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Stacking robot convinces in fully automated panel sizing
Stacking robot convinces in fully automated panel sizingRip and cross-cut system, consisting of inclined roller conveyor (1) feeding the PAUL SK multirip saw (2), cross chain conveyor with buffer area for supplying the Reinhardt QuickStop optimizing cross cut saw (4), cleaning brush (5) and pre-sorting system (6) feeding the stacking robot (7).

PAUL Maschinenfabrik of Dürmentingen recently developed a fully automated system for ripping and cross-cutting chipboard panels into scantlings. These are used as spacers for the internal and external transport of chipboard stacks allowing them to be easily picked up by a forklift truck. The highlight of this system is a robotic arm sorting the finished scantlings into different stations.

A customer-supplied gluing machine producing multi-layer chipboard panels and a so-called flying circular saw were to be incorporated into the new system. The further processing steps were to be implemented by PAUL. The multi-layer panels of max. 5,600 mm in length x 2,070 mm in width x 100 mm in height placed the highest demands on the new rip and cross-cut system. They are transferred in two halves side by side (2 x 5,600 x 1,035 x 100 mm) to the PAUL handling system where they are singulated, aligned and fed via an inclined roller conveyor into the heavy-duty type SK multirip circular saw. This machine type was designed by PAUL for ripping extra thick panels of up to 150 mm and is therefore ideally suitable for the application required. The SK rips the panels into scantlings of 80 to 120 mm in width with a maximum of eight fixed saw blades set up on the saw shaft that is driven by a 132 kW motor.

The strips leaving the SK ripsaw are transferred to a cross chain conveyor with buffer function ensuring that the downstream optimizing cross-cut saw is continuously supplied with material. The fully automatic QuickStop push-feed cross-cut system of the Reinhardt brand features a special gripper unit that is capable of holding the strips individually. This allows to increase the accelerating and decelerating speed of the push feeder whilst ensuring correct guidance of the long workpieces. The QuickStop cuts the workpieces into lengths ranging from 602 mm to 2,750 mm. Waste pieces are reliably disposed of via a flap after the cutting operation. The cut pieces are dedusted by a brush, sorted into three pick-up positions and placed in position for removal by the stacking robot.

The stacking robot featuring a vacuum gripper takes the prepared scantlings and stacks them onto different pallets. The height and form of the stacks are freely programmable offering the customer maximum flexibility. The finished stacks are removed by a locally provided roller conveyor.

The combination of a panel ripsaw with an optimizing cross-cut system via automation components and intelligent control software has resulted in a  fully automatic processing line. Higher feed rates, interlinked processing steps, accurate workpiece guidance and automatic work flows lead to a significant improvement in productivity. Operator workload is reduced and the standard of security increased.