LIGNA 2017: Sandvik technology for tomorrow’s panels

The Sandvik Productivity Center at LIGNA 

Press belt manufacturer Sandvik showcased its array of tools, technologies and global support platform to meet production challenges in wood-based panel manufacturing. 

At the centre of this was a self-contained Productivity Centre at LIGNA, where visitors could handle tools, view videos and enjoy a hands-on demonstration of Sandvik’s engineering expertise. 

“There is a clear trend towards the production of thinner boards,” explains Jörg Kaufmann, Global Product manager at Sandvik. “The market is looking for end products that can be painted direct from the press without grinding. As the world’s leading supplier of press belts, we have a central role to play in delivering this.” 

The Sandvik moose, always present at LIGNA

Sandvik can produce press belts 1.2 – 3.5 mm thick, and up to 4,620 mm wide. The manufacture of wide belts involves welding two or even three belts together longitudinally – top and bottom – then grinding the weld to critical thickness tolerances. This results in a welding seam that can only be identified using a high precision ultrasonic thickness gauge and stand visitors were invited to do just that on a belt sample.

Also on show were the company’s new QuickDisc Plus 500, a cutting, welding and grinding system for repairs to damage up to 480 mm in diameter, and the QuickAnnealer, a tool that improves the hardness of a weld repair through the application of targeted heat up to 600 °C. This ensures a premium quality repair, significantly reducing the risk of the faint white rings that may otherwise be visible on end products following a disc repair, particularly on thin boards.

Among the videos on show was a step-by-step explanation of the belt production process, from levelling and welding to grinding and finishing. A world map highlighted the support that is available to Sandvik belt customers via the teams and tools it has in more than 60 locations.

“Our Productivity Center was representative of our focus on customer-oriented solutions,” said Kaufmann, “and it proved to be a major talking point for stand visitors.”

“We have on the ground teams covering every continent. No other belt manufacturer in the world comes close in terms of customer support capability.”

“There are two things to consider when choosing a steel belt. There’s the product itself: its specification and build quality and the engineering behind it. But then there’s the support that comes with it – what we call ‘Steel Belts Plus’. This is the added value you get by choosing a Sandvik steel belt.”