At NexGen, a roving woodworking technology event running Oct. 5-7 at several sites in North Carolina (taking place at CR Onsrud, Biesse America, Delmac, Costa & Grissom Machinery, Holzma and Stiles) runs through today. During the open house in its Charlotte headquarters, Biesse America debuted its newest CNC router - the Klever 15 with 5x10-foot bed.

 
 Biesse's new Klever 15 CNC router uses a
modular bed with replaceable sections and
replaceable vacuum cartridges.
 
Holzma integrates high volume (below)
cabinetry and casegoods production
in a 29x98-foot cell; and low volume
one-operator closet production
(bottom) in very compact cell.
 
 

(A 4x8-foot model is also said to be in the works.)

The Klever (projected to sell at a lower price point) features a vacuum bed split into replaceable modules - if one is damaged a new one can be dropped in. Vacuum nozzle cartridges that may get damaged during cutting and routing can also be replaced.

At its Gastonia, NC  location, Holzma, which has grown in its mission to integrate technologies sold by Stiles Machinery, showed three work cell modules during NexGen: for high volume case goods production, for architectural projects, and one-operator set-ups for closets or flat-panel production.

The high-volume production work cell fits in a relatively compact 29x98-foot space (2,842 square feet), a configuration that lends itself to lean production -  since steps between work functions are minimized. The integration of the production machinery to operator functions is driven by Stiles iConnect software, which tells workers when all parts of a project have been cut, and prioritizes work.

iConnect relies on a "forced completion" approach, says Bill Pitt, VP and GM of the Holzma U.S. unit. This optimizes material handling by not overwhelming the work cell with too much output from various points along the manufacturing chain.

The high volume case goods cell at Holzma is built around a profiLine HPL 380 panel sizing saw, a KAL 200 edgebander, Weeke ABD 150 drill and dowel unit, a Weeke BHX 500 high speed CNC machine center and Ligmatech MPH 400 Optimat clamping press. The automated saw is integrated to a barcode label printer that also affixes scannable labels to components.

The full integrated production work cell package also generates RFID tags, which manage logistics and inventory of finished goods - very important for projects such as mass high-rise cabinet installations, or drop-ship  to multiple retail outlets.

A custom work cell for architectural millwork applications, with panel saw and other equipment, measured under 1,400 square feet (31x45-foot). “People forget that a fast speed on a router is a slow speed on a saw,” says Pitt. In this cell a panel saw was performing kerfing to create bendable boards for such uses as a curved reception desk. “This three machine system can handle a lot of product,” noted Pitt, referring to the saw, edgebander and router.

Another single-operator work cell, smaller still with Brandt edgebander, Holzma panel saw, and Weeke BHX 050 Optimat, is intended for closet and simple flat-panel production.

Next stops on the NexGen fall 2010 circuit are C.R. Onsrud, Delmac, Stiles and Costa & Grissom, to be covered in the next installment.

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