W&WP August 2002

Xylexpo/Sasmil Draws More Than 85,000 Visitors

Slightly smaller show not short on innovation.

By Harry Urban

Xylexpo/Sasmil, the biennial woodworking machinery and supply fair held in late May in Milan, Italy, attracted more than 85,000 visitors according to the show's sponsor, ACIMALL. ACIMALL is the association of Italian woodworking machinery manufacturers. The show also featured 1,442 exhibitors.

ACIMALL said 51.2% of the 85,532 visitors attended the show from countries outside Italy. Though visitor numbers were below the 90 thousand mark reported in 2000, ACIMALL said the atmosphere was relaxed, and the fears that many expressed on the eve of the event were largely unwarranted.

The show reflected the mood of the industry, according to the association. It added, "While exports to certain international markets are still sluggish, the second half of the year is arousing a degree of cautious optimism."

Total exhibit space was 96,000 square meters (70,000 for Xylexpo's woodworking machinery exhibits and 26,000 for Sasmil's displays of semi-finished products and supplies).

Two of the show's larger regular exhibitors - SCM Group and Biesse - exhibited on their own at remote locations. The two Italian companies have not decided whether they will return to Xylexpo in 2004.

More than 15,000 woodworkers visited the SCM Group's machinery exhibition held May 14-24 in Rimini, Italy. Forty percent of the visitors came from abroad, primarily from Germany, followed by Spain and Eastern European countries, according to SCM. At the end of the exhibition, a party was organized for all employees and their families, an event in which 5,000 people participated.

Biesse converted a bicycle racing facility across the street from the Milan Fairgrounds into an exhibit hall for its panel processing equipment. The company said it enjoyed attendance of more than 1,000 visitors each day during the duration of the event.

Xylexpo 2002 managed to carry on in its own right and offer a full palette of woodworking machinery innovations. As has been the case in recent years at most important fairs, woodworking machinery developments at Xylexpo could be measured mostly in terms of software enhancements, refined motor-driven

movements and improved ergonomics. In many instances, the emphasis was on introducing high tech to smaller, less expensive equipment lines. Machinery exhibitors also stressed the flexibility of their equipment and many placed an emphasis on cell manufacturing concepts.

Technology Highlights

Stiles Machinery's Homag
Optimat BAZ 232 machining center features a new gantry design with two independently-controlled work tables and multi-spindle technology. The combination allows for the flexible, simultaneous processing of different workpieces. The machine can also be equipped with an optional fifth axis for solid wood or other 3-D components. It is designed with smaller and medium-sized manufacturers in mind.

Stiles Machinery also offers Cefla UV powder coating systems designed for coating MDF or thermosensitive panels. The systems can be supplied for flat or overhead lines.

Cefla also displayed the Sorbini four-head printing line. Available from Stiles Machinery the printing line creates realistic patterns on MDF.

Biesse's Stream series of edgebanders, the SB1 and the SB2, are single- and double-sided machines respectively that feature a patented new two-part glue system. The glue system is removable for quick and easy maintenance, according to the company. Biesse's Omnia Flexa tenoning/sizing single-sided edgebander featured a 24-coil material magazine.

Biesse also displayed the Selco EB-70 panel saw, which is designed for use by small shops. Options include a unit for postform bar cutting, automatic blade changer and an optimizing system that allows operators to program the saw directly.

Biesse's Arrow twin-table CNC machining center comes with ATS, a table system with automatically adjustable pods.

SCM Group's R500 represents a new generation of machines with a mobile gantry and large fixed work table, specially designed for nesting production of arm chair structures, boat furniture, caravan components, cabinet doors, etc., without the need for previous panel-sizing operations. This machine offers custom-made solutions for a wide range of applications and can be easily integrated in existing heavy-duty processing lines.

Also from SCM is the Gabbiani Macchine Galaxy 115 panel saw featuring a modular design and several customer options. The saw carriage is rack-and-pinion driven and the scoring blade is automatically adjustable.

SCM's Morbidelli Author 900 System is a series of machines made of identical and interchangeable modules than can be easily integrated among themselves to allow a variety of configurations and ease of use. The philosophy of the Author 900 System allows the total integration among the different units, allowing a company to manage the entire production line through a single data center.

Delmac Machinery Group's Busellato JET 4 WF CNC machining center is designed to produce entry doors and solid wood parts. It is equipped with a 10.7-ft by 5.3-ft working area with an optional package to handle parts up to 15.4 ft by 5.3 ft. It is controlled by a PC using a Pentium processor with Windows 2000 Professional included with 128MB RAM and PC Anywhere, and allows for online service and support. The JET 4 WF also comes standard with Genesis Evolution, a new easy to use 3-D CAD software, providing simple to elaborate part design.

DMG also demonstrated the Ulmadan edge-casting machine. The Ulmadan is an acrylic edge-casting machine with the ability to foil particleboard and other porous substrates and save approximately 25% of the cost over traditional foiling methods on MDF, according to the company.

Solid Wood Systems offers the Balestrini Fox-T. It is Balestrini's latest version of its original TTNC fully CNC round-end tenoner. Specially designed for chair part production, the Fox-T automatically cuts tenons of any shape (oval, octagon, square, triangle, etc.). It is capable of machining up to 1,300 pieces per hour because the machinery automatically positions itself for length, tilt, angle and rotation of the machining heads while also controlling the tool movement during the machining process.

Solid Wood Systems also distributes the new Balestrini Idea 5-axis CNC machining center designed for complex shaping operations on chairs, tables and other furniture components.

Koch Machinery exhibited the Endmaster double-end throughfeed machine for edgebanding or hot foiling narrow components. The machine allows for processing MDF or particleboard parts with critical dimensions, with a minimum width of 30mm. The double-sided machine's modular structure enables new units to be combined with other Koch devices like hopper feed, return feed conveyor, end cutting, boring, shaping, doweling and more. The hot foil unit, when working on straight ends, can produce up to 25 parts per minute. It is also possible to apply hot foil on ends that are profiled, even when the shapes are quite deep. The edges are cleaned by brushes.

Makor announced that it had acquired 49% of Tecnolegno, an Italian manufacturer of profile sanding equipment. In addition, Makor displayed the Iride 204-206 linear spraying machine. It enables automatic inline spraying of UV varnishes on wood, MDF, PVC and metal profiles. Features include a wide spraying cabin with two or three vats. A special filtering system allows for material recovery. The machine is equipped with a pre-heater with product recycling.

Atlantic Machinery offers the Putsch-Meniconi Univer SVP 145 vertical panel saw. The company says it is the first vertical panel saw capable of cutting at a 45-degree angle by simply tilting the blade.

Also from Atlantic Machinery is the Paoloni Kalibra series of automatic widebelt sanders. Available in a variety of configurations, the sanders feature such options as roller table extensions, oscillating blowers for belt cleaning, automatic table positioning and a grooved steel calibrating roller.

Carval offers the Borgonova L.C.B. 600 continuous automatic spiraling lathe designed to make a wide range of spiraled pieces from virtually any length. A patented drive unit is at the heart of the machine. The company says the machine is simple to operate and does not require skilled labor.

Weinig displayed the Dimter OptiCut S 75 optimizing cross-cut saw, which it says is two to four times faster than manual cross-cutting methods. The saw can be used for cutting fixed lengths, defecting and yield optimization. User-friendly software makes set-up easy, according to the company.

Weinig also displayed the Unimat 23 sawing machine, which has been designed for sawing material horizontally parallel to the bed plates. It has a 1/2-in. to 9-in. working width and a 18-in. to 312-in. working height. Both spindles have a 50-hp motor and can reach feed speeds of up to 260 fpm. The close spacing of the saw blades on the vertical spindles makes it possible to produce very thin slats or veneers.

Richard T. Byrnes Co.'s Bacci SMART 5-axis machining center is designed for the chair and table manufacturing industry. It can perform a variety of functions in a single set up including drilling, mortising, tenoning, fingerjointing, milling, 4- or 5-axis contouring and carving. The machine also works well with plastic and aluminum.

CMS displayed the TRIAX4 MP featuring the new multi-purpose "MP" group: a new carriage, new machining units, a large work area and ergonomic safety features. With the TRIAX4 MP project, CMS introduced a new high-performance machining center in the three/four-axis range. The new machine is available in various configurations and dimensions.

Giben's Smart panel saw allows one operator to control the machine. Optional PC controller "G57" with PLC tracks the sequence of patterns, keeping up with the number of boards and changing from pattern to pattern without any additional operator input.

Giben also displayed the G-Robot, designed to handle strenuous off-loading jobs and optimizing the output process.

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