Ligna 2019 focuses on ‘smart’ surface technologies

Matt surface finishes are now not only fingerprint-resistant they are self-regenerative, with unwanted glossy patches simply “disappearing” overnight.

Surface technology is one of seven main display categories at this year’s Ligna as the world’s biggest trade fair for wood-based furniture production gets underway in Hannover (Germany), from 27 to 31 May. More than 130 exhibitors will be running showcases in this section in Halls 16 and 17 and parts of Hall 15.

The show this year will feature more than 1,500 exhibitors from 50 nations, who collectively will occupy over 1,30,000 square meters of net display space.

The growing customer demand for individualisation and uniqueness is also making itself felt in the furniture and flooring industries, and manufacturers are rising to the challenge with a growing array of smart Industry 4.0 solutions.

Among exhibitors showing their solutions at their own stands and presenting them directly to surface tech-minded visitors at Ligna are:

Paint specialist Adler (Hall 16) will be presenting its Bluefin Pigmosoft product for flawless matt surface finishes. The product is fingerprint-resistant, and its innovative self-regeneration technology means that unwanted glossy patches simply “heal” and disappear overnight.

The secret to it all lies in this new water-based two-component furniture topcoats special raw material technology. Because of its superior resistance to shine, the paint can withstand frequent contact without losing its perfect matt finish.

AkzoNobel wood finishes (Hall 17) will be presenting a new technology that promises to eliminate overspray on edges. It enables more targeted application of 1K, 2K and even UV-cured paints on furniture edges in production-line manufacturing.

The technology can spray paint, whether clear or pigmented, onto substrates of any type and of widths ranging from 1mm to 50mm, without any overspray. This saves paint and the cost of cleaning up overspray.

The paint application process is very fast, supporting production-line throughput rates of up to 100 metres per minute.

Pressing and surface finishing specialist Robert Burkle (Hall 17) is doing its part to give furniture manufacturers greater flexibility and scope for product customisation. Burkle has developed a roller coating solution that enables it to be used on formed, non-flat furniture parts with four paintable sides and tapered ends.

The paint rollers are repositioned by means of servo-motors, and the system enables continuous coating without paint tearing. The process uses an intelligent transport system that feeds multiple work-pieces through the roller-coating machine in parallel while keeping them reliably in the correct position.

Cefla Finishing (Hall 17) will be showcasing the latest in 3D digital printing with its new J-Print TD single-pass printer. Thanks to its special ink, the printer is a reliable and cost-effective means of embossing positive and negative relief effects on wood and other panels in a single pass.

The J-Print TD employs a system which circulates the ink through the print heads, thus reducing the frequency of cleaning cycles. With its specially designed ink reservoirs and automatic control of all critical parameters, including temperature, flow and circuit pressure, the printer delivers optimal ink management.

The Giardina Group (Hall 16) is using Ligna to present its ‘GST ZeroGloss’ dryer for liquid surface finishes in the wood and furniture industries. The dryer is an innovation that builds on technologies that are already tried and proven in other industries.

It uses Excimer UV curing technology to achieve super-matt surface finishes with higher resistance to chemicals and physical abrasion than conventional matt surfaces.

Homag (Hall 14) has lined up a comprehensive range of surface finishing products and solutions, including spray coating machines, various categories of sanding machines, solid-wood planing machines and a range of innovations in lamination.

For liquid surface coating, Homag will present the latest incarnation of its Sprayteq S-100 spray coating machine for surface, profile and window coating applications. For lamination applications, Homag will showcase its Lamteq F-200 laminating plant, complete with innovative handling system.

Hymmen (Hall 26) will be at Ligna with its automatic colour calibration, fully integrated inline image optimisation system for industrial digital printing in its Jupiter digital printing lines.

Furniture and flooring manufacturers have long had the ability to reliably print decorative patterns of consistently high quality, but only for 80% of commonly used pattern types. Now Hymmen is able to guarantee the same long-term colour and production stability for even the most challenging of decorative patterns.

Industrial surface treatment with Kleiberit’s (Hall 15) hot-coating technology has several advantageous properties that are fundamental to a steadily growing range of interior and exterior applications. These properties include extremely strong adhesion to a wide range of materials, the PUR layers’ flexibility, and extreme resistance to alternating climatic conditions.

Makor (Hall 17) will be championing the Industry 4.0 cause with machines that are more flexible, more efficient, easier to operate and feature smarter control technology.

Showcase highlights include smart work-pieces with RFID chips that automatically configure the coating plant, automated, robotic paint application systems that enable rapid colour changes with reduced paint wastage, and Makor’s partnership with Tapio, which integrates software on the machine control panel.

Sames Kremlin (Hall 17) will be showcasing its innovative use of the vortex effect in spray painting. The technology uses special PEEK vortex inserts in the spray nozzle to generate a vortex (helix) in the atomised paint stream.

This reduces the velocity of the paint particles, enabling the paint to more effectively reach hollows and cavities in complex-shaped work-pieces. The Vortex air shroud accelerates the paint particles in the same manner as an air-spray gun.

SCM (Hall 13) will focus on industrial solutions that can be used to produce a wide range of 3D finishes, including wave designs, hand-smoothed, embossed, saw-cut and wormhole effects, which have the power to spark authentic tactile and visual user experiences.

Venjakob will be there (Hall 16) with its Ven Profit solution that uncouples factory data capture from control platforms, thereby enabling the data to be stored in local networks or in the cloud.

Wintersteiger (Hall 27) will demonstrate how its TRC Manufactory technology can create authentic rustic-style flooring with genuinely unique, non-repeating visual and tactile characteristics.

Weinig (Hall 27) will display a complex production line comprising eight integrated components in action. The stand will run daily demonstrations that showcase the entire production process, from raw material to finished product.

Schmalz (Hall 16) will be showing a VCBL-G K1 vacuum block that has been especially designed for nesting tables. Nesting makes it possible for work-pieces of any shape to be arranged with the help of a nesting map, resulting in minimal cutting waste.

The vacuum block can be directly positioned on the top of the CNC machine´s grid table without having to remove the table top first. This means the user does not need to set up the machine, which avoids long downtimes.

The Control 4.0 smart CNC aggregate developed by Atemag (Hall 12) captures production parameters and transmits the data in real time to the machine controller. It can also intervene in the production process itself – to increase output by adjusting speed and feed rate.

With its B-Cabinet-4 software, Biesse (Hall 11) has developed a solution that can manage all stages of furniture production, from 3D design to monitoring the entire production flow.

The software has a special interface where users can define and manage all processing stations and work steps required for each order. That includes everything, from cutting, milling, drilling and edge banding through to assembly and packaging.

At the Wemhoner stand (Hall 26) visitors will be able to see first-hand how logistics concepts are integrated into modern manufacturing plants. The highlight of the overall showcase is a VR model of an integrated manufacturing plant comprising a raw panel and wrapped pallet storage rack, two short-cycle laminating lines and a panel stack packaging machine.

The Proto-Lab research project by Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences (Hall 11) is all about finding practical ways of enabling companies to take a gradual, step-by-step approach to digitization and automation. The university will demonstrate a complete production process comprising digital assistants, smart robotics solutions and a logistics system featuring automated guided vehicle technology.

Gewema (Hall 12) is showcasing the world´s first heavy-duty wooden CNC router for professional users. It is an automated solution that can easily realize just about any custom project – no marker pencils, rulers or T-squares required.

The F4 Solutions suite of programs developed by the Felder Group (Hall 13) offers solutions for furniture production and interior design, nesting optimisation, window and door production, 3D free forms and stairs and staircase construction as well as smart post processors.

At Microtec’s ‘Sawmill of the Future’ (Hall 25) every piece of lumber receives a unique digital fingerprint, which enables it to be traced back all the way to the original log. A combination of different Microtec technologies makes this possible.

These include computed tomography-based sawing optimisation system; an X-ray log scanner for log identification and rotation angle evaluation; a scanner for rotation angle monitoring; and a multi-sensor scanner for lumber identification and quality grading.

Beck Fastener’s LignoLoc wooden nails (Hall 13) are made of locally grown beech wood and can be fired into solid timber or engineered wood without pre-drilling using the LignoLoc pneumatic nail gun. The energy released during firing “welds” the nail to the substrate, creating a seamless permanent bond.

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