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Edgebanders perform through thick and thin.

With the growing popularity of 3mm PVC edgebanding, today's edgebanders are being modified to provide a perfect finished edge with any type of material.

Thin may be "in" when it comes to the skinny models gracing fashion magazine pages, but thick is the hottest trend in the furniture and case goods arena, at least in terms of their edges. According to several manufacturers of edgebanding equipment, most prospective buyers want the capability to apply 3mm PVC edges. They also say usage of thick edgebanding is expected to keep growing.

"The 3mm PVC is a very hot issue at the moment," said Kathy Byrnes Jarrett, vice president, Richard T. Byrnes Co. Inc. "Our customers are asking for that capability almost across the board."

"Nowadays, when people look at an edgebander, they ask about whether it can apply the 3mm PVC," said Rusty Denson, panel processing product manager for SCMI Corp. "Even if they're not using it now, they inquire about it for future use."

Like trends in clothing fashion, thick edgebanding is growing in popularity partly because of looks. It can be profiled and, therefore, offers a rounder, softer edge for a nice, smooth appearance. However, it provides a practical advantage as well; it is more durable than thin (1mm) PVC or laminates. Its durability also is spurring its increasing usage, especially in applications such as the hotel / motel, contract and office furniture industries, "where things take a huge beating," said Roger Stiles, president of Roger Stiles & Assoc. Inc.

However, most edgebanders will not apply the 3mm PVC edgebanding unless they are specially equipped to do so. Foremost, a heavy-duty guillotine is required to cut the thick material from the coil. In addition, a scraping unit must be used to remove knife marks, which are virtually unavoidable with the 3mm PVC.

Getting a perfect thick edge

To obtain the perfect edge using 3mm PVC edgebanding, machinery manufacturers contacted by Wood & Wood Products recommend the following steps:

* Three-millimeter PVC comes in large rolls. The material is very hard and dense, and it has a "memory" and wants to stay coiled. In order to cut 3mm PVC from the coil, the edgebander's guillotine must have a powerful cylinder and a heavy-duty knife. Some manufacturers now include a heavy-duty guillotine automatically on all edgebander models to accommodate the thick material.

* After the PVC has been trimmed on the ends and top and bottom, a 3mm radius is put on the top and edge. According to Stiles, older machines have a wheel that does the side copy. But 3mm PVC by its nature is not perfectly consistent and when using a wheel, the variances that exist in 3mm PVC will be duplicated. He said that using a copy shoe (usually made from stainless steel and about 6 inches long) will remove the possibility of copying the PVC's variances.

* When two adjacent edges are radiused, the radius will not be on the corner where they meet. So putting a radius on the corner must be done as a separate step. This can be done automatically on the edgebander with a corner rounding unit, called a "pricey" option by Don Frank, technician and sales representative for Quattro-Tech. Putting this station on the edgebander adds about 4 feet of chassis to accommodate the extra cutters, he said, which makes it an expensive unit. Alternately, a separate machine can radius the corners after the panel leaves the edgebander or it can be done by hand.

* When PVC is machined, it inevitably gets knife marks, even when a high feed rate and high rpms are used. After the radius is milled, the marks must be removed from the PVC. This is done with a scraping unit that has the same profile as the cutters. (As Ed Moran, national sales manager for Holz-Her U.S. Inc., pointed out, this unit "is not to be confused with the glue scraping stations which were originally designed to remove excess glue from panels run through edgebanders that used old-style glue pots.")

* In addition, many colors of PVC will "whiten" when it is machined. To bring the PVC back to its original color, it must be heated. This step is done after the edge is scraped. It is hit with a blast of hot air to return its normal color.

* Finally, the PVC edge is buffed with cloth buffing wheels.

Buffing and corner radiusing units may be considered as optional items on an edgebander and their inclusion depends on the user's budget. Each item on the machine base takes space and adds cost, Stiles said. "The more you ask a machine to do, the more expensive it will be. To do a perfect job, you need a fairly long machine with all the working units mentioned above. At the low end, you can find an edgebander in the $40,000 range that can apply 3mm PVC. For a top-of-the-line, fully loaded model, you can pay more than $100,000."

Other machine considerations

Because of the heavy-duty units required to machine thick PVC, the machine base and motors should be heavier.

"The machines manufactured to do this operation are the heavier models, the larger units," Jarrett said. "They have more stations and are more solidly built edgebanders, weight- and construction-wise."

Frank added that the PVC material is prone to static electricity and tends to clump. Therefore, it requires a strong vacuum suction to get it off the machine, he said.

Another consideration in applying 3mm PVC is obtaining a good glue application. "The rigid tape has a built-in memory that makes it want to pull off the panel edge," Moran said. He recommended using an edgebander where the melting point and the application point of the glue can be controlled to ensure getting a strong bond.

Frank said that when using 3mm PVC it is still possible to have a small glue line, but it has to be good. An edgebander with a hot wheel glue application works best, he said, because it provides a sufficient quantity of heat, not just high temperature.

Because the glue line can show, glue color needs to match the color of the PVC and it is helpful to choose an edgebander on which the glue pot can be changed quickly and easily.

Phil Herzog, director of technical services at Stiles Machinery Inc., said that some edgebanders also have a panel preheater in the magazine section, which helps provide a higher quality glue line because less heat is required for the glue itself.

Herzog said another thing edgebander manufacturers have done to facilitate running 3mm PVC is to offer a quick-change unit that makes it easier to change over from running thinner PVC or other materials to the thick PVC. The unit consists of a motor pretooled to run a 3mm radius, so that the entire assembly can be swapped for quick setup to run a thick edge.

Edgebanders also are being equipped with digital counters that facilitate changeover from one material to another, Herzog added. Using a digital counter to set the thickness of the material being run makes setup much quicker, he said.

Retrofitting an old machine

In some cases, since edgebanders generally are of modular construction, it is possible to retrofit an older model by adding a heavy-duty guillotine so that 3mm PVC can be applied automatically. If there is space available, the scraping, edge heating and other units can be added as well. Or the radius milling and other operations can be done by hand.

The future looks thick

Most edgebander manufacturers interviewed see usage of thick PVC as continuing to increase and they are producing more machines that can handle thick materials.

"Everyone nowadays specifies 3mm PVC, even on the smallest machines we make," said Frank. "Pretty soon you'll have to make a special request not to have that capability. It's becoming as common as getting a TV that's cable-ready. Everyone's going to be doing it."

Edgebander roundup

Following are some of the edgebanders currently available for various applications. For additional information on any item, circle the corresponding number on the Reader's Service Card or consult Wood & Wood Products' Red Book Buyer's Guide, Panel Sizing/Boring/Edging chapter.

The Basic 2 automatic edgebander from SCMI Corp. is equipped with a quick warm-up function and automatic feed magazine for coiled material and solid edgings up to 8mm thick. The end and edge trimming units are driven by high-frequency motors and can be tilted from 0 to 15 [degrees]. Circle #223

Westvaco Corp.'s Model 530 edgeander applies preglued edgebanding onto any shape edge. Features include a variable tension supply deck and adjustable core tension. A dual aluminum pressure roller system allows four sides to be done in one continuous wrap. Circle #224

The Marunaka US-104L edgebander from Butler Machine Works features: heated panel infeed fence, automatic on/ off glue gates with feed, heavy sound enclosure, vacuum system for strip feeding, precision V-type end trim station with two-blade system for corner chamfering and a top and bottom trim station with a 0 to 30 [degrees] bevel. Circle #225

Fletcher Machinery combination machines are engineered specifically for their owners, providing them with the machining stations they need. Tenoning, trim-shape-sanding, foiling, single- and double-sided edgebanding, scoring, dadoing, overhead grooving and softforming are some available stations. The FM-200 tenon machine trims, shapes, sands, foils and is computer-controlled. Circle #226

Tekna Machinery Inc.'s Olimpic MS 1/64 edgebander features: preheated infeed fence, glue pot with Insta-melt heat-up system and magazine for up to 1-in. solid wood strips and 3mm PVC coils. Straight/chamfer end trimming is standard equipment. Circle #227

Altendorf America offers the Brandt KD Series edgebander with QCS technology, which allows any operator to change edging material quickly and without running trial tests or pieces, the company says. The system incorporates mechanical digital counters which can be set to 0.1 mm with repeated accuracy. The KD-76 will run PVC coils, wood edgings and 3mm PVC. Circle #228

Quattro-Tech Inc. offers IDM high-tech edgebanders, double-end tenoners and combination machines. The Model SB / 1-191 combination machine is an example of machines installed in just-in-time manufacturing plants. Circle #229

The single-sided EB-77S2 edgebander from SL Woodworking was developed to apply edging material such as PVC and veneer in coils. When equipped with the SL universal feeding device option, it can feed PVC, high-pressure laminate and wood in strip form, the company says. Circle #230

European Woodworking Machinery Co.'s Torwegge combination machines feature a tenoning section for sizing and shaping, glue application and pressure section for straight or softforming edgebanding and an edge processing section with various trimming and sanding units. Circle #231

Therm O Web hot air edgebanding systems are available in fully automated or tabletop units. The AKV-83 fully automated unit features: power feed, top and bottom trimming, flush end trimming, adjustable front support, 2-minute startup and 3kw heating element. Circle #232

The Model 110M from Auto-Feeder Co. applies edging of 5/8 -in. to 2 1/2-in. widths from rolls or strips of plastic or veneer with hotmelt glue. The machine is designed to edgeband unusual shapes and contours. It comes with an attached support table. Circle #233

Richard T. Byrnes Co. Inc. says its Byrnes/Manea Model SR edgebanders for PVAc cold gluing can glue solid lumber up to 25mm thick without costly precoating of strips. The patented gluing system applies glue not only to core, but also to the strip, which assures tight bonding and a clean glue line, the company says.Options include moulding, profile sanding, corner rounding and buffing. Circle #234.

IMA COMBIMA double-sided combination panel sizing and edgebanding machines from Roger Stiles & Assoc. Inc. feature a high-precision rolling feed chain with automatic dog ejector. The machine will apply 3mm PVC, radius, scrape, buff top and bottom edges and contour end trim leading and trailing ends with matching radius. Circle #235.

Stiles Machinery Inc. offers the Homag SE-6400 edgebander. Features include: 23-82 fpm feed speed, automatic panel feed track system, quick-melt glue system with temperature control, heavy base with precision machined support beam for work units, height adjustment for top pressure beam with digital counter, end trimming unit, top and bottom trimming and buffing units, automatic feed roller and clipping unit, and large top pressure beam with two rows of rollers. Circle #236

With the Accord edgebanding system from Holz-Her U.S. Inc., a choice of 10 frame lengths and 26 working units allows shops to select an industrial edgebander according to their exact high-production requirements, even to anticipate future needs, the company says. The Accord may be ordered with up to nine working units (after the standard infeed magazine and glue system) or with free space. A buffer is standard on all models. Circle #237

The OCMAC BORD/D/HF Series of automatic double-sided edgebanders from Danckaert Machinery Co. is designed for high-volume applications. One model, equipped to apply heavy solid wood bands, trims the band on the ends and top and bottom, then shapes and sands it. The shaper may be programmed to jump for stop grooves. Corner rounding units can be used for shaping and sanding. Circle #239

The C-25 benchtop edgebander from Woodtape Inc. can be used to apply preglued veneer, polyester and melamine edgebanding to a variety of substrates. It has a low-cost, multi-purpose heat bar applicator for straightline, contour or four-sided continuous banding applications. Circle #240

The Akzent V31 edgebander from Tech Mark Inc. is a fully automatic machine with a feed rate of 18 fpm. It flush trims top, bottom, front and back in one pass. It uses a precisely controlled hot air system with a startup time of 2 minutes, the company says. Circle #241

The Mono Beta single-sided edgebander from Stefani Group features: hotmelt gluing station, bottom feed track with rubber calibrated pads, and top pressure beam with centralized lifting for height adjustment. Standard equipment includes: double motor end trim, rough top and bottom trim, finish top and bottom trim and a buffing unit. Circle #242

Adwood Corp's Model EP-10 automatic edgebander operates with regular hotmelt in granulates and features automatic top and bottom edge trimming. Maximum panel length and width are unlimited, and the machine accepts all kinds of edgebanding material, including high-pressure laminates and solid wood strips up to 3/4 in. Circle #243
COPYRIGHT 1992 Vance Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Kuhl, Helen
Publication:Wood & Wood Products
Date:Feb 1, 1992
Words:2381
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