Edgeband Symposium 2022
Edgebands, tools and machinery: innovations and tools for edges
The Edgeband Symposium, the annual event that REHAU holds in alternation with the IMA Schelling Group and HOMAG GmbH, was held online again this year – but that did not detract from the quality of content, nor the popularity of the event. Quite the contrary, in fact: numerous participants representing the industrial and craft sectors logged into the specialist event, which this year concentrated on zero-joint technology, digitalisation and sustainability.
“Of course, we regret missing out on personal contact once again this year,” admits Dr. Uwe Krämer, Head of Engineering Edgebands at REHAU, who welcomed guests along with Christoph Geiger, COO of the IMA Schelling Group. “On the other hand, it has been interesting to see how quickly the sector has got used to the digital version of the event, which has become routine. You would barely notice the difference – except, of course, for the absence of the ‘Kantenschmaus’ evening function, which we hope to invite for again next year.” The online seminars took place on 24 and 30 May and were divided, as usual, into four parts. REHAU employees and speakers from the IMA Schelling Group, Leitz GmbH & Co. KG and RIEPE GmbH & Co. KG addressed the various themes.
#edgeisdigital: Digitalisation is moving forward
The event began with an update as Matthias Hacker, Senior Engineer Edgebands at REHAU, reported on the status of #edgeisdigital. REHAU has been pushing ahead with digital edgeband management via #edgeisdigital for around three years. Thanks to the central collection of data, the tool simplifies warehousing and processing enormously. REHAU offers three variants – and as Matthias Hacker confirmed, feedback from customers has been highly positive. In fact, some partners are already engaged in serial production. This can be explained by the potential savings for the industrial and craft sectors: on average, the industry can save 34 whole days a year by using #edgeisdigital in areas such as automatic machine set-up, missing parts, management of residual quantities and inventories. This section was rounded off with a presentation of the new tool “REHAU MyEdge”. The clever service, which is now also available in English, offers a product scanner, edgeband calculator and edgeband search link as well as a direct service and support hotline. The integrated ordering system is expected to start at the end of 2022.
Tools & Processes: Matt trend, protection against moisture, fully automated edgeband handling and internal corner gluing
Tools & Processes, the next section, was opened by Henrich Altenhoff from Business Development at RIEPE GmbH & Co. KG. He presented RIEPE’s hydrophobic system, which provides additional protection against the swelling of furniture panels due to steam and moisture where the edgebands are glued. The system, which improves the water resistance of glued joints many times over, can be used both as a spray system on the machine or subsequently by a hydro-pen. Attractive solutions were also presented for the matt trend, which is popular at the moment: matt edgebands RAUKANTEX scratch.protect and RAUVISIO noir surface finishes can be perfected in production via the frosted edge procedure for matt milling radii. IMA also offers clever innovations for 90° interior corners: new gluing units enable any user to create sophisticated contours in one process, with no need for manual intervention. The final results were clearly illustrated using components like RAUKANTEX pigmento edgebands. This was followed by a presentation from Dennis Reddig of the Product Management Edge Processing division at IMA Schelling Group. He reported on current challenges in the industrial production process, including the fact that edge magazines are large and confusing. Manual settings and actions have to be performed, he explained, and material properties can differ. Generally speaking, according to the vision of IMA Schelling, many sources of error and inefficiencies could be significantly reduced by means of fully automated edgeband handling. The main part of this presentation focused on what such a system looks like and looked ahead to the future of edgeband processing.
Design & Materials: The success story of the laser technology
Matthias Hacker introduced the third section, which was devoted to Design & Materials, with a brief recounting of the success story of zero-joint edgebands: turnover has doubled since 2016, he revealed, with some 100,000,000 RM sold in Europe alone in 2021. More and more countries around the world, such as India, are adopting the technology. The edgeband technology is so successful, he said, simply because it works. Only laser technology allows seamless components to be produced that are visually flawless and functionally durable. REHAU is supportive of the trend with 15 years’ expertise and legal compliance in the purchase and processing of laser edgebands. Matthias Hacker used a number of new products to highlight the innovative flair of REHAU, introducing RAUKANTEX folding as an edgeband specifically suited to angled edgebanding/soft-forming. For example, handle-free front panels or doors without paint cracks or stress whitening can be implemented . I-KFA from the IMA Schelling Group is the ideal solution for post-processing in transverse edging. In the future, though, the perfect component from REHAU will offer even greater functionality as well as impressive looks: RAUKANTEX scratch.protect, fire.protect, health.protect and eco.protect are new product lines offering genuine added value across a range of usage areas.
Sustainability: “Natural knowledge”
The transition to the last set of topics revealed another innovation that is already a focal point for REHAU – a holistic sustainability concept covering everything from using sustainably sourced raw materials and recycling materials to resource-efficient packaging, harmlessness to health and energy-efficient production. Daniel Elfe-Degel, Head of Product Management Edgebands and Project Manager Sustainable Edgebands at REHAU, outlined the measures that REHAU is consistently and verifiably implementing at every level – and closed by presenting new products in the RAUKANTEX eco and evo range which incorporate sustainability as a concept.
The informative morning session for experts wrapped up with a Q&A round – a resounding success for all participants. Matthias Hacker stressed the importance of an event like the Edgeband Symposium to the development of edgeband technology: “This was the 31st event of its kind, yet every year we see just how much interest there is. Getting everyone involved with edgebands together around a table generates stimulus for ourselves, machine manufacturers and processing firms, and gives rise to solutions. That’s something you can’t just replace.”
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