LIGNA 2023: Robots for smart stacking of blanks by IMA Schelling

Robots matched with panel sizing saws for stacking (Image: IMA Schelling)

IMA Schelling, a provider of plant solutions for the woodworking industry, will be featuring their robots with in-house panel sizing saws for the automatic stacking of wood blanks at the upcoming LIGNA 2023.

For IMA Schelling, robots matched to in-house panel sizing saws can help to ensure that the strips are first buffered and then independently fed back to the saw.

Furthermore, the robots will stack the material on up to three-storey spaces after cutting. In this way, non-productive times can be reduced and the availability and profitability of the systems can be increased.

According to David Schelling, product manager of Cut-to-size division at IMA Schelling, robots typically perform tasks that are dangerous, unergonomic and monotonous in nature for labour. This applies particularly to strip and part handling in cutting.

The demand for automated processes is growing in spite of an increasing trend of individualisation in furniture production. Robots in particular have the potential to relieve staff and harmonise parts handling.

IMA Schelling’s robots are optimised for working with the fh 4 and fh 5 panel-sizing saws, able to automatically cut parts with lengths up to 3,200mm, widths up to 1,300mm, and weight up to 150kg.

“Our sawing robot solutions are also suitable for even smaller performance classes of 500-800 parts per shift,” explained Schelling. “They can be implemented as a stand-alone solution with de-stacking or in direct interlinking.”

For de-stacking, there are different variants of the robot depending on the customer’s requirements. There are robots for panels that land on pallets, on lifting tables or directly on the floor, or in unique racks with additional stacking destinations. There are also various stacking patterns, from single layers to erratic ones.

IMA Schelling claims that even waste disposal is customisable. There is an automated disposal solution via the waste flap, vibrating chute or chipper, or the waste can simply go into the waste bin.

Robots should also be able to be integrated into existing production processes at a later date without any problems, as Schelling explained: “Some customers appreciate setting up the plant first and then integrating the robot solution later. This is no problem with our systems.”

The system also shows flexibility with regard to changing panel formats, thicknesses, weights and materials. Equipped with a vacuum load pick-up, the robots can pick up very metal and plastic sheets, if the load pick-ups are adapted.