“Digital first” at LIGNA 2019: Gearing up for integrated woodworking

Smart factories, digital integration and customer-centric manufacturing. These are the trends and themes currently shaping the global wood industry and its number one technology hub, LIGNA, the world’s leading trade show for woodworking and wood processing plant, machinery and tools. One the big focus themes of LIGNA 2019, which runs from 27 to 31 May in Hannover, Germany, is “Integrated Woodworking Technologies – Customized Solutions”. Visitors to this year’s show will see first-hand how the furniture industry, the woodworking trades and the primary wood industry, in particular, can leverage the benefits of the latest digital solutions to gear up for the challenges of the future. The line-up of solutions on show is extensive, including everything from 360-degree production control systems, smart CNC aggregates and digital embossing printers through to the latest CNC milling and Sawmill 4.0 technologies.

Weinig: complex, 8-part production line
At the Weinig stand in Hall 27, visitors will be able to see a complex production line comprising eight integrated components in action. The stand will run daily demonstrations that showcase the entire production process, from raw material to finished product. The production line incorporates both robotics technology and Weinig scanners. All of the line’s components are controlled centrally via Weinig’s new single-operator Control Suite system. Under the careful watch of this system, semi-finished goods will be manufactured then further processed into various products at downstream stations at the Weinig stand. One of the stations involves making window parts using a Conturex CNC centre.

Schmalz: Vacuum blocks for nesting tables
Schmalz (Hall 16, Stand A06) will be showing a VCBL-G K1 vacuum block that has been especially designed for nesting tables. Nesting makes it possible for work-pieces of any shape to be arranged with the help of a nesting map, resulting in minimal cutting waste. The vacuum block can be directly positioned on the top of the CNC machine’s grid table without having to remove the table top first. This means the user does not need to set up the machine, which avoids long downtimes. The low working height of 30mm means that the VCBL can also be used in three-axis machining centres with low Z values.

SCM: 360-degree control over the entire production process
From its over 4,000sqm booth (Hall 13 booth C 56), SCM will present its “Smart&Human Factory”: a cutting-edge production model based on innovative, modular and easily configurable cells integrated with digital and automation systems and allowing for advanced man-machine interaction and 360-degree control over the entire production flow. This “user-friendly” wood panel processing automation system is designed to respond to the challenges of mass customisation and Industry 4.0. The process aims at optimising as much as possible panel cutting, edgebanding and drilling operations, so as to reduce waste, rejects and retooling requirements during product changeovers, to then reassemble orders back together at the end of the process and delaying customisation until this stage.

ATEMAG: Fine-tuning production in real time with smart CNC aggregate
The Control 4.0 smart CNC aggregate developed by ATEMAG (Hall 12, Stand B84) captures production parameters and transmits the data in real time to the machine controller. It can also intervene in the production process itself – for instance, to increase output by adjusting speed and feed rate. Machine data captured by the system can be analysed to determine when production parameters, tools and clamping systems need to be adjusted or changed. Control 4.0 is a smart CNC aggregate which detects efficiency-boosting potential in real time and reacts in seconds by communicating with the machine and, if needed, autonomously intervening in the production process.

Biesse: Innovative software manages all processing stations in furniture production
With its B_CABINET Four software, Biesse (Hall 11, Stand B32) has developed a solution that can manage all stages of furniture production, from 3D design to monitoring the entire production flow. The software has a special interface where users can define and manage all processing stations and work steps required for each order. That includes everything, from cutting, milling, drilling and edge banding through to assembly and packaging. Each processing station receives a work order comprising the production sequence, additional information on aspects such as the parts to be processed or the entire project, as well as parts programmes, work lists, cutting lists and PDF assembly instructions. The software features a dedicated interface for monitoring and controlling each processing phase right through to order dispatch. B_CABINET gives users complete control over each step of their processing operations and provides them with a real-time graphical overview of order status and fulfilment.

Wemhöner: VR model of an integrated manufacturing plant
At the Wemhöner stand (Hall 26, Stand E11), visitors will be able to see first-hand how logistics concepts are integrated into modern manufacturing plants. The highlight of the overall Wemhöner showcase is a VR model of an integrated manufacturing plant comprising a raw panel and wrapped pallet storage rack, two short-cycle laminating lines and a panel stack packaging machine. Wemhöner’s high-end, state-of-the-art short-cycle laminating concept comprises control systems for managing the flow of materials and production data as well as interfaces linking the plant to higher-level production control systems. The ability to network the different control systems with the customer’s ERP system yields substantial benefits in terms of optimised management of all logistics and inventory processes in the factory.

Hymmen: End-to-end solution – from primer application to digital lacquer embossing
German company Hymmen (Hall 26, Stand F28) offers state-of-the-art production technology for conventional laminate flooring manufacturing processes as well as for multilayer modular flooring (MMF). Hymmen’s solutions are tailored to the process requirements of flooring manufacturers and can handle everything from full-size panel production to single plank manufacturing that involves digital printing across tongue-and-groove joints. A turnkey solution from Hymmen can comprise a variety of different production processes, from primer application, digital decorative layer printing and the application of multiple functional layers, through to digital lacquer embossing (DLE). The company’s special excimer VUV curing process can produce fingerprint-resistant surfaces and a range of gloss levels.

TH Rosenheim: From digital assistant to automated guided vehicle
The proto_lab research project by Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences (Hall 11, D88) is all about finding practical ways of enabling companies to take a gradual, step-by-step approach to digitisation and automation. The objective is to open the way for small companies to embark on digital transformation and to help large companies become more flexible and better able to customise their products. The university will be demonstrating a complete production process comprising digital assistants, smart robotics solutions and a logistics system featuring automated guided vehicle technology.

Baumer: A new standard in raw panel inspection
The ColourBrain® RawBoard 4.0 inspection system by Baumer (Hall 15, Stand D15) sets new standards in the double-sided inspection of chipboards and MDF/HDF boards. The system reliably identifies typical process errors, such as grinding defects, physical damage to panel surfaces and edges as well as contamination caused by oil, water or dust. Thanks to its standard interfaces, ColourBrain® RawBoard 4.0 can be easily and quickly integrated into most commonly used production line control systems. Being a slimline, fully self-contained unit, it takes up significantly less space on the factory floor than other solutions. The new, world-unique illumination module combined with Baumer’s proven, proprietary line-scan camera results in a powerful inspection unit that reliably detects surface defects at the highest feed speeds, even in harsh production environments.

Homag: Taking a modular approach to integrated, networked solutions
HOMAG’s showcase in Hall 14 at this year’s LIGNA is all about bringing digital production concepts to life. On over 5,000 square metres of display space, HOMAG will present a range of integrated, networked solutions comprising woodworking machines, cells, systems and software that can help operations of all sizes take the next steps towards a digitized future. The company will run live demonstrations of its new “networked cell” systems – from “Digital Entry” and the “Networked, Digital Workshop” through to “Networked, Individual Cells”. All of these systems are available in a range of output classes tailored to operations of all sizes, from small woodworking firms to industrial-scale furniture manufacturers. Each solution is fully modular, allowing users to configure their own tailor-made solutions. HOMAG’s “High Performance Furniture Processing” showcase is aimed at industrial-scale furniture manufacturers interested in new technologies and concepts for high-speed dimensioning and edge banding.

Gewema: World’s first wooden CNC router
Gewema (Hall 12, Stand D85) is showcasing the world’s first heavy-duty wooden CNC router for professional users. The router is an automated solution that can easily realize just about any custom project – no marker pencils, rulers or T-squares required. It can also handle a variety of clamping systems, including vacuum clamping. Another special feature is the unit’s single cutting head, which reduces tooling times and emissions while producing high-precision results. The Holzfraese wooden router is ideal for woodworking operations specializing in small-series production and engraving and any other application requiring a high degree of customisation and precision, such as the production of scale models, housings, instrument building and moulds.

Felder: Software for complex production processes
Technically demanding production processes require state-of-the-art software support. The F4®Solutions suite of programmes developed by the Felder Group (Hall 13, Stand C68) offers solutions for furniture production and interior design, nesting optimization, window and door production, 3D free forms and stairs and staircase construction as well as smart post processors. Felder’s software can be seamlessly integrated into existing production lines and connects all the individual processing steps into a smart, fully integrated end-to-end process chain. Deployed individually or as a package, F4®Solutions requires no further investment in new, networkable machines or other high-tech plant. The software modules are easy to use, fully functional the moment they are installed and can be added to at any point in time. F4®Solutions opens the way to integrated production for smaller woodworking firms using standard machines.

Barberan: Intuitive management of print operations
The G5 Jetmaster printer control software developed by BARBERAN (Hall 17, Stand B48) enables the simple, intuitive management of all printing operations, turning a highly complex machine into a system that is easy to operate. With G5, users can send print jobs from their PC directly to the machine, manage large-format digital images, create print queues and perform both printing and maintenance tasks. The software, which was developed to improve the productivity of Jetmaster printers, was inspired by years of customer feedback and incorporates BARBERAN’s latest R&D advances.

Fachschule Holztechnik Melle: Integrated manufacturing in practice
Fachschule Holztechnik Melle (FHM, Hall 11, Stand F76) is a German institution of higher learning specializing in wood technology. It will be presenting a number of comprehensive projects illustrating practical, tried and proven approaches to implementing integrated manufacturing systems. Students from the college will present the practical aspects of the projects and the results, including insights into tooling systems resulting from FHM’s joint work with ATEMAG. Real-time transmission of machine data results in better production outcomes, longer machine and aggregate service life, and reduced stress on CNC machining center spindles. In a series of live practice runs, the students will trial data transmission via the cloud and evaluate the results. FHM’s showcase will also feature a manufacturing execution system realized in collaboration with dmaic, which provides fresh insights into plant integration and digitization.

Microtec: Sawmill 4.0 enables gapless traceability
At Microtec’s “Sawmill of the Future” (Hall 25, Stand F39), every piece of lumber receives a unique digital fingerprint which enables it to be traced back all the way to the original log. A combination of different Microtec technologies makes this possible. These include CT Log 360°, a computed tomography-based sawing optimization system that enables 3D digital log mapping and virtual sorting; Logeye Fingerprint, an X-ray log scanner for log identification and rotation angle evaluation; Truespin, a scanner for rotation angle monitoring; and Goldeneye, a multi-sensor scanner for lumber identification and quality grading. By integrating AI into their production processes, sawmillers can determine the value of the lumber yield from a given log before the log is broken down. Ultimately, AI systems reduce costs and increase yields.

Pade: Twin-head, 15 axis CNC machining center
The VARIODUET JAMB by Pade (Hall 27, Stand D51) is a twin-head CNC machining centre with 15 controlled axes that produces jambs in large quantities while enabling the highest possible design flexibility and quick changeovers. Each head has five spindles, eliminating the need for separate automatic tool changers. Because the tools are pre-installed and ready, the cut-to-cut time is less than two seconds. The design of the trough-feed hopper feeders allows loading and unloading two pieces at the same time. The machine on display at LIGNA will feature automatic in-feed and out-feed rollers – to illustrate how VARIO DUET JAMB can integrated into processing lines.

Beck Fastener: World’s first nail gun-compatible wooden nails
Beck Fastener’s LignoLoc® wooden nails (Hall 13, Stand A27) are made of locally grown beech wood and can be fired into solid timber or engineered wood without pre-drilling using the LignoLoc® pneumatic nail gun. The energy released during firing “welds” the nail to the substrate, creating a seamless permanent bond. LignoLoc® wooden nails avoid the problems of corrosion stains and damage to tools used for subsequent processing of the material. They are also environmentally friendly throughout their lifecycle, from initial production to recycling. For instance, the production of a LignoLoc® wooden nail causes 75 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions than a comparable steel nail.