2017/09/15   |   Germany

Fully automatic panel saw at furniture manufacturer MS Schuon

Production cell for "lights-out" panel cutting

"Our new cutting cell comprising panel storage, a saw, and a robot is 100% reliable, precise, and efficient. It has allowed us to increase our profitability and operate more effectively in our market."

Bettina and Phillip Schuon, Managing directors MS-Schuon GmbH

An article in the trade magazine DDS, May/2017. You can read the article in DDS online here

Designing the panel layout is seen as an arduous task. On the one hand, the panels are heavy and large. On the other hand, designing the cutting patterns requires a great deal of concentration. At MS Schuon, a robot busily pirouettes around the saw and completes all the jobs efficiently and reliably.

The robot at the furniture manufacturer and supplier of furniture parts MS Schuon moves diligently back and forth, using the suction cross rail in front of the pressure beam saw to pick up what the saw has just cut and deposit it in various places. Occasionally, the robot picks up an offcut that the machine operator has fed via the track on the far right. As soon as one half-size panel has been completely cut, the automatic storage system delivers the next. The robot rotates long strips 90° and puts them down on a cross conveyor to the right at the back. Once the half-size panel has been cut into strips and the machine table is free again, the cross conveyor pushes one strip at a time onto the machine, transferring each one to the program fence for fully automatic cross cut division. The robot picks up the cut parts and the offcuts for the manual storage system and puts them on the outfeed roller conveyor to the right at the front. The system operator destacks them from there. A labeling station puts a barcode and plain text on everything that leaves the system. The robot either takes the cut parts that have to be recut directly to the program fence behind the saw or parks them temporarily in an interim buffer on the bridge above the pressure beam. The program fence returns larger offcuts to the automatic storage system.

The cell programs itself

The system operator generally only has to take care of the destacking. They do not program the saw or the robot. The work preparation department has optimized the cutting patterns with Cut Rite and transferred them to the storage software in the planned production order. The storage system and saw take care of everything else together. In urgent cases, the machine operator can use the mouse to push job items to the front on the control screen for the storage system. In 2015, the furniture manufacturer visited Ligna and was so impressed with the HPS 320 FlexTec that was being exhibited, along with the TLF 411 ProfiLine panel storage, that they purchased it on the spot, built a production facility, and commissioned the system last summer. It runs in two-shift operation, cuts 100 half-size panels every day, and from those panels, delivers approximately 1400 cut parts.

The performance of the HPS 320 FlexTec depends on the cutting patterns. Homag claims a performance of up to 1500 cut parts per shift. What the FlexTec machine produces today with just one person at Schuon used to occupy two employees at two saws. MS Schuon is a supplier for joineries and the furniture industry and employs more than 100 people. It focuses on laminating timber materials with high-quality glossy and deep-matt surfaces. From these materials, as well as from glass and aluminum materials, the company produces furniture fronts in quantities of one or more, which they are able to deliver to their customers in just a few days. MS Schuon supplies both joiners with fronts for individual kitchens and the furniture industry with large quantities, in precisely the right quantity and just in time. With modern machines, laser edging, and a special production procedure for furniture parts made from laminated glass and composite ceramics, the supplier can deliver high-quality furniture parts to its customers quickly.

The cell pays off

Managing directors Bettina and Phillip Schuon are happy with the cutting cell: "We can be sure that everything will be cut completely, precisely, and on time. The investment has paid off, we can realize customer requests more quickly and just in time with lower warehouse inventories. And in each shift, we can use one employee for other tasks. We know the warehouse inventories and don't have to search for panels anymore."


Photos: Magazin DDS / Georg Molinski

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