The advanced Homag twin-table CNC portal milling machine can cut precision interior components to a high level of accuracy and is particularly impressive when it comes to “nesting” – cutting different parts out of a single large base panel while taking into account the variable panel characteristics, thickness, direction of wood grain, single- or double-sided veneering, and so on.
The cutter is fed by an automated panel feeder. The crossbeam of the panel feeder positions the panel in precisely the right place on the milling table.
The milling machine consists of two tables where panels can be machined either successively or independently. While a panel is being cut on one table, the finished parts can be removed from the other and coded. The machine is also equipped with a tool storage system that holds 18 different tools. The software automatically selects the best one, meaning that it has virtually unlimited control over the widest possible variety of machining techniques.
It is also equipped with a drilling unit that makes it possible to drill the workpieces both horizontally and vertically. In addition to the tool storage, the drill unit can hold 13 drills, extending the selection of tools to 31 items. The computer-controlled Homag Bargstedt panel feeder – which is linked by software directly to the project administration – is an automated self-learning feeder that supplies the CNC portal milling machine.
“Self-learning” means that when the feeder is not instructed to place a panel on the cutter, it will independently switch panels from one station to the other. It naturally has a good reason for doing this! It remembers which panels are used most frequently and places these as close as possible to the cutter, so that it takes less time to load the ones most commonly used. The surface area of the automated feeder measures 200 m2.
There is room for 30 stacks of panels in the feeder. A maximum of 30 stacks does not, however, mean that the feeder can only hold a maximum of 30 different types of panel. The IntelliStore software makes it possible to stack several different types of panels randomly. The software remembers which panel has been placed where, and when the cutter asks for a certain type of panel that is not on top, the stacker will quickly shift the uppermost panels to stacks alongside until it has reached the correct one. The feeder shifts panels at a maximum speed of 70 m/min.