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Turning your edgebander into a little factory.


With the influx of new materials on the market and the need for machines to provide more flexibility, productivity and quality end products, the time might be right to look into adding additional workstations to your edgebander.

"When you have multiple workstations, you have, in effect a little factory," explained Paul Arnold of Adwood Corp. "Basically, multiple stations take a machine and elevate it a notch higher without the owner having to buy a number of different pieces of equipment."

The amount of workstations and the types of machine options that can be added on are only limited by space, money and need. A standard edgebander can have everything from a hotmelt glue applicator to a second finishing trimmer, depending on the manufacturer. But, just about anything from buffing units, scraping units, sanders and inlay equipment can be added.

"Literally, with today's technology there is very little that cannot be put on," said Kurt Waldthausen of Holz-Her US Inc.

An overview of benefits

Adding on stations can be a boon to productivity and consistency of the product. Dennis Stephen, a vice president at Stiles Machinery, said the reason companies should get into multi-station edgebanding is "pretty simple."

"The stations we add to our machines represent operations someone would have to do off the edgebander," said Stephen. "If they need to do 3mm PVC and they have an edgebander that doesn't have the ability to scrape the edge and remove the knife marks, then they are obviously paying to finish the edge - either on another machine or manually. It is much more efficient for it to be done right on the line."

Stefano Sensi of Quattro Tech said choosing edgebanding workstations comes down to two considerations: economics and quality. "The very first question for most people should be, |Can I afford it?'" Sensi said. "Will this unit save me one person to do the job, or three hours less a day to do the job?"

Beyond labor savings, Sensi said the quality and consistency of the finished product are just as important. "The difference in consistency of a machine doing a job, as opposed to the level of human consistency is great," he said. "Humans get headaches, they have to go to the bathroom, have lunch, or they are in a bad mood or good mood and can be distracted. All that will affect the consistency of the finished products."

The ultimate goal of any edgebander is to produce a finished product without reworking it. If adding a buffing unit will allow the product to be finished in one pass without the need for the piece to be worked by hand it could pay big dividends for the company. "After we train a guy on a Holz-Her edgebanding machine, we talk zero reworking. We talk about a finished product coming out of the machine on one pass," said Waldthausen. "If the same person runs the edgebander on a routine basis, there is no reason why you wouldn't get these results. Zero reworking is happening now. It is happening out in the field."

While some disagreement exists among experts in the field as to whether or not edgebanders can totally eliminate reworking, it is generally agreed that multiple stations can go a long way toward achieving that goal.

Beyond reducing reworks, an edgebander with additional workstations can also increase the speed of operations. For companies using different types of edges, such as PVC, laminate, rolls and solid wood strips, set-up times can often be reduced, said Rusty Denson of SCMI.

"You can have one station set-up for wood material, one for PVC and you can be rotating materials in and out," said Denson. "Most machines are flexible enough to do different types of materials anyway. However, you would still have to change the set-up each time you use a different material. With different stations you can lock one station out of position and then move it back into position when you need it and the set up is ready to go."

This built-in flexibility can help a company weather tough economic times by offering it alternatives, said Waldthausen. "(This is) especially important in a market that is experiencing a little downturn. A company should make sure customers understand you can produce something a little different from what everybody else has to offer."

A main benefactor of multiple workstation edgebanders are small to medium sized shops, said Warren Wade of Tekna Machinery. "Typically in edgebanding applications, medium to smaller companies need a lot of versatility so that they can run different materials on one machine," Wade said. "Not having a number of machines saves on shop space, machine costs and labor."

Kevin Walsh of Richard T. Byrnes Co. said the size of the shop definitely makes a difference. Because of the cost of the machine (sometimes greater than the rest of the equipment combined), he said it is important for the customer to work with his supplier. "It is the dealer's and/or importer's responsibility to size the edgebander properly," he said, "and advise (the customer) on the exact finish that a panel will have coming out of various configurations."

Equipment considerations

Before taking the plunge and obtaining an edgebander with a number of different types of workstations or upgrading a current machine, there are a number of questions which must be seriously considered.

Considerations include affordability, current output, quality of the finished product, future product requirements and material concerns and the trade off between labor costs and machine costs.

"Someone that is thinking about getting a new edgebander or upgrading an old one not only has to look at what they are doing right now, but also what the market will require down the road," Denson said. "You don't want to save $5,000 or $6,000 right now and then find out later you have to upgrade machines and have it cost you $40,000 or $50,000."

The types of materials a shop is using or might be using in the future is a very important consideration. Today's edgebanders must be able to work with materials from solid wood strips to veneer rolls and new materials such as thick PVC.

"Many new and exciting products in the edgebanding industry, as far as tapes are concerned, have been introduced in just the last 18 to 24 months," Waldthausen said. "Some machines may not be able to work on these materials, in particular 3mm-and 5mm-thick PVC tape. With the host of new materials out there, if you want to compete in the marketplace, you need additional stations. It is becoming almost a necessity."

The thicker PVC materials can more effectively be machined with multiple workstations. This is because when trimming this material, knife or chatter marks are more prone to show up. Using a scraping unit on the edgebander will smooth out the surface without the need for physically reworking the pieces.

Another device that works well with PVC is a hot air unit which will restore the color in PVC which may have been lost during machining, Stephen said.

A second trimming unit is worth considering for high-pressure laminate because this material does not trim away easily. With the second trimmer, the user can do a rough cut with the first trim station and then a fine cut with the second, Arnold said.

A second trimmer may not mean a great deal for solid wood or PVC, but a buffing unit could be beneficial, Arnold added. PVC trims cleanly, but often leaves a sharp edge that must be gone back over with a file later. A buffing station would handle the job faster and in general cut down on reworks.

The list of additional stations could also include sanding operations, such as chamfer, profile and flat edge sander, not to mention more exotic applications such as corner rounding, inlay equipment and mitered softformed joints, Stephen said.

New machine or upgrade?

The next question to be explored is whether to purchase a new machine or to add on to the current machine. Unfortunately, with older machines, in many cases adding equipment may not be possible. Whether a company can add onto the machine basically depends on what features the original machine has and how far ahead the company was thinking when it bought the machine.

"It depends on what was bought the first time," said Waldthausen. "If the edgebander that was bought was so basic there is no room to grow, you will have to get a new one. If (the company) had some expectations of growth they probably bought a machine with a station or two to grow into."

If an older edgebander does have different attachments on it, then there is a possibility newer pieces of equipment can be retrofitted to it, Stephen said. However, often it isn't possible to add workstations onto an existing machine, "because most older machines do not have a long enough base to accommodate the extra units," he said.

According to Wade, nearly every company has a standard edgebander designed with modular workstations allowing different types of equipment to be added after purchase. In the case of Olimpic edgebanders from Tekna, standard equipment is placed within a sound enclosure and additional pieces are placed outside the enclosure.


Once a new machine is purchased or an older machine is upgraded comes the question of training. There are differing views on the amount of training needed, and the difficulty in working with the new equipment.

Walsh said customers must remember there is a "learning curve" involved in working with new machinery. "If a customer wants to jump into something like soft-forming and postforming, he has to realize the cost involved above and beyond even the machine cost," he said.

Denson, however, said that if an operator can handle the basics of an edgebander there is not much additional training required on the machine. He added that working with most of the additional workstations is "all a matter of making adjustments to the machine."

Anytime a new machine is brought into the shop, the operators must be thoroughly trained on that machine, Stephen said. "Without proper training it would be difficult," he said. He added that Stiles provides training to those who purchase machines and also runs edgebanding classes on the maintenance and operation of edgebanders in general.

One of the most important things an operator must be trained to do is preventive maintenance, Wade said. Such maintenance procedures as keeping the glue pots clean and checking the machine to make sure the tooling is not dulled or out of adjustment will "help maintain the value of the machine and in the end reduce rejection and rework that you have to do."

Waldthausen said on Holz-Her machines there is very little retraining needed. "Adding stations is meant to make it easy on the operator, rather than add to the complexity.

"A key word is flexibility, but other keywords are ease of operation and adjustability," Waldthausen added. "You want to make sure you are not losing that when you go to a more complex edgebander. Make sure the adjustments, startup, changeovers from coil to strip material stay as easy or become easier than on your previous model. Otherwise you might as well stay with what you have."


The Model KTV-13 hot air edgebander from Altendorf America is the newest edgebander from Brandt's fleet of machines. It is equipped with through feed of workpiece, automatic coil cut-off device, top and bottom flush trimming and end trimming unit. The machine is reportedly ideal for small run, custom edgings. 200

Danckaert Woodworking Machinery Co. features Ocmac single- and double-sided edgebanding machines. Included is the Series HS for edgebanding material up to 10mm wide, Series BS for material up to 20mm wide, and HF 30 for material up to 30mm wide. Specialty machines for the application of 3mm and 5mm PVC material are available. 201

The Akzent V31 edgebander offered by Tech Mark Inc. works by hot air reactivation of preglued edge tape. It has a short warm-up time and can be switched on and off as required, the company says. The machine offers gluing temperature optimization so that the specific temperature required for the job can be set and maintained by the operator. The Akzent V31 can handle workpieces between 3/8 in. and 2 5/32 in. thick, with minimum widths of 2 in. and minimum lengths of 5 1/2 in. 202

Woodtape offers two models of bench top edgebanding machines. The C-25 model features a multi-purpose heat bar applicator for straight line, contour or four side continuous banding applications. It can be used to apply preglued veneer, polyester and melamine edgebanding to a variety of substrates. The C-40 model has many of the same features as the C-25 plus a longer heat bar and removable pressure rollers which increase straight line application speed, the company says. 203

The Homag KF double-sided combination edgebander available from Stiles Machinery Inc. has a 2,000mm maximum working width, a block link chain with dogs and an electronic line control for width and height adjustment. Sizing features include a scoring unit with jump and a hogging unit. Edge gluing capabilities on the machine include a quick-melt unit, a two-roll magazine for rolls and a magazine for strips. 204

The IDM 1-45 series of single-sided automatic edgebanders from Quattro Tech Inc. has: a 5 [Degrees] inclinable quick melt gluing unit; vertical cut-off saws for straight or bevelled cuts; top and bottom trimmers; super finishers and optional jump shaper, edge sander or buffer. Other features include: a motorvariator-driven wide feed chain, double set of top pressure rollers, side pressure bar, heating fence and a control panel at the feeding end. 205

The Model EP-20 automatic edgebander from Adwood Corp. features top and bottom trimming and end flushing cutting stations with carbide saw blades. At a variable speed of 33 to 64 fpm, the machine can edgeband in rolls, high pressure laminate strips and solid wood strips up to 3/4 in. thick and 2 in. wide. A pneumatic buffing station is optional. 206

Richard T. Byrnes Co. Inc. offers a variety of Manea single-sided, double-sided, postforming, trimming and tenoning machines. The edgebanders range from the Model BCM-2 edgebanding trimming machine for straight and shaped workpieces to the Model SBM/SHM double-end tenoner/edgebanding machine with hotmelt glue. 207

The Model 530 applicator from Westvaco Corp. Edgemate Division can apply preglued edgebanding onto any shape edge desired, the company says. It has a variable tension supply deck providing the perfect amount of drag. An adjustable core tension assures even feed of edgebanding to the heat bar. The dual aluminum pressure roller system guarantees panel alignment and also allows four sides to be done in one continuous wrap, the company says. 208

The Model 110M from the 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 and cuts accurately to length. The machine was designed to edgeband unusual shapes and contours. It comes with an attached support table plus an extra adjustable height table for larger items. 209

The B5LS edgebander from SCMI Corp. is a heavy-duty bander equipped with end trim, two top and bottom trimmers, a profile scraper and a buffing unit. The 3mm shear device and scraper allow for decorative profiled edges of PVC materials. The machine reportedly has quick start-up times and fast changeover from tape to wood strips up to 3/4 in. 210

Holz-Her U.S. Inc. has a variety of models to choose from. The company's Express models 1434 through 1438 have the patented airtight glue system. This system heats up in 3 to 5 min. and never needs cleaning, the company says. The changeover edge feeding system switches from coil to solid wood edges in under 2 min. End trimming is standard in all models. Model 1438 also features top and bottom trimming, radius or bevel trimming, scraping or edge sanding and buffing for PVC up to 3mm. 211

The OTT Model P-250 edgebander from Eric Riebling Co. Inc. is equipped to edgeband veneers, coil material and solid lumber up to 25mm thick. Machines are supplied with quick melt glue pot, heated infeed guide, and heavy-duty coil cut-off device for 3mm PVC material. End trim units are adjustable to 3 degrees or optional to 20 degrees. The machine can also be fitted with a pre-milling station, super finishing station, special milling stations for round corner trimming, buffing unit, shaping unit, oscillating sanding unit and scrapers, the company says. 212

European Woodworking Machinery Co. offers Torwegge combination machines that are engineered and configured to meet specific user needs, the company says. The machine features 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. Torwegge equipment can be supplied with various computer sophistication levels, the company says. 213

The automatic edgebanding/trimming machine from Stefani Group America Inc. can be used for straight, round and free shaped panels and is suitable for small workshops and as a supplementary machine for prototypes or special shapes, according to the company. The machine is capable of feeding edging material in melamine, PVC and veneer, either in strips or rolls, the company says. 214

Tekna Machinery Inc. offers the Olimpic Model MS 1/76 automatic edgebander. The machine can edgeband solid wood to 1-in. thick, laminates, veneers, ABS plastics, coiled PVC, both thick and thin. Other features include: simultaneous tilting of the glue applicator, band feed magazine and pressure roller assembly, adjustable workstations, pre-heated in feed fence, top pressure hold-down belts, and free space outside the safety sound enclosure allowing additional workstations. 215

In addition to the edgebanders available from Holz Machinery Corp., the company offers parts and accessories for machines presently being sold or already sold. IDM is the company's specialty.

The RSA/IMA 520 single-sided hotmelt edgebander from Roger Stiles & Assoc. Inc. applies high pressure laminates, veneers, coiled banding up to 3mm and lumber bands up to 3/4-in. Changeover from lumber to coiled PVC can be done in minutes by experienced operators, the company says.

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-min. startup and 3kw heating element.

Edgebanders from Fletcher Machine Co. Inc. can band a substrate in a number of ways depending on user specifications. The edgebanders can sand, tenon, softform, shape or foil, according to the company.

PHOTO : Stefani's automatic edgebanding/trimming machine, left, is used for straight, round and free shaped panels. Below, the Torwegge combination machine from European Woodworking Machinery can be configured to meet specific users' needs.

PHOTO : From Stiles Machinery, the Homag KF is a double-sided, combination edgebander.

PHOTO : IDM 1-45 automatic edgebanders from Quattro Tech feature controlled feed.

PHOTO : The OTT P-250 from Riebling can band materials 25mm thick.

PHOTO : Holz-Her's Express heats glue in 3 to 5 minutes.

PHOTO : The newest in Brandt's fleet of machines, the model KTV-13 hot air edgebander distributed by Altendorf America has a number of features including throughfeed of workpiece and automatic coil cut-off device.

PHOTO : The Olimpic Model MS 1/76 edgebander from Tekna can band 1-in. thick solid wood, plus laminates, veneers, ABS plastics and coiled PVC.

PHOTO : SCMI's B5LS edgebander is equipped with edge, top and bottom trimmers, a profile scraper, 3mm shear device and a buffing unit.

PHOTO : Adwood's EP-20 can edgeband almost any material.

PHOTO : Ocmac edgebanders are available from Danckaert.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Vance Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:includes related article on SCMI Corp's offer of free "retrofitting" for owners of Basic 1 edgebanders
Author:Adams, Larry
Publication:Wood & Wood Products
Article Type:Directory
Date:Apr 1, 1991
Previous Article:The benefits of continuous pressing.
Next Article:Cabinet industry builds on home remodeling growth.

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