Accu-Router has been actively modernizing their older CNC routers since 2006. Recent woodworking auctions have increased the opportunities to offer machines with new features at a lower cost.
In September, Accu-Router had nine of the 17 CNC routers auctioned at Berkline at their own plant in Morrison, Tenn., with orders for modernization, explains Accu-Router president Todd Herzog.
Accu-Router is refurbishing machines with new controls, electronics and safety features, and has completed machines for several companies such as Stratos Boats in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Buyers have several options, from a basic upgrade to a full mechanical rebuild and the addition of advanced electronics and current technology. Accu-Router strips down the machine to the original steel and aluminum. New electronics enable the router to function twice as fast, and, according to the company, new machine performance can cost 40 percent less than a brand new machine.
Herzog says there were 17 Accu-Routers and one Thermwood sold at the June auction at Berkline. Accu-Router purchased five of the machines. A Mississippi upholstered furniture manufacturer purchased four of the Berkline machines.
A contract furniture manufacturer in Virginia, a Mississippi wire rope reel manufacturer, a Mississippi upholstered furniture frame shop, a Tennessee wood toys and novelties maker, a Tennessee upholstered furniture manufacturer and a Mexican upholstered furniture manufacturer all bought at least one CNC router during the Berkline auction.
Accu-Router already rebuilt a machine for Woodhaven Industries, which manufactures all the upholstered furniture for the Aaron Rents stores.
Remanufacturing is not an adequate term for what they do, Herzog says; who calls the process Green CNC.
On the Woodhaven machine, Herzog says that Accu-Router machined the table and mounted 32 flotation balls along with the newest perimeter stops, added servo lateral adjustment between the two spindles, and added two five-spindle drillheads, one each to the right of the two spindles.
Accu-Router started by completely disassembling and thoroughly cleaning the machine, and then re-painting and re-labeling. All new safety labels meet the Z535 ANSI safety label standard. They replaced the functional mechanical components with new units, in many cases capable of much higher productivity than what was provided originally. They also completely replaced the CNC controls, servo motors, cables and solenoid valves. A new a state-of-the-art CNC control which is much faster with broader communications than the original control was installed. And the spindles were replaced with new spindles.
Also, they provided much faster ball screws than what were originally on the Berkline machines. The Woodhaven machine is two-and-a-half times faster in motion and cutting rate than a Berkline machine had been before the work. Accu-Router also upgraded the bleeder vacuum system and the roller holddown system so that both are more functional than what Berkline had. The new control was supplied with automatic cornering software that was not available on the Berkline era control. This feature assures maximum cornering speeds.
Herzog says that the 17-year-old, worn-out Berkline machine had become became a new high-velocity Accu-Router with new machine accuracies and warranty. Accu-Router recycled the original steel weldments, thick aluminum table, and electrical cabinets. Most of the remaining components were replaced with new. The items recycled saved Woodhaven more than $50,000 compared to the cost of a completely new machine.
“Add in automatic cornering software and the ability to plunge cut with our spindles at high feed rates and the result is cutting cycles times by more than half,” Herzog says. “We typically add to or upgrade our double holddown system, rollers and bleeder vacuum with high holddown efficiency with each. Spindles are new with increased cutting
rates. The replacement CNC control brings Ethernet and PCMCIA communications ports, color monitor, automatic cornering software along with other speed options, and much faster servo motor technology. The new control typically has much more memory, important with
The finished Green CNC can be further improved with the addition of an automated conveyor System. “The Green CNC program avoids $50,000 to $75,000 for the cost of a new machine by re-using structural components that don’t deteriorate,” Herzog says. “The productivity and throughput gains can be three to five times (compared to) original. The new electronics will be more energy efficient, reducing power consumption.”
Going into 2012, Accu-Router is expanding the Green CNC program to include certain fixed gantry, ballscrew-driven competitive machines made by other companies, such as Shoda, Komo, Northwood, and Heian. “We have a Shoda pallet shuttle machine at our plant currently for complete updating,” Herzog says. “It will become an Accu-Router with higher productivity than its original 1989 version, for which (the original buyer) paid twice as much.”
“We will be making our presentation on what can be improved, restored, and enhanced to a major furniture manufacturer in North Carolina that own 11 Shodas. We expect to make major changes with the machine functionality including a new CNC. Our focus will be increased productivity.”
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