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Computers continue to infiltrate industry.


WOOD & WOOD PRODUCTS reviews more than 50 state-of-the-art woodworking machines.

At different times, to different people, hightech equipment has meant different things.

To primitive man, high-tech meant crudely attaching a sharpened rock to a stick. To American cabinet manufacturers of the 18th century, high-tech was reflected by the great wheel lathe which required two men to use it and featured a 6-foot wheel which turned the workpiece from 8 feet away.

To manufacturers of today, high-tech is most commonly associated with computerization. From panel saws to routers and just about everything in between, computer numeric control has made previous ideas of high-tech outdated. In the following pages WOOD & WOOD PRODUCTS presents a comprehensive list of high-tech equipment. But the way things change, who knows, 10 years down the road, today's high-tech equipment may have gone the way of the great wheel lathe.

Machining centers

The Matrix from Biesse America is a complete manufacturing center for just-in-time production that bores vertically and horizontally, inserts dowels and hardware and grooves. It reportedly processes 15 panels per minute and can accommodate each one in a different size and boring pattern. 356

The five-axis CNC carving machine from C.M.S. North America Inc. is productive for machining parts, with the capability of using up to six tools on each part. It is equipped with a six-station revolver/turret stacked five deep with electrospindles at 170mm (6 5/8 in.) center. 357

From Richard T. Byrnes Co. Inc., the Bacci/Byrnes Model TTF/2 double-end machine center incorporates the operation of several machines. Two spindles, numerically controlled, work within each head. The first spindle is controlled by 3-axis for cutting, boring, tenoning and mortising, and the second spindle is controlled by a 3-axis for vertical operations of milling, shaping and mortising. Both a cutter and pantograph are mounted on each spindle. Anti-splintering is possible, even if material is veneered MDF, since cutting rotation is the same as feed direction. It comes with hopper feed which provides automatic alignment of pieces on two guides. 358

The Olympus 504 CNC Machining Center from Wadkin USA is a gantry-type machine geared toward high volume just-in-time production. It features twin 5-ft by 5-ft worktables and four-high speed router heads. Router heads can reach variable speeds up to 20,000 rpm, and are fitted with the Guardex Dust Extraction System, the company says. Four piggyback drill units are also fitted. Full function five linear axis advance control with independent head positioning is provided by the Bosch CC 100 system link into a CAD-CAM. An AC servo drive permits table movement up to 65 fpm and feed speeds up to 49 fpm. A number of other options are available from the company. 359

Stiles Machinery Inc. offers the new BAZ Processing Center from Homag for just-in-time production. The machine is able to perform cutting and edgebanding of 360 [degrees] shapes. The machine utilizes computer integrated manufacturing capabilities, and it can be equipped with up to six processing units to perform contour routing, edgebanding, trimming, sanding, boring and grooving in any sequence required. 360

The Morbidelli Universal 50 point-to-point drilling machine from Tekna Machinery Inc. offers the woodworking industry flexible performance in drilling and routing operations on panels up to a maximum of 1,300mm. Multi-routing, horizontal boring and grooving units can all be applied. It comes equipped with 29 independent spindles controlled by an advanced microprocessor. 361

Medalist Automated Machinery's new Challoner 7300 CNC horizontal machining center for stile and rail boring of custom panel doors and louvered products is IBM compatible and moves four spindles during the operating cycle to form contoured louver mortises and hardware pockets without mechanical setup. Directed programming and sequential operation completes one door at a time for custom orders or it can repeat specific operations for larger orders. 362

HendrickShinx offers a variety of machining centers including single-table and dual-table, 5-axis with automatic tool changer and 15-spindle configurations. The systems are controlled by a HendrickShinx control system. CAD/CAM interface via RS-232C interface is standard. A digitizer can be coupled directly to the controller. The control system is color-coded menu driven and comes with a 14-in. color monitor. 363

The Alberti Format 90/CN machining center from Stefani Group America has a main head with four routers, as well as 27 independent spindles and the capability of mounting horizontal units for drilling four edges. It is controlled by an IBM PC and can be interfaced with Network, CAD/CAM, Modem and a bar code system. 364

Busellato's Supermaster series of NC point-to-point working centers is the largest of three series manufactured by the company and distributed by Koch Ltd. Machinery & Systems. The machine can be furnished with five different spindle configurations and with as many as five auxiliary stations for routers, saws and specialized operations. Data is inputted on an IBM PC, and operations can be interfaced or prepared at remote locations. 365

The Shoda Model NCW 516 is a dual table machine distributed by Computer Router Services Inc. It can operate in pallet change mode or combine tables into one large work surface. Shoda offers specialized heads including automatic tool changers, shapers, routers, gang drills, saws, horizontal drilling and routing, piggy-back routers and drills, planers, and fourth and fifth axis heads. 366

The Model 82 CNC machining center from Thermwood Corp. has two 60-in. by 83-in. moving tables which operate independently or together providing a 5-ft by approximately 14-ft table. It comes with four 10-hp extended duty router spindles which accept bits up to 1-in. in diameter. It can also be equipped with air drills, three or nine spindles, 32mm electric drill banks, shaper heads and a two-position 7.5-hp saw head. The machine is equipped with a Series 91 Supercontrol featuring hard disk program storage and compatibility with CAD/CAM off line programming systems. 367

Computer software

The new MasterCAM 3-D, Version 3.0, is a PC-based CAM package offered by Techno. It creates 3-D models in wood, plastic or solid surfacing materials. With the 3-D switch on, X, Y and Z coordinates can be entered. Construction planes can be defined anywhere in space from any view by selecting either two lines, an arc or a view. All geometry including points, lines, and splines are inherently 3-D. It can also do two-dimensional applications, or a dedicated 2-D package can be obtained. Both the 2-D and 3-D MasterCAM program are designed for use with CAD/CAM wood routers. 368

The veneer optimizer software from Ruckle Veneer Systems Inc. can be modified to the user's particular needs. It will enter into inventory veneer purchases according to a number of different variables, including supplier, flitch number and grade. It also enters the products required, such as sizes, grades, number of components allowed, face value and number of faces needed. A computer then transfers the value of the components. It enters the cutting order, priority commands, specifies the flitch to use and other functions. 371

Cabinet Vision Inc. software generates complete material, bid, cost, optimization and labor information, as well as scaled renderings to custom or stock manufacturers' specifications building faceframe, frameless and 32mm residential or commercial case goods. It permits switching between floor plan, elevation and 3-D while positioning cabinet types, appliances and openings randomly within entire rooms in full color. 369

Compass software available from E & R Supply Co. Inc. is a CAD solution for the production and design of mortised and open stringer staircases. This CAD-CAM program is used on an IBM compatible PC and is designed for small-to medium-sized firms. It is oriented toward the design problems of circular and winder staircases and offers comprehensive design assistance. Plan view, elevations and full-scale paper templates ready for production can be designed and produced by a printer and/or plotter within 20 minutes, the company says. 370

CADKIT's software program is based on the AutoCAD system. Graphic features include see-through cabinets and furniture and 3-D design. The company has an open system policy allowing customers to make modifications to match other programs currently in operation. A key feature of the system is the Launch Pad tablet which allows the user to press a button with the image of the piece of furniture or fixtures they would like to see appear in the design. The system is learnable within a couple of hours, the company says. 372

P.C. Work Inc. offers a variety of software packages and services including: an estimating package called P.C. Estimator; Cabinet Builder for architectural woodworkers; a library of wood moulding profiles called P.C. Mouldings; a series to convert the moulding profiles to computer drawings; a panel optimizing program from Holzma called Cutrite; an AutoCAD training course, and a panel layout program, MicroCut. 373

The Tape to Part solid rendering extension to NC Microproducts' NC Polaris system features the ability to read G & M codes, dialog or custom special NC codes and produce a solid rendering of the actual part. Tape to Part allows the user to zoom, rotate and cut cross sections through the part. With this package operators can verify NC code by producing a solid part rendering before sending the NC code to their CNC machine tool. Tape to Part Extension requires NC Polaris and the Mill extension. 374

BobCAD/CAM is offering version 10.0 of its CAD/CAM software for milling, wire EDM, laser, water jet and wood routing. Some of the features of the software include full page editing in the CAD menu while creating the NC program. BobCAD is also available in foreign languages including German or Dutch. 375

The DigiPRO three-dimensional digitizing system from GPM Technologies was a 1990 Challenger Award winner. The software package allows for 3-axis CNC machining systems to digitize 3-D objects into a 3-D model in AutoCAD. Using a Renishaw touch probe for input, the custom machine macros move the machine in user selectable increments. The menu driven software can work unattended and can convert data into 3-D mesh drawn for conversion into CNC machine code. 376

Timesavers Router Division is offering an updated software package for all models of its routers and CAD/CAM systems in use in the field. The entire system is menu-driven and is fully compatible with AutoCAD products. Features of the new software include: pop-up windows to speed part digitizing, displays that show cutter path and calculate actual run time, and easier programming of mortise holes, circular or rectangular shapes. 377

The SmartCam Advanced 3-D Machining production from Point Control Co. is an updated version of the SmartCam 3-D Machining Version 1.5. It features: graphic user interface, cutter offsets generated for ball-nosed, bull-nosed and square router tools, Coons Surface Type, variable radius blends generated automatically between any two surfaces, automatic gouge correction, fourth-axis rotary cutting support, planar cutting capability and automatic cavity roughing routing. 378

The Detailer from Cabnetware Inc. provides 3-D perspectives with woodgrain and shading, color floor plans, elevations, countertops and cross sections, and modifications can be made on the screen. Multiple drawings can be made on a single page to any scale, and estimates, change orders, job cost reports, order forms and cutting lists in three different formats are automatically generated from the job design. Also available is a fully integrated panel optimization program. 379

The Woodwork/2001 computer software package from Keytrix Systems begins the estimating process with a takeoff of each item to determine the product's costs and then provides a comprehensive set of cost data. The software is menu-driven and utilizes a mouse. The package includes the Optimizer/2001 which prints pictorial diagrams depicting rips and crosscuts into each panel, labeling each part being cut. Also included is an option program called Shopdraw/2001 which produces two-dimensional pictures. 380

Software from the National Business Consultants is used for a number of business needs including: inventory control; bill of materials; sales order processing; retail point of sale; sales analysis; pruchase order tracking; accounts receivable; accounts payable and general ledger. 381

Stiles' Machinery Inc. offers a number of software packages including: MasterCAM (IBM) which can generate parts programs for two- to five-axis machines; Aura CAD/CAM which is used on a MacIntosh and utilizes MacIntosh User Interface; Weeke CAD/CAM which is an AutoCAD-based system designed for the Weeke point-to-point boring machine; and Optisave (IBM) which generates cutting patterns based on part requirements and utilizes a menu-driven user interface. 382

Actek Inc. offers its new CNC software package ACTCNC for the COP 1000 and COP 2000 series of programmable motion controllers. Features include a translator and operating system PROM for the controller, a DOS-compatible disk to allow generating, editing and downloading of RS-274 compatible programs and a front panel display screen for the DOS computer. 383

Pattern Systems International offers a variety of software packages including the Cut Planner panel optimizer and Cabinet Planner for casework, cabinets, furniture and store fixtures. The panel optimizer automatically figures the best way to cut parts from sheets and can preview the layouts on a screen before printing a picture with the exact cutting instructions. The user can create drawings and set up a method of construction or use catalogs supplied. It produces shop drawings and accepts information from software such as DrawPower, 20/20, KitchenCAD and AutoCAD. 384

Interfacing to machine tools, the tool pre-set machine, and to the portable data terminals is facilitated through Greco Systems' CNC Minifile. Minifile is a multi-tasking, disk-based IBM-compatible device with a network port for communications to the DND file server. It has a parallel interface which connects to the control's BTR port. Two serial ports support other devices including text terminals, bar code readers and tool pre-set machine. Each port can be configured for data rates, start/stop bits and parity under the front panel control. It can also accept NC programs on a floppy diskette. The company says training can be accomplished in less than 10 minutes. 385

Boring machines

The Gannomat Model 280 automatic drilling, gluing and dowel inserting machine from Tritec Associates Inc. replaces mechanical/pneumatic logic with a fully self-diagnostic 24-volt electronic programmer which runs the machine as well as monitors its functions. All machine functions including glue amount, tool change and selection of different program combinations are activated by the flip of a switch. The machine also features an LED diagnostic readout for easy reading. 386

The Series 3600 microprocessor-controlled linear locator multiple borer from RS Brookman Ltd. has an automatic loader, continuous flow of the workpiece, automatic location, head stroke with controlled feed and rapid return. Setting out from the microprocessor requires only minutes when a new program is being established, and once established it can be recalled from memory in seconds. 387

Panel saws

The HPP 91 panel saw from Holzma U.S. features an 18-hp main saw motor. Using the miter fence, angles can be cut on any size panel. Cut and groove patterns can be set up electronically to do drawer parts or other parts requiring dadoes or rabbets. The Topmatic CNC control is standard, and in conjunction with the feed back loop through the DC motor on the high-speed program fence the Topmatic can position the workpiece from cut to cut with no slow down required at the end of the positioning cycle. Dimensions can be entered in fractional inches, decimal inches or millimeters and can be inputted through a keyboard or off line using the Holzma module system. 388

The Selco panel saw from Biesse America features a 5-in. depth of cut, average cutting speeds of 30m to 40m per minute, automatic height positioning and quick release of the saw blade. 389

The new Giben Prismatic panel sizing system available from Stiles Machinery Inc. features quick cycle cutting, a variable-speed traverse saw and a programming unit. Other features include a new postform cutting attachment and quick blade changeover. The system has been engineered for use by a single operator. 390

The Mayer panel and veneer saws available from Force Machinery Co. reportedly offers chip-free cuts at high cutting speeds. The distance from the cutting line to the saw carriage is as small as possible, the company says. The saw bed is precision planed with a heavy steel I-beam support on I-beam floor supports. All clamping pressures are absorbed through the bed and into the floor. The machine's PC2000 modular controller is expandable and can be programmed from a remote location via hookup to an IBM PC. Standard Mayer software allows interfacing from an ASCII file into the controller. 391

Stefani Groups' Stemac Easy-Cut single blade panel saw is produced in three models: the model M with manual and pneumatic stops; the model A with NC pushing device for longitudinal cuts; and the model E with clamps and NC pusher for longitudinal and transversal cuts. The panel saws have an independent (excludable) scoring saw connected to the main saw. The stroke of the saw carriage is automatically set according to the width of the panel to be cut. Air flotation tables help provide easy positioning of the panel in manual models. 392

Schelling America Inc.'s model FW universal panel-dividing saw features high accuracy, tear-free cutting, high output, and a lifetime guarantee for the guideways resulting in lasting accuracy, the company says. The modular build FW can be specified to virtually every need such as automatic loading, patented turntable, operator guiding control, and label and bar code printing. 393


GPM Technologies Ltd. is offering the Shoda NC516P 16-hp six-spindle CNC router. The pallet changer features two moving tables. The machine comes standard with a Fanuc 15ma controller and Shoda's dust collection system. 394

The VR 805Q CNC router from Komo Machine Inc. features four routing heads which can travel over the width of the 5-ft by 8-ft worktable and four electric drills. The router is controlled by the G.E./Fanuc OM series control units. Up to four separate vacuum zones may be selected for workpiece hold-down on the table. The vacuum system is activated electronically on the control pendant, and the axis is positioned by Fanuc servo motors driving precision ground ball screws and THK contour guideways. Rapid traverse rates are 1,000 ipm in the X and Y axes. 395

The Routron CNC router from SCMI Corp. is available with 2 1/2-or 3-axis control. Features include a 12-hp spindle motor, 0 to 590 ipm feed rates, 984 ipm rapid traverse, 36-in. by 48-in. or 36-in. by 84-in. table with built-in double vacuum circuit, prewiring for drilling and/or tapping units and a BOSCH CC 100 control with RS232 communications port. An Advanced Programming System is optional. 396

The 333 CNC gantry router and production center from Ekstrom, Carlson & Co. has a 64-in. by 144-in. work surface. The spindle travels 64-in. by 154-in., and spindle arrangements include a variety of routing, shaping and drilling heads. This machine has two 15-hp 18,000 rpm variable speed heavy-duty routing spindles, two 6.5 hp 25,200 rpm continously variable routing spindles, and three high-speed 3/4-hp air drills, 17,000 rpm free speed. 397

Cam Tech Industries has added a new computer controlled router table to its line of Router Master products. The Router Master II controls a 5.5-hp Perske router. It has a heavy-duty gantry with a 5-in. throat clearance and a 3-in. Z axis movement. The standard processing surface is 52-in. by 102-in. It comes with a smart controller and may be driven by AutoCAD, Auto Sketch, Design Cad, Generic Cad, Integraph Micro Desk or most CAD design packages. 398

The new intermediate size Accu-Router Series III-M from Powermatic features a 3-ft by 5-ft table, rugged stationary bridge, THK precision vee-ways on all axes, one to four vertical 15-hp spindles with lateral adjustment, and a bundled General Numeric/Fanuc OMA control. A variety of configurations is available so that the Series III-M can be built to meet specific customer requirements. 399


Depending on specific customer requirements the Celaschi single and double end tenoners from Danckaert can utilize either NC or CNC systems for setup. Both systems allow simultaneous setting of multiple horizontal, vertical and inclined axis. The electronics can control any number of axis with actual set-up times of approximately 30 seconds. In addition, this capability applies to multiple machines in transfer. 400

The Byrnes/Manea Model MST double-end tenoner from the Richard T. Byrnes Co. Inc. features on-demand computerized numerical control that automatically indicates proper position for higher production capability. The tenoner has on-demand extension at the infeed and is equipped with an automatic scoring and hogging unit, and tiltable moulding unit. The tenoner has a wide running surface and a movable working side control in the center position. 401

The Torwegge CNC double-end tenoner from European Woodworking Machinery Co. allows machine parameters to be programmed and controlled by an on board computer. Operating data can be keyed in and downloaded from a remote computer or by a bar code scanner. Production data management and fault finder programs system. 402

The Model 620 single end machine from Mereen-Johnson Machine Co. can handle panels up to 1-1/2-in. thick, 4/35 in width (raised portion) and 4/60-in. in length. The machine specializes in contouring of raised panels, including cathedral arches on cabinet doors, and irregular shaping of components and case goods on a feed-through basis. Standard features include a variable 5 to 75 fpm servo feed motor drive, precision feed chain, interlocking rubber block-type hold downs and machined stock guide with handwheel adjust and locks. 403

Other high-tech equipment

The Model 852-5 crossbelt/widebelt polisher from Timesavers Inc. has two crossbelt and three widebelt abrasive heads for single pass tape removal and polishing of fancy face or furniture grade panels without streaking or imperfections. It is designed for use with CAM systems which automatically adjust the machine to the required part thickness, size, feed speed and other parameters. 404

The NUM 720 controller from NUM Corp. caters specifically to small and medium-sized machines. It can be programmed by menu-driven conversation programming or ISO programming. Also, its Profile Geometric Programming allows for automatic calculations by the CNC of the intersections and points of contact between lines and circles, and inserts fillets and chamfers into the finished part profile. 405

The CNC-24 control system from Michael Weining Inc. is suitable for moulders equipped with 24 axes together with an integrated personal computer which is connected to an administration terminal and high-performance software. 406

Cywood Technologies Inc. computer controlled automatic setup will reduce set-up times while offering improved safety, increased yields and accuracy, the company says. 407

The Bell 424 CNC double-end trim and bore machine distributed by Medalist Automated Machines was developed for manufacturers of furniture, chairs or case goods that require double-end trimming and boring at complex angles. Standard features include 23-axis movements, 100,000 pattern storage capacity, reduced inventory and directed programming. 408

Tekmatex Inc.'s self-programming carving machine scans an existing carving and places the carving details in memory. The information is transferred to a 20-spindle carving machine, where an exact duplicate of the carving is reproduced. 409

The credit card-sized bar code reader from Jackson Industries allows for current systems to be kept in place. The reader scans the bar code to obtain information such as size, vendor, species, grade, bundle/tag number and count. The information can then be downloaded into an IBM PC, PS/2 or other personal computer. Inventory is then shown by piece, board feet, bundle and vendor and reports can be generated such as truck log tally, daily products, purchases and units shipped. 410

Force Machinery Co. is now offering Buetfering widebelt sanders featuring an electronic sectional sanding pad which won the 1990 German State Prize for excellence. The pad can sand veneered workpieces with up to 2mm thickness variation in the panel; veneered workpieces up to 2mm thickness variation from part to part; workpieces with irregular outlines; concave workpieces, and workpieces with lacquer, sealer or polyester. 411

PHOTO : Software from NC Microproducts allows the user to zoom, rotate and cut cross sections through a part.

PHOTO : The twin-table Alberti Format 90/CN machining center has a main head with four routers and 27 independent spindles.

PHOTO : This self-programming, carving machine from Tekmatex can produce an exact duplicate of the carving.

PHOTO : The Giben Prismatic panel saw from Stiles Machinery features a new postforming attachment.

PHOTO : The Bacci/Byrnes Model TTF/2 double-end machine center cuts, bores, tenons, mortises, mills and shapes workpieces.

PHOTO : The Thermwood Model 82 CNC machining center has two 60-inch by 83-inch tables which can operate independently or in tandem.

PHOTO : ACTCNC, the new software package from Actek Inc., can be used on the company's line of COP 1000 and 2000 programmable motion controllers.

PHOTO : The Shoda NCW 516 CNC router from Computer Router Service can operate in pallet change mode or combine tables into one large work surface.

PHOTO : The SCMI Routronic CNC router features a 12-hp spindle motor.

PHOTO : The Holzma HPP 91 panel saw can cut angles on any size panel. Angles and grooves requiring dadoes or rabbets can be set up electronically.

PHOTO : The Torwegge CNC double-end tenoner from European Woodworking is controlled at the machine; data can be entered by remote computer or bar code scanner.

PHOTO : The Biesse Matrix manufacturing center can reportedly process up to 15 panels per minute each in a different size and boring pattern.

PHOTO : The Mayer panel and veneer saws from Force Machinery reportedly offers chip free cuts at high cutting speeds.

PHOTO : Pattern Systems' software creates drawings, and sets up methods of construction.

PHOTO : Wadkin says the Olympus 504 CNC Machining Center is a gantry-type machine geared toward high-volume just-in-time production.

PHOTO : The Morbidelli machining center from Tekna Machinery features precise movement of the main head.

PHOTO : Timesavers' crossbelt/widebelt polisher, when used with CAM, can automatically reset for part thickness, feed speed, etc.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Vance Publishing Corp.
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Title Annotation:woodworking industry
Publication:Wood & Wood Products
Date:Mar 1, 1991
Previous Article:Baltimore joins timber ban bandwagon.
Next Article:World-class technology for North American woodworkers.

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