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Cautious optimism prevails at Xylexpo/Sasmil: recovering global woodworking sectorlooks to Milan for innovations.

More than 87,000 visitors attended Xylexpo/Sasmil, Europe's second largest woodworking machinery and supply fair, held in Milan, Italy, May 26-30.

Approximately 1,190 exhibitors participated in the co-located event, which covered more than 282,000 square feet.

Sasmil, which featured supplies and materials, was made up of 402 exhibitors (311 from Italy and 91 from 22 other countries) and occupied approximately 70,000 square feet. Xylexpo, featuring woodworking technology, covered 212,000 square feet with 788 exhibitors--557 Italian and 231 from 38 other countries).

The international flavor of the fair was evident as the show attracted buyer delegations from Egypt, Brazil, Canada and Malaysia. Among non-Italian visitors, the largest group France, Turkey and Germany. Wood product executives from Byelorussia and Ukraine, key markets for many major European suppliers, were also represented. North American attendance was down 15 percent, although overall foreign attendance was up slightly, from 41,740 two years ago to 43,792.

"We're pleased with the number of exhibitors who signed on this year," said Paolo Zanibon, director of ACIMALL, the Italian woodworking machinery association and Xylexpo's sponsor. "Compared to what's been happening to other major trade fairs, the number of participants, and above all the amount of display space that's been sold, is more than satisfactory and very reassuring. We are confident that the industry will pick up in the coming months."

According to Xylexpo spokesman Luca Rossetti, even though the global economy is still in the doldrums, the results of the show were encouraging. "The results suggest that Italian buyers are starting to spend at long last, possibly heralding a turnaround that will enable the industry to look toward the short- and mid-term future with a little more confidence."

Technology Trends at Xylexpo

Technical innovations aimed at facilitating shorter production runs and machines with reduced set-up times were in the limelight at Xylexpo. Also, the line between "big" equipment and machines aimed at the small shop has become blurred. Machinery suppliers offered single flexible machines capable of handling a wide variety of production responsibilities, thereby replacing the need for one or more traditional machines. In many cases, these highly automated machines also boast a relatively small footprint, making them a desirable addition to any size operation.

What follows is a brief roundup of equipment on display at Xylexpo.

Bacci (Richard T. Byrnes Co.) displayed the Smart 5 machining center. The machine can perform in one single setup various machining combinations usually performed on several conventional machines, such as drilling, mortising, tenoning, fingerjointing, milling, 4- or 5-axis contouring, profiling of shells and carving on elements of chairs, tables and sofas. Circle #577


Balestrini's (Solid Wood Systems) Idea 2 is a CNC machining center for complex shaping operations, specially designed for chairs, tables and other component parts. The machine is able to work on five faces of a workpiece in a single step, without having to reposition it manually of use expensive rotating tables. The machine is equipped with an NUM 1050 CNC full digital, and all components involved with the movement of the axes (CNG, drives and motors) are made by the same manufacturer, with the guarantee of uniform good product, according to the company. Circle #578


Biesse displayed the Skipper 100 throughfeed automated machining center. It features zero set-up time, when moving from one panel size to another, according to the company. Matching top and bottom drilling units allow it to machine one or two panels simultaneously. Skipper is able to bore up to eight panels per minute, four right and four left, each with six "down strokes" each when changing programs and when producing "batch 1," hereby obtaining continuous production. The center also performs light routing and grooving. Circle #579


Biesse also displayed the Levia Regal 135 widebelt sander. The machine is available with work lengths of 950, 1,100 and 1,350mm (37.4, 43.7 and 53.1 in.) and two or three operating units. It can be outfitted with numerous devices in order to meet any production need, including: inverters on main motors, pressure bar, highly sensitive sectioned electronic sanding pad with it 30mm (1.18 m.) center distance and a vacuum table. Circle #580

The Akron 800 Series is a line of automatic edgebanders available front Biesse in various lengths, entirely customizable in terms of machine compositions and performance. The Akron 800 offers productivity, efficiency and flexibility in banding any type of edge thickness from 0.4mm to 15mm. Circle #581

Burkle (European Woodworking Machinery) displayed the Rotation laminating system, designed for flexible manufacturing of small lot orders. The laminating system has reduced space requirements and requires fewer operators, according to the manufacturer. The line produces approximately 15 cycles per hour. Its operations are aided by a digital camera and a new patent-applied-for lay-up pallet. Circle #582

Cefla (Cefla Finishing America/Stiles Machinery) displayed environmentally friendly finishing systems. The Cefla Easy 2000 AC is specifically designed for UV acrylic-based lacquers without solvents. Cefla also displayed powder coating systems capable of operating both in a horizontal and vertical direction. These different configurations allow manufacturers options in terms of surface finish grade, ease of workpiece loading and unloading and reduced plant dimensions. Circle #583


Delmac Group introduced the Busellato Jet 4 WD window and door machining center. The machine features flexibility in its ability to hold and machine parts and is designed to handle the specific needs of clamping linear and arched door/window parts. When the clamps are not in use they remain below the level of the machine work bed. This allows the machine to be used for traditional work, and vacuum cups can be positioned freely along aluminum panel supports. An automatic clamping system allows it to handle a variety of pieces. Circle #584


Also from Delmac is a completely new range of Busellato edgebanding machines, the Flexa Series. The Flexa Series covers everything from large CNC controlled equipment to an entry-level edgebander for the small shop. The machines can handle materials from 3mm to solid wood strips. Circle #585

Delmac's SAG division introduced the BordFlex transversal edgebanding process, designed for just-in-time manufacturing. The machine is used to square and sequentially edge panels of different colors and sizes. The machine can handle panels from 180 to 4,500mm (7 to 177 in.) wide. Circle #586

Homag (Stiles Machinery) introduced its "Success with a System" program at Xylexpo, emphasizing that the company's full range of equipment can be integrated for complete solutions in panel processing.

For example, the Holzma HKL 11 angular saw can be enhanced with a completely integrated Bargstedt panel handling and stacking system. Such a system will fit within compact plant dimensions while offering operating flexibility and economy. The HKL 11 can be operated with stacks up to 1,000mm in height, without the need to provide a pit of lifting tables. Despite the wide scope of functions available, Homag says the machine remains clearly arranged and convenient to operate, providing valuable operator guidance through graphically depicted sequences in the form of illustrated error diagnosis and also video clips. Circle #587


The Homag Optimat KAL 310 edgebanding machine features a whole range of special processing applications, such as transfer finish, softforming, built-up edges, direct postforming, door rebate laying, of applying T-profiles or aluminum edges. Circle #588

Hymmen's KTP CyclePress, a short-cycle laminating press, is designed for processing small batch sizes and is capable of 180 cycles per hour on boards from 5mm to 40mm (0.19 in. to 1.57 in.) thick. Lamination of variable board sizes is facilitated by alternating pressure of the cylinder rolls. Temperatures of the heating plates can reach up to 220C. Circle #589

IMA's BIMA-Cut Concept Plus is a versatile CNC machining center capable of processing full panels and parts. Features include horizontal and vertical boring, routing, grooving and automatic tool changing. Circle #590


Koch Machinery displayed the Sprint PTP-2 horizontal and vertical point to point drilling and inserting machine. It is designed for use on a variety of panels, including odd shaped pieces. The machine requires minimal set-up time and is suitable for both just-in-time manufacturing and hatch production. The company says it is an ideal complement to a CNC machining center. Circle #591


Omga introduced the T2005 OPT automatic cut-off saw with a pusher for optimized cutting and defecting. The system has a camera placed on the feed carriage, which reads the defecting marks designated by the operator and at the same time monitors the board length. Optimized cuts are then performed after defects are removed based on cutting lists that are entered in the machine's memory. Circle #592


Putsch Meniconi (Atlantic Machinery) bills its SVP 145/450 as the first vertical panel saw to cut at a 45[degrees] angle, which is made possible through pneumatics. The saw also features a pneumatic retractable roller, a 'rollers up' warning light, pneumatic beam locking without using a fool pedal, and a pneumatic shifting frame. Circle #593


The SAC F4S CNC production centers for window frames are suitable for sequential of batch production of all component parts of a window. According to the company, the machine facilitates production of single orders in small quantities and different sizes. The machines perform all operations required for window production, including cut off, trimming, tenoning, inner profiling, squaring and shaping. Circle #594


SCM Group displayed the AXIOMA 125, an angular panel sawing system designed for small- and medium-sized companies that want to increase their production capacity. The AXIOMA handles panels up to 5,700mm by 2,440mm (224 in. by 96 in.), and up to 125mm (4.9 in.) high, according to the company. Circle #595


Evolution is SCM's new Stefani electronic tenoner/edgebander. It features a solid frame and provides panel-holding stability, the company says. It delivers working speeds up to 60m/minute, has THK movable sub-bases, end trimming unit managed by brush-less motors, upper glue pot, high precision edge feeding and rear cut device. Circle #596

SCM's Morbidelli Author 900 range of machining centers offers flexibility and high-production speeds simultaneously, according to the manufacturer. Aimed at minimizing set-up time while maximizing output, the Author 900 line features identical and interchangeable modules that can be easily integrated to allow a variety of configurations, SCM says. Circle #597

Weinig introduced the Powermat 500 as the newest member of its Powermat family of CNC moulders. The Powermat 500 is designed to be affordable for the smaller woodworking shop, according to the company. The machine is equipped with conventional spindles and a tool holder for HSK tools, both of which can operate at spindle speeds up to 8,000 rpm. The moulder also features a memory system that recalls previously produced profiles. This enables the profiles to be loaded into the machine at the touch of a button and displayed on positioning units. Circle #598


New Facility Will House Xylexpo/Sasmil 2006

In 2006, Xylexpo/Sasmil will more to the mew Rho-Pero Milan fair complex. At press time a firm date for the next event was not available.

The new facility features more than 1 million square feel of gross exhibition area. It is built on the grounds of a former Agip refinery and is located on the northwest outskirts of Milan. New high-speed rail and subway lines are being built to connect the facility to the city center and Malpensa international airport.
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Author:Urban, Harry
Publication:Wood & Wood Products
Date:Jul 1, 2004
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