SCM's Smart&Human Factory for the Chinese giant, Star River Bay Group

Cells, cell systems and plants


One of the most recent Lean cells developed by SCM in last few years has arrived in China at one of the country's giants in the contract sector.
It is an integrated flexible line of more than 2000 m2 for the production of furniture components, installed in the early months of 2021 for the Star River Bay Group and its new YuFeng Factory established in Conghua in the province of Guangdong.

 

It is its technological configuration that makes this solution especially advanced in terms of automation and production flexibility, a concrete example of Smart&Human Factory devised by SCM to meet the needs and critical situations of mass customisation. A system of automated, modular flexible cells and easily reconfigurable, connected via automatic handling systems and integrated with industrial articulated robots, by an evolved double sorter at the end of the line, supervisor software both for the entire line and for each cell and a MES system, again supplied by SCM.  

Furthermore, all the technologies have been integrated by Chinese partner companies under the control and guidance of SCM's Engineering team which in China, thanks to a specific structure, already has numerous completed projects in turnkey factories, in line with the most advanced market demands.

 

 

All this stemmed from a specific need. The Chinese group, a giant with a turnover of 2 billion Euro, needed to invest in new factories to internally produce contract furniture for its tourist and commercial structures. This is how the YuFeng Factory project came about: an actual district for machining wood covering 200 thousand m2 overall, that includes eleven warehouses on three floors, each one specialising in a specific product area (furniture, sub-assembly, doors, etc.). 

For this new and ambitious project, SCM supplied not only an integrated flexible line for the production of cabinet components, but also five Superfici lines for painting and another 50 stand-alone technologies for different fields of application, representative of SCM's vast and varying range.

 

THE INTEGRATED FLEXIBLE LINE FOR THE PRODUCTION OF CABINET COMPONENTS

Top precision, automation and production flexibility are the backbone of the Smart&Human plant developed by SCM for an average production of 1,000/1,200 pieces/shift.

The line includes cells for nesting, edgebanding and drilling, all managed by Maestro active watch supervision software that allows for the production process to be managed and controlled by monitoring the status of the individual machines in real time and of the whole line, optimising production performance. Maestro active watch also creates a two-way interconnection with the factory's IT systems, allowing part programs to be loaded remotely from office to factory and returning production reports that can be analysed in the office.

The factory's MES is also from SCM and is another fundamental jigsaw piece in this project.

 

AREA NESTING 

This cell sees two machining centres in action for "morbidelli x200" state-of-the-art nesting that combines top speed with maximum flexibility in the cutting outlines of the panel. Both are fitted with input roller conveyors with QR code labelling system. Even before this, the cell has a gantry system for loading the stacks of unfinished panels that can be as long as 800 mm.

The stacks are loaded automatically using a forklift truck.

All the data and information sent to the labelling machines come from an optimisation software via the cell supervisor.

Once the nesting is completed, the cut to size panels are directed towards two outgoing conveyor belts. A first articulated robot picks up the panels one by one to be unloaded at an average speed of 4.5 pieces per minute. A second robot sorts the panels and directs them either towards the edgebanding area or, in the case of subsequently recovered scraps, to an offloading storage station ("porcupine").

 

EDGEBANDING AREA

In this area, we find a "stefani cell H+", synonymous with maximum personalisation, top productivity levels and excellent machining quality. This highly flexible cell means the various parameters of the panel (shape, thickness, edge, gluing quality, etc.) can be changed without stopping the production flow.

Furthermore, thanks to the supervisor software, it is possible to track all the process information on each individual panel continuously and remotely.

The "stefani cell H+" is preceded by a 30-level vertical buffer that acts as a store for depositing the incoming panels from the nesting area and is integrated with a "mahros brush" automatic loading station and by another "mahros brush" outgoing unloading and panel return device.

 

The process functions like a closed machining cycle: each time an individual edge is completed, the piece is unloaded from the line while other pieces will complete the process. This optimises and speeds up the machining of panels with different edges.

This cell is also controlled by Maestro active watch supervisor software that allows for continuous 360° control of the process and each machining phase using the QR scanning code.

DRILLING AREA

Once the edgebanding is completed, the panels are conveyed in two 30-level vertical buffers (for an equal number of pieces to be machined), that again in this case, act as a "plenum" (holding area) between the edgebanding cell and the subsequent drilling area.

In order to guarantee higher production levels here, the client has selected to install two lines operating in parallel, both made up of a highly flexible automatic drilling centre and ideal for "batch 1", "morbidelli ux200".

The flow speed of the material temporarily deposited in the buffer, is automatically adapted according to the availability of the drilling machines. This occurs thanks to the software that manages the movement systems.

After drilling, the panels leave and converge in a single roller transporter that transfers them to a machine designated to cleaning the surface. Subsequently, all the pieces are transported to the sorting station.

 

SORTING AND UNLOADING AREA THE SUPERFICI FINISHING LINES

This area in the line developed by SCM is strategic. Indeed, to date, the various panel cutting, edgebanding and drilling operations have been optimised as though it were a production line, in order to reduce scraps, remains and re-tooling of the machines with a change of order. It is at this fully automated sorting station that, based on the information supplied by the factory MES, the individual orders are put back together, and the customisation of the cabinets' components is completed.

This advanced storage system is made up of two articulate robots that work at a speed of 3.5 pieces per minute, two multi-storey warehouses and a system with double layer roller conveyor that allows the pieces to be received from the drilling machine and simultaneously sent to the unloading area. 


When all the components in an order arrive in the warehouse, the MES software gives the order: the components are directed towards the unloading area where, thanks to another two robots, will be placed in transfer trolleys. These in turn are manually moved to the packing line where the MES software coordinates the work of those in charge of packing so that each box is well balanced in terms of weight and final size.
A second sorting area is reserved for the preparation of the smaller panels that will be integrated into the packing operation.

 

With this solution, SCM has managed not only to meet the needs of Star River Bay Group, but supply a highly innovative plant in line with the most advanced demands made by the Chinese market.

 

THE SUPERFICI FINISHING LINES

Star River Bay wanted to dedicate even 5 lines for their finishing, 2 spraying lines completed with magnum spraying machine, contivert vertical dryer and UV system. These lines are studied for high volumes like Star River Bay production. The color change is integrated directly in the magnum software which makes simple changing applications and color in the shortest possible time. The line is completed with contivert vertical dryer specific to guarantee a hot air drying with a long drying time needed and the UV system for the final curing of the panels.

Another finishing line is equipped with the rotary spraying machine rotomagnum, where all the advantages of magnum are added to a special carousel completed with up to 20 guns, which can be managed individually at the height of the carousel which can be set according to a recipe. The optimization of application is realized for those critical products such as colors, where uniformity of application is the basis of the final result. After the spraying the pieces are dried inside to contivert vertical dryer for completing the finishing cycle.

Star River Bay has also chosen a Superfici like partner for two Paternoster Lines dedicated to doors and large panels applications. The first one is for the touch up with 2 anthropomorphic robots, to manage the finishing of the 2 sides of the panel in a short time, the cabin is completed with a drying area and a manual touch up to always ensure a perfect product. The other line is specialized for the finishing, with one anthropomorphic robot dedicated to the spraying of edges, grooves and a reciprocator for the panel surface, after the lacquer application the panel go thought a specific drying area before completing the process with the UV dryers.

Since Star River Bay is very sensitive to the topic of the environment-friendly, Superfici has provided only water based lacquer lines in order to preserve the health of its employees and the environment.
Superfici collaborated side by side with Star River Bay to create a plant customized to its needs, providing only state-of-the-art solutions and guaranteeing the highest achievable quality for the perfect finishing.

 

Star River Bay Group (China)

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