The future of panel dividing - HOMAG to present new robot saws at LIGNA

It’s LIGNA time again in Hanover: from 27 to 31 May, the HOMAG panel dividing profis will be presenting their latest developments. Highlights include a new saw concept that combines the strengths of manual cutting processes with those of fully automatic robot operation. Visitors can also look forward to seeing compact saws for the trade sector and a fully equipped SAWTEQ B-300 with storage system integration and intelliGuide.

Automatically efficient. Manually versatile.
SAWTEQ B-300 flexTec and SAWTEQ B-400 flexTec

After its launch at the HOMAG Treff in-house exhibition in autumn 2018, the new SAWTEQ B-300 flexTec will now be presented to the international public at LIGNA. What’s so special about the SAWTEQ B-300 flexTec and the similarly designed SAWTEQ B-400 flexTec? Both these saws can be used either in manual or in robot mode.

Both these new developments can be operated manually in the same way as any other panel dividing saw – for example, for cutting books or thin panels, or for processing special materials. The saws can be equipped with virtually everything a joiner could wish for – from the operator assistance system intelliGuide basic and Power Concept to grooving, cut-outs, stress elimination cuts and much more. This makes these new saws as versatile as required for the varied tasks of a joiner.

At the same time, operators can use these saws to complete single-panel cutting jobs fully automatically for long periods – thanks to the integrated robot. An absolute novelty – ergonomic, time-saving and material-friendly.

The robot deals with the single-panel cutting processes

No matter the cutting pattern, the robot knows what it has to do. It feeds a panel to the saw for the rip cuts to be performed. Then, it turns the strips and feeds them to the saw again, so that all the cross cuts and recuts can be completed. The finished parts are automatically labeled and then stacked on pallets by the robot. A number of destacking stations are available to the saw, depending on job type and selected destacking logic. The robot uses highly intelligent software with specially developed algorithms. It uses the destacking stations methodically and creates stable stacks.

  • Unmanned operation possible for long periods
  • Reduces the pressure on employees at a time of skilled labor shortage
  • Up to 800 parts per shift
  • Low unit costs per part
  • Extremely low error rates
  • No robotics knowledge required
  • Precisely predictable production times

At the LIGNA fair, a concept will be demonstrated whereby production continues fully automatically beyond the cutting process. The loaded pallets are collected by TRANSBOTs – automated guided vehicles – and taken to the subsequent processing station. The result is a fully interlinked, highly efficient single-panel cutting process with minimum space requirements. The HOMAG TRANSBOTs naturally provide valuable assistance in manual mode too.

LIGNA Preview – New solutions for material and tool management

The aims of the developers at HOMAG Plattenaufteiltechnik are to simplify the work of the machine operator and to create error-free, efficient processes. LIGNA will see the launch of interesting new products here too.

One of these is a new tool management option called Tool Manager. It is based on the tapio ecosystem and is already undergoing field tests with a number of customers.

The vision: using Tool Manager, it should, in future, be possible to manage the tools of an entire company clearly and efficiently and retrieve information on individual tools easily, or even load it on the respective machine.

The initial step with Tool Manager involves various manufacturers entering the different data of their saw blades. This includes, for instance, the tool type, the geometry of the tool (for example, diameter and blade plate thickness) or also the recommended speeds and any material restrictions. Users simply scan the bar code on the tool with their mobile or tablet. The stored data is immediately retrieved and can easily be transferred to the saw. The result: no lengthy search for data anymore and so significantly fewer errors.

What's more, users can set up and manage their own data. They can, for example, assign tool names of their own, define tool pairs (which scoring saw blade should be used with which main saw blade), track the history of a tool (usage time, life, sharpening cycles etc.) and much more.

Alongside the Tool Manager there will be a Material Manager. The Material Manager, too, is tapio based. Material classes and their properties are set up here. This could, for example, be raw chipboard, Alucobond, lightweight panels and the corresponding general information on standard density and average weight. Users can then assign the panels they have already previously been managing to these classes.

Even more exciting will be the combination of Tool Manager and Material Manager, for then users will receive a recommendation for the ideal tool to use for the material to be cut – complete with  further information on feed rate, speed etc. Optionally, the saw can even be adjusted fully automatically. HOMAG software specialists will be glad to give all interested LIGNA visitors some first impressions of this new software, which is expected to be available from autumn onwards.

More power and new processing options for the trade

Precision and efficiency in cutting processes do not have to cost a fortune. HOMAG demonstrates the truth of this at LIGNA 2019 with the SAWTEQ B-130. “Simply better – right from the start” is the motto of the smallest HOMAG panel dividing saw.

While the SAWTEQ B-130 costs hardly any more than a well-equipped circular saw, its modern saw control software allows it to provide a significantly more automated cutting process that is very precise and efficient. This is ensured by proven technologies as well as extras that are consistently aligned with trade practice. An example of this that can be seen on the saw at the fair is module45. This option allows customers to produce all cuts, including bevels, on one and the same machine. They can work efficiently and flexibly without changing station, at seamlessly adjustable angles ranging from 0 to 46 degrees.

Offering still more power for the trade, the SAWTEQ B-200 can also be seen live at LIGNA. The lifting table version of this compact saw will be on exhibit at the fair; it comes standard with a 60 mm saw blade projection that can optionally be increased to 80 mm or even 95 mm. Other needs-based optional features are available for greater throughput, speed and processing diversity, above all Power Concept PRACTIVE, which is installed on the model at the fair. This option allows several strips with different cross cuts to be cut to length simultaneously – increasing output significantly.

New: Power Concept PRACTIVE is now available for SAWTEQ B-200 saws with lifting table feed.

  • Up to 40% more output
  • Significantly shortened work cycles
  • High material throughput
  • Lower costs per cut
  • Attractively priced high-tech solution with minimum space requirement

In order to ensure that the machine operator remains calm and in control of the situation when faced with so much power, the saw on show is also equipped with intelliGuide basic. This basic version of the innovative assistance system uses LED light signals at the cutting line to guide the operator intuitively and reliably through the cutting process.

SAWTEQ B-300 with storage system feed and intelliGuide professional

The SAWTEQ B-300 with automatic storage system integration goes a step further. A fully-equipped version of this HOMAG best seller, featuring many extras for high throughput and ergonomic operation, will be on display at LIGNA. Features will include an automatic horizontal storage system, an integrated feed-stacking table with panel labeling system, Power Concept PROFESSIONAL and intelliGuide professional, the top-of-the-range version of the operator assistance system.

intelliGuide professional is the first assistance system to react intelligently to the actions of the machine operator. An integrated camera system including workplace lighting and special software make this possible. intelliGuide professional sees which part is currently being fed to the saw. It also recognizes the alignment of the workpiece. If the actions deviate from the cutting pattern, intelliGuide will either flexibly adapt the cutting process – where possible and expedient – or give the machine operator instructions for appropriate action.

For this, intelliGuide professional is equipped not only with the LED strip at the cutting line but also with a laser projection unit. The latter projects clear instructions for processing and actions directly onto the current workpiece. Arrows on the workpiece show the operator how he should turn and position it, for example. An X means that the wrong part has been inserted. The trash can symbol indicates waste parts. Thanks to the self-explanatory pictograms, the operator always knows which steps he should carry out next.

The advantages of intelliGuide professional:

  • Intuitive machine operation
  • Systematic means of avoiding errors
  • Fast processes: operator and saw work hand-in-hand
  • The operator rarely needs to look at the monitor and so can concentrate on processing the cutting pattern
  • Smooth, ergonomic processes for efficient and concentrated work
  • Easy to change operator at any time
  • For the first time in history, the saw reacts to the actions of the operator!

Machine operation 2.0 – welcome to the HOMAG Innovation Center

intelliGuide professional has already revolutionized machine operation today, but it has by no means reached the end of its development. On the contrary: HOMAG is already working intensively on new concepts that may soon bring the vision of machine operation 2.0 within reach. One of these concepts can be seen in the HOMAG Innovation Center. Definitely something for visitors to look forward to!

NEW: the next generation of powerTouch

HOMAG will also be presenting the latest generation of the powerTouch user interface, which is standard across the Group. The new version, boasting an improved interface design and enhanced functionality, offers unparalleled interaction between human and machine, better and more ergonomic than ever.

With prospects like these, looking forward eagerly to the coming LIGNA is more than justified. The HOMAG panel dividing profis from Holzbronn are certainly already lining up for the start and looking forward to welcoming many visitors, to discussing technical points with customers and to establishing many new contacts.

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