edgebander clean. Therefore, it is necessary for an operator to clean this area on a daily basis. The glue pot has to be cleaned on a regular basis as well to minimize the potential for dirt and glue residuals to enter the glue pot and ultimately the glue applicator.

A. Moran: Do research about the type of adhesive you are using. Is it the correct glue for your applications? Ask your glue manufacturer for the technical specification sheet on the glue that they have sold you. (You would be surprised how many shops using an edgebander have no idea on the proper specification of the glue). In having these technical specifications, it allows the operator to keep the thermostats properly adjusted for the type of glue they are using.

Today’s adhesive manufacturers have truly stepped up with today’s machines and they are now offering such types of glues as “non-filled.” These adhesives have a longer reservoir life, especially if kept at proper temperatures.

Do not mix glues from one manufacturer to the other. This can truly gum up any glue system. Never use metal scrapers to clean the glue system. This will scratch and damage the surface of the glue reservoir.

A. Park: Periodically purge the glue pot and clean it, grease the glue roller bearings per manufacturer’s specifications, visually inspect the glue pot daily and keep the area as clean as possible. Check what the controller indicates is the glue temperature against the actual temperature using a heat sensing gun.

A. Sermonet: With today’s technology on glue pots, the problems of years ago have been long since resolved. For instance, the automatic temperature kick-down feature allows the machine to kick down to a temperature that will not damage the glue or the glue pot if an operator walks away from the machine for an extended amount of time. If the target temperature is 200 degrees and the operator does not run a panel through the machine for a certain amount of time (this time is programmable to fit every customer’s specific needs), the machine will automatically kick down to 135 degrees. This temperature will not harm the glue or the glue pot.

The types and locations of heaters that are being used today contribute to less maintenance for the operator. Our machines monitor the temperature on the roller and in the pot. This ensures that the glue is always at the proper temperature, regardless of the thickness or the length of the panel, and improves monitoring of the glue’s current condition.

Teflon-coated pots make it much easier to clean glue pots. Quick-disconnect glue pots allow operators to remove the glue pots in less than 30 seconds. Any time you can reduce the amount of time it takes to access something, you increase the likelihood that the operator will do the proper maintenance.

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