REHAU Edgeband Symposium 2019

Edgeband production 4.0: Digitization reaches the furniture edge

#edge is digital - this was the motto of the traditional Edgeband Symposium, which has been an integral part of the industry's diaries for 28 years. This year, users and industrial customers met regularly at the premises of HOMAG AG in Schopfloch. As every year, the organizers REHAU and HOMAG offered a deep insight into the technical innovations, market developments and design trends that will be important for the "edge year" - and attracted numerous industry experts and journalists to the Black Forest with top-class topics and speakers.

REHAU HOMAG edgeband symposium
REHAU edgeband symposium 2019 at HOMAG in Schopfloch (Copyright: HOMAG)

As a proven tradition, the 28th Edgeband Symposium was also divided into two sections. The first part was dedicated to practice. User-related topics were presented at six stations. The topic of digitization was at the top of the agenda. REHAU with digital information on the edge, Leuco with digital information on the tool and Homag as processor of the digital information on the machine - the partner company tapio offers the infrastructure to manage the digital information. In addition, the tapio Service Board was shown, with the help of which the customer can receive online support via video. Another focal point was the processing: RAUVISIO crystal, RAUKANTEX pro OMR - the laser solution for moisture-resistant edging of kitchen components and decorative edges with reliefs, the corrugated edge or edges of the door rebate were shown live on the machines. The digital process chain spanned many stations and showed ways for industrial furniture production.

In the second part of the event the practical topics were deepened in theory. The expert audience had the opportunity to ask questions or hold individual discussions with the speakers at any time. Four expert contributions were on the agenda. The first speaker was Markus Kostenbader, Product Manager Edge Processing at HOMAG. He presented the innovations in machine development. The focus was on the technical innovations in radius milling with a new option for form milling, infinitely variable groove machining from batch size 1 and the status of the machine generation in laser processing. "We have integrated everything the market wanted into the new machine generation," says Markus Kostenbader.

Matthias Hacker, Project Manager and Senior Engineer for the Edgeband Division at REHAU, then gave a broad insight into the world of edges at REHAU. His central topic was digitization across the entire process chain, in the spirit of #edge is digital: How can inventory management, manufacturing processes, master data systems be optimized? Where can production data be picked up and machine parameters optimized? How is the inventory management of residual quantities carried out? The "digital edge" makes production more transparent, faster and less prone to errors. The master and/or instance data on the edge roll can be transferred via a cloud-based data transfer or via "data on tag". (using barcodes, 2D codes, RFID). The master and/or instance data can be read, processed and documented in three different expansion stages. "This represents a major step forward in process control and quality management, which is trend-setting for Industry 4.0 in industrial furniture manufacturing," said Matthias Hacker.

Of course, there are also technology-driven trends on the consumer side, as Matthias Hacker explained: "Development goes from high tech to Shy Tech - the technology that surrounds us is becoming more and more restrained, more intuitive and only perceptible when it is needed. Such "smart" additional functions can be seamlessly and invisibly integrated into the surfaces and thus open up a completely new dimension in the combination of aesthetics and function. REHAU already has a number of interesting approaches to this, such as light integration, touch-sensitive surfaces and wireless charging. The "Smart Backend", a REHAU complete solution for a visionary vehicle rear end, has created synergies for the furniture industry, for example in terms of lighting design or functional surfaces.

In addition to technology-driven trends and digitalization in production, the was later taken up again by a tapio representative, Matthias Hackers around the many new trends and developments, which let the topic edge never become boring: Internationally, for example, there was a significant increase in sales at the laser edge RAUKANTEX pro. Based on the classic laser edge, a completely new product line was developed: Door edging with laser edges. Since spring 2019, the first series production line for edging the door rebate with laser technology has been in production at a pilot customer.

For the kitchen and bathroom, the RAUKANTEX pro laser edgebanding portfolio was already expanded last year to include the OMR functional layer. It has been specially developed for processing thin or brittle surface layers - and with its optimised moisture resistance it is the first choice in particularly demanding room situations. No compromises have to be made in terms of design. When it comes to design trends, the market is moving in the direction of stone, ceramics, metal or textiles.

After this excursion into the world of design, LEUCO returned to digitalisation in the tool sector. Product manager Paul Götz travelled to the Black Forest for the tool manufacturer. His contribution dealt with the "digital twin of the tool", i.e. "the performance beyond the core product". The spectrum of his remarks ranged from accounting models, tool maintenance, technical consulting or the new LEUCO-Tool-Cloud.

Afterwards, Dr. Uwe Krämer, host of the Edgeband Symposium and head of the REHAU Competence Center Edge Technology, led the way to the common platform for all furniture suppliers: the tapio network. Julian Spöcker, Head of Sales at tapio, inspired the audience with tapio's vision of digital cooperation in the wood industry and thus also in furniture production. "There will always be physical components, the piece of furniture with its components, the machine, the tool. tapio sees a significant customer advantage if there are no 'silo solutions per manufacturer', but jointly usable solutions.

"To this end, we are creating basic services for the entire industry. This allows manufacturers to concentrate their know-how on new digital solutions without having to develop into technology providers," says Julian Spöker. Data for logistics, production, machine settings, etc., should be made available in real time and used in a controlled manner in various applications. There are already first products such as the ServiceBoard, an online help service via video call for production problems. Partners such as REHAU can integrate themselves there and the furniture manufacturer uses an app to solve service cases with several partners. 32 partners are already on board to tap the full potential of Industry 4.0.

After such profound input on the subject of digitization, it was time for another traditional item on the agenda: the final "edge feast" was a discussion about what had been heard into the evening hours.

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