Set against the background of the sleek new Fierra Milano complex, Xylexpo/Sasmil 2006 showcased the newest offerings in woodworking machinery and supplies by more than 1,000 exhibitors. The panel processing and solid wood technology area alone held displays by 807 exhibitors, including 256 from outside Italy. For the first time, forest equipment was also showcased as part of an outdoor exhibit area. In addition, almost 200 exhibitors participated in Sasmil.

Xylexpo/Sasmil, Europe’s premier woodworking event of the year, was held May 16-20 in Rho, a northwest suburb of Milan, Italy. The show was sponsored by Acimall, the Italian woodworking machinery and tools manufacturers association.

According to show management, the 2006 biennial show had a record attendance of 93,266 visitors, an increase of 7 percent compared to the 2004 event. Of this, slightly more than half — 48,008 — were international visitors, an increase of 9.5 percent over the 2004 figures. Of the international attendees, 26,211 were from the European Union; 1,209 from Africa; 7,417 were from Asia; and 3,443 were from North, Central and South America.

Technology Trends

Innovations aimed at shortening production runs and reducing set-up times highlighted many of the machinery displays. Compact, multifunction displays also drew interest by visiting companies of all sizes. Following is a brief roundup of some of the equipment on display.

SCM GROUP displayed a full line of offerings, including the IDM Genesis SB, a squaring-edgebander suitable for thin edges, ABS and solid wood applications, as well as aluminum edges and softforming processing. The edgebander has the ability to vary the panel overhang from the NC through unit supporting sub-bases and a dog waiting system and divided felt sector, which reportedly ensures high productivity and protects panels with soft surfaces.

SCM also exhibited the Aries Series of CNC machining centers for frame component manufacturing. ERA-HW operator interface software is standard on the Aries and enables the operator to define the programs for components to be machined. Functions include: slotting, boring, hinge inserting, chisel mortising and arch tracing.

Also on display at the SCM booth, the new Elmag Compact spray finishing line has a single reciprocator with double arms sliding on high precision guides. The electronic control of the spraying area allows the detection of the pieces and controls the opening and closing of the spray guns.

Italpresse displayed its Matrix 15-28 automatic press line for 3-D panels. It features 1,450mm by 2,800mm press platen dimensions with press platen temperature control, oil circulation and a membrane device for PVC foil. It is equipped with an optic-electronic scanner for panel sizes and a touchscreen control panel. Also available are an optional automatic panel unloading unit, 10-roll automatic PVC dispenser, infrared sensor for temperature control and automatic PVC roll feeder and cutter.
Homag (Stiles Machinery) premiered the Bütfering Profi Line SCR sander configured for three-shift operation. Designed for processing veneered surfaces, the SCR comes equipped with the Super Finish Unit, which features an internally running lamerllar belt for surface finishes.

Homag also displayed the KFL 526 Compact edgebander which features four-sided edge processing and high cyclical output without separate snipping, the company says. Overhanging edges are trimmed by a universal profile trimming device.

Also at Xylexpo, Homag unveiled its new simulation technology, which allows customers to “view” the equipment or production line in operation prior to purchase.

Delmac Machinery Group presented the Flexa 300 single-sided edgebander which has a 10-25 mpm feed speed and 970-980mm working height. It is capable of handling a panel thickness of 10-60mm, roll edging material thickness of 0.3-3mm and strip edging material thickness of 0.6-25mm.

DMG also displayed the Jet series of CNC working centers and drilling equipment, including the Jet Concept. The Jet Concept offers numerous configurations and can be equipped with a tool changer on board the boring head for tools up to 140mm diameter and aggregates, as well as a rear mounted rotary tool changer for tools up to 240mm and aggregates.

Balestrini (Solid Wood Systems) featured the CUBE CNC machining center with two 5-axis working units. It is designed to work on raw materials or semi-finished parts that require machining at the ends of the part and along its length. The two operating units can overlap their operating fields, regardless of the longitudinal position of one unit as compared to the other.
Balestrini also displayed the Viva 5-axis machining center featuring a double automatic hopper feeder with the ability to automatically load/unload pieces with equal, symmetrical or totally different shapes. The Viva can perform tenoning, cutting, drilling, mortising and shaping operations on solid wood.

Centauro’s (Premier Machinery) TA/F Winner automatic copy lathe features an EM-22 electronic control for work-cycle programming of turning, spiral twisting and fluting. Horizontal milling is done with two-knife router cutters, and the vertical inclinable milling unit uses four-knife solid profile cutter blocks.

Centauro also displayed the BETA NC chisel mortiser. It features a 110mm maximum slot depth and a 100mm maximum slot length with single stroke. It has a 4-hp working head motor, 25mm minimum slot length and 6mm minimum slot width. All axes are controlled by brushless motors.

Biesse displayed its Twin Pusher panel saw, an IWF Challengers Award entrant. The five grippers can be lifted and selected individually according to the machining operation to be carried out. The numerical control selects and synchronizes the devices involved, as well as analyzes and processes each cutting pattern and reorders it to perform advantageously in terms of cycle time, Biesse says.

Biesse also exhibited the Comil Focus Process boring technology, including the Techno, Skipper and Insider models. The Techno was developed for boring and inserting in medium- to high-production batches. The Insider is intended for customizable products and is intended to reduce lead time. The Skipper is capable of processing two overlapping panels simultaneously or of finishing panels that have to be machined on both sides in one run.

The Biesse Regal 500 series of sanders is available with a working width of 1,350mm and two or three working units. The 340mm rollers are suited to perform pre-sanding operations or finishing operations. The machine is also available in a fixed table version.
Holz-Her presented the Vario Table, an IWF Challengers Award entry. This machining table works with the Pro-Master series of CNC machining centers and enables positioning of the consoles and suction pads automatically via the machine’s control system. It is equipped with a single-circuit vacuum system.

Also from Holz-Her, the new UNO 1302 Series of edgebanders can be used to machine cut-length and coiled edging up to 3mm thick with a maximum panel thickness of 45mm. The cartridge-based glue application system allows for different colors and types of adhesive. A two-roller pressure unit ensures clean pressing of the edge to the carrier material, according to the company.

Anest Iwata’s Multi X pressure spray gun features air assisted airless atomization and a spray distance of 250mm. It is equipped with a Tungsten carbide needle valve and stainless steel paint passage parts. The Multi X has an assisted air pressure of 1.5 Mpa, maximum air pressure at the handle of 7.0 bar and maximum fluid pressure at the gun inlet of 150 bar.

Global Vacuum Presses’ Global Hydraulic Press is specially designed for thermoforming acrylic solid surfaces into 3-D shapes, such as sinks with countertops and backsplashes. It applies 40 tons of hydraulic pressure and has a 10-minute cycle time.

For the first time, Weinig Group presented the Conturex profiling center to the international public. Conturex makes possible the complete processing of windows and profiles in a fully automatic sequence. At Xylexpo 2006, Weinig showed a Conturex 3000 with feed and outfeed mechanization working interconnected with a Dimter OptiCut S90 cutoff saw and an automatic Weinig Powermat 500 moulder. The OptiCut S90 cut fixed lengths according to a pre-determined bill of materials and cut out defects. The connected moulder took over the pre-planing of the workpieces and after planing, transferred the workpieces into the workpiece buffer of the Conturex.

Paolino Bacci (Richard T. Byrnes) displayed the Evolution double machining center equipped with two independent operating units with 5+5 interpolated axes. It is capable of machining one piece with both heads or two pieces simultaneously. The Evolution can profile the same piece on two faces at the same time as well as machine all six faces of a piece without being set up every time.

Paolino Bacci’s Gemini, a double CNC machining center, is made to work with large sizes. It is equipped with two multi-spindle independent operating units, each with five interpolated axes. The Gemini can be customized with feeding systems, and each head can be equipped with one spindle with two exits, two spindles with two exits or with four independent spindles.

Orma Macchine’s (Midwest Group One) Air 3-D presses for shaped panel coverings offer depressure/pressure coupled functions; it is also possible to work with or without a membrane. The membrane presses are suitable for pressing shaped panels with plastic film, transfer finish foil and veneer.

Bürkle (European Woodworking) displayed a line of presses, including the Compact Lacquering Line KA designed for the continuous application of base coats and topcoats onto flat furniture parts, doors or interior fittings, using solvent-free UV lacquers and direct UV curing of the lacquer.

Bürkle also debuted the new concept Rotation for the flexible manufacture of small orders, approximately 15-20 cycles per hour. It allows for the layup of boards, scanning by digital camera and placement of the foil, as well as the turning of the batches of boards.

Giben promoted its PM system of moving grippers that positions each individual gripper along the length and cross axis of the machine pusher. The grippers position automatically and are controlled by the saw computer G-drive control. The position is optimized depending on the size of the boards, the cut sequence, the size of the strips, or the size of the parts, according to the company.

Cefla Finishing displayed Sorbini Smartedge, an automatic edgecoating machine that works on solid wood, veneered and MDF panel edges. It utilizes vacuum application technology for profiled edges, as well as roller application technology for flat edges. It is available as a single- or double-sided machine.

Cefla also presented the Sorbini Smartprint 300 Series of machines and lines for coating and printing on PVC, ABS, melamine, papers and wood. The machines work with continuous coils and single panels or mouldings. An inverter enables independent adjustable working speeds for the conveying, doctor rollers and application rollers.

Schelling promoted the fh 6 and fh 8 panel saws featuring the PLUS concept, with double strip-aligners, a movable turntable and grip-push clamps. The feeder speed forward is 80 mpm and the saw carriage speed is 150mpm. Cutting length is 3300/4300/ 5800/6300mm.
OMGA’s T2005 OPT optimizing defect saw now features an automatic loader which allows the operator to prepare a number of boards for insertion in the machine, resulting in a time savings of 10-15 percent, the company says.
Comec (Solid Wood Systems) showed milling/drilling/mortising machines with a controlled axis. The MD Plus features three-axis control and has a touchscreen display which allows for programming at the machine or offline. The machine can be set up for one long working field or as two separate fields.
Martin offers two ranges of sliding saws, including the T50 Classic with hand wheel adjustment of the rip fence and the T74 Classic with three motorized axes and an optional crosscut table.

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