HOMAG to launch the world’s first autonomous workshop concept at HOLZ-HANDWERK



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The HOMAG Group, a worldleading company that manufactures machines and equipment for the woodworking industry, has announced plans to launch the world’s first autonomous workshop concept at HOLZ-HANDWERK. The workshop, which runs autonomously, consists of two cells that are already fully automated and interlinked. These two cells are connected by autonomous helpers: automated guided vehicles (AGV) are used, organizing all of the parts logistics tasks between the cells and making this workshop concept the first autonomous cell at HOLZHANDWERK. According to the company, the autonomous cell can make full use of its flexibility both in skilled crafts and in industry, in series and in batch size 1 production, and opens up previously unknown possibilities in future manufacturing for small and medium-sized companies.

CELL 1
High-tech edges with integrated workpiece handling
Ideally suited for users with the widest range of parts and materials in edge processing, the EDGETEQ S-500 (previously KAL 370) edge banding machine, in combination with the LOOPTEQ O-600 return (previously TFU 521), offers maximum flexibility. The two elements are networked to each other via the woodFlex cell control system. This control system has a modular structure, is open for future requirements or expansions, provides safety, optimizes processes and increases efficiency. To ensure the cell can process every workpiece correctly, every part is assigned a digital identity (barcode) in advance that contains all processing data.

High-tech edges: Flexibility³
The new EDGETEQ S-500 offers a degree of flexibility that has never been seen before. It is able to process three profiles and also provides three different edge-joining processes at the same time. High processing flexibility and setup at the push of a button are often used as ‘adjustment screws’ to increase productivity. The new 3-profile technology is ideally suited to this. It ensures rapid, automatic and repeatable changes between three profiles and 20° chamfer. The ‘3-profile technology package’ includes a fine-milling unit for three radii, the 3-profile head on the FK30 profile trimming unit and profile scraper for more than three radii. If someone wants to change the procedure for gluing the edges (PU, EVA or 62 airTec zero-joint technology) at short intervals, they can now operate all three edge band application procedures on a single machine (for example, airTec can automatically be changed to EVA at the push of a button).

Integrated, automated workpiece handling
The fully automated part flow for the EDGETEQ S-500 is handled by the LOOPTEQ O-600 workpiece guide roller. Here the automatic return has been combined with a stacking system, which means that finished workpieces can be ejected or automatically destacked. Ejection and destacking are completed by the gantry with width-specific rotating function and the newly developed vacuum cross rail for gentle handling. The return is designed for a range of parts from 240×80 mm to 1200×3000 mm and integrated into the machine control unit of the edge banding machine.

The advantages of integrated workpiece handling include: reduction in quality costs thanks to the gentle vacuum cross rail; flexible personnel organization thanks to singleperson operation; reduced physical exertion by personnel; high-performance interlinked material flow; efficiency: defined rotation for process-oriented parts return; and complete integration into the machine control unit (powerTouch).

CELL 2
Robot management on vertical CNC processing machine

Offering availabilities of approximately 100 percent, high repeat accuracy and pinpoint parts handling, robots are reliable partners and increase the costeffectiveness of production.

The reliable, integrated parts supply makes every CNC machine a high-performance center and therefore an optimal manufacturing cell for production. At the HOLZHANDWERK trade fair, a 6-axis robot will handle automated parts for the DRILLTEQ V-500 (previously BHX 200) vertical processing center. Integration into the cell control system makes it very easy to operate the robot. Additionally, functions such as aligning, validating and rotating of parts can easily be integrated into the process. It is also very simple to implement new workpieces during the process. Robot management offer several advantages such as: spacesaving concept; gentle handling of materials and surfaces; reduced workload for personnel; high technical availability and rising added value; and the ability to identify parts via barcode or RFID.

CELL 3
Flexible interlinking by driverless transport systems
Small, autonomous logistics helpers connect the two fully autonomous operating cells and make a workshop that operates completely independently. Automated guided vehicles (AGV) are used, supplying the drilling cells with stacks from the edge cells that have been processed to completion.

SOFTWARE
Smart networking of the cells with the automated guided vehicles (AGV) The HOMAG ControllerMES production control system is the key to networked communication in the cell. It communicates universally with the individual control systems of the automated edge cell and the CNC robot cell, as well as with the control system of the AGV. Here the AGV cell control system is used. This is closely connected with a fleet manager, which takes over the entire planning of the AGV driving routes.

The autonomous cell allows for: the combination of process knowledge about wood processing and AGV technology; material management from one source; ready for connection to the tapio ecosystem; flexible interlinking of processing cells – Spatial flexibility, no rigid interlinking by roller conveyors; and fast response times – simple, subsequent changes of the product range and processing sequence. Moreover, it is also scalable and modular with simple, subsequent expansion a possibility.

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