Editor’s note: This information was presented in the webcast “Edge Processing Technology 2014,” which broadcast in September. Presented by Steve Jones, product manager at Stiles Machinery, the full webcast can be heard on-demand at WoodworkingNetwork.com/webcasts.
In the market today are a number of edge processing technologies that can help improve not only the production, but the aesthetic appeal of the wood parts produced. Among them are: tooling developments for the edgebander, work unit technology and new gluing technology.
Tooling & Units
Proper cutterhead design is critical in obtaining a clean edge. Designed specifically for this type of application is a cutterhead with shear cut inserts that creates a propeller-like inflow, which in turn propels the chips inward to the dust collection unit.
Also new to the market is a multi-function trimming unit designed with four wings on the cutterhead. Similar in appearance to a modified propeller, this configuration also works to pull the chips and airflow back into the dust extraction unit, eliminating debris blowback.
Among the new unit technologies is multi-stage trimming and scraping units along with magnetic linear drive technology. The unit allows for three different profiles: two radius and one flush.
Also new for edgebanders is magnetic linear drive technology, which uses no air pressure to program the path of corner rounding units that trim with very light pressure making it suitable for high gloss and lightweight panels.
Significant advances also have been made recently to improve the bond quality as well as look of the edgebanded part.
Recently introduced are hot-air edgebanders. A lower-cost alternative to laser edgebanders, these machines use compressed air which is heated to very high temperatures and applied close to the point where both the panel and edging material come together, re-activating the co-extruded polymer layer on the material and producing a strong bond. This technology can be used with ABS and polypropylene edging. PVC usage is still in development.
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