HANNOVER, Germany - Smart surface technology was one of the major display categories at LIGNA, and the 130-plus exhibitors showcasing these products did not disappoint. Woodworking Network staff in attendance at LIGNA took note of some of the new, and innovative products on display at the world’s largest woodworking event.

Stretched across more than 1.4 million net square feet, and featuring displays by more than 1,500 companies, LIGNA took place May 27-31 at the Fairgrounds in Hannover, Germany. More than 90,000 visitors attended the biennial trade show. Organized by Deutsche Messe, the next LIGNA will be held May 10-14, 2021. For information visit ligna.de.

As illustrated at LIGNA, and at other woodworking shows around the world, when it comes to surfacing technologies, the trend for batch one/custom processing continues to grow across all market segments, including retail fixture, furniture, flooring, cabinets and closet markets. Equipment manufacturers are rising to the challenge, with a growing array of smart solutions now available in the marketplace. What follows are just a few of the products and technologies on display.

Cefla RoboWrap

Cefla’s surfacing technology ranges from spray coating, 3D spraying, roll coating and edge coating, to 3D digital printing, drying and wrapping. Among the many new products at Cefla’s stand, the fully automatic RoboWrap wrapping machine adjusts for altered shapes of the pressure rollers, and enabling profile changeovers to be completed in just 5 minutes. For digital printing, J-PRINT TD creates positive and negative tactile effects, with features including MyTexture surface texturing, embossing in register (EIR), and printing in 400 dpi at speeds reaching 50 mpm. The company’s newest excimer oven now handles raised panels and can achieve a deep matte finish on all edges. Cefla says Exydry-Z treats all 3 axes, X, Y and Z and achieves superb surface resistance as well as the sought-after soft touch effect. Also showcased was cSuite, a software tool designed to solve a variety of finishing production issues.

Burkle ROBUSpro

Customization was also a key element in Robert Burkle’s showcase of technology. The company’s display featured faster and more flexible spray systems, including enhancements to the ROBUSeco and ROBUSpro. The company also unveiled a new roller coating process that can be used on formed, non-flat furniture parts with four paintable sides and tapered ends. The paint rollers are repositioned by means of servo-motors, and the process uses an intelligent transport system that feeds multiple workpieces through the machine. A multi-axis robot is used to handle the cassette and rotate the workpieces through 90°. For Industry 4.0, Mechatronics 2022 creates a digital twin of a real physical system to enable virtual startup procedures and real-time system simulation. Also displayed were single-pass inkjet printers for wood decor, marking Burkle’s partnership with EFI. High-performance PUR laminating and thermoforming systems were also on hand.

Barberan truTexture

Showcased at Barberan’s stand was its latest innovation for digital printing, trueTEXTURE technology. The line included a six-color digital press, the Jetmaster 840 as well as the Barberan Jetmaster TRT 840 with the ZeeTree patented trueTexture technology which generated a multitude of different embossing effects, imitating the real wood look, as well as stone or other materials. Also noteworthy, the six-color press offers an improved optical resolution, along with smoother tones and color transitions. New capabilities for laminating machinery was also shown, including an indexing line featuring a gluing machine, a new cut and trimming system for the four edges of the panel and an indexing table. Also on display, the Compact Line Foil applies glue directly onto the foil, and allows edges postforming at the exit of the table. Industry 4.0 technology has also been incorporated on machinery, including the new bilateral wrapping machine.

Giardina GST

Among the products on display at Giardina Group’s stand was the GST ZeroGloss dryer for liquid surface finishes. The dryer uses excimer UV curing technology to achieve super-matte surface finishes with higher resistance to chemicals and physical abrasion than conventional matte surfaces. According to the company, it also facilitates excellent paint adhesion to the substrate, making the surface highly resistant to damage and easy to clean. Also showcased was “Softy”, a very soft roller that can be used to achieve maximum transfer efficiency with reduced emissions, similar to results seen on spray coating machines.

Makor finishing line

Makor targeted Industry 4.0 with machines that were more flexible, more efficient, easier to operate and featured smarter control technology. On display were smart workpieces with RFID chips that automatically configured the coating operation, automated, and robotic paint application systems for rapid color changes with reduced paint wastage. Makor’s partnership with tapio, integrates the software on the machine control panel, thereby allowing remote monitoring of the production process. Makor also showcased its Flexi Oven flexible drying oven; its new Ultradry UV curing oven; Slot Gun new edge finishing process; and the UV Putty Line, a new process for filling imperfections in wood; and a quality control system that detects imperfections in the wood.

Superfici's Maestro robot

Part of the SCM Group, Superfici’s stand included a range of solutions for both large and small batches. Robotic solutions included the Valtorta Bravorobot for painting or spraying glue on panels, , and the Maestro anthropomorphic robot for the production of window and door frames. The company said all Superfici technologies are integrated into Industry 4.0 via the MyFinishing package, which allows users to link up with the machinery directly from their smartphones, check production data, request instant assistance and have a live view inside their own spraying booth.

Venjakob's Ven Profit

Among its products, Venjakob displayed a spray coating machine which utilized RFID tags to set up the machine parameters. Also showcased was the VEN PROFIT data analysis tool, which utilizes tapio software. The dashboard can analyze and present machinery data in various different ways, so that users can monitor production processes, plan maintenance using predictive methods and use the data for management-level analysis. Also displayed were sanding and drying technologies.

Arminius' Platinum line

Arminius’ new Platinum line has been specially designed for high-precision profile sanding applications. It features a positive locking system and no tools are needed to change the abrasives. It will run at 2,000 RPM and provides a high quality of finish, the company said.

Costa sander

At its stand, Costa displayed a wide range of sanders, including, universal calibrating-fine sanding machines, high speed calibrating veneer sanding machines, combined planer-calibrating machines, sanding machines for veneer and lacquer and high-performance machines for complete lacquer lines.

SAMES-Kremlin's FPro

SAMES-Kremlin showcased its use of the vortex effect in spray painting, as seen in the FPro airspray guns. The technology uses special PEEK vortex inserts in the spray nozzle to generate a vortex (helix) in the atomized paint stream, the company said. This reduces the velocity of the paint particles, enabling the paint to more effectively reach hollows and cavities in complex-shaped workpieces. This optimized wrap-around effect reduces the spraying time required, and the finer spay significantly reduces overspray, while the diffuser ensures superior paint atomization, resulting in a larger, softer vortex.

Stay tuned for innovations in solid wood machining and other advancements in wood products manufacturing. To view some of the new panel processing technologies on display, click here.

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