Svenska Fönster AB, automation in “line” with the challenges of mass customisation
The Swedish giant chose to adopt one of the SCM's most innovative solutions, the System 1 line. The demand was for a high production line (with a target of 1,800 pieces per shift) but one that was also very flexible, for the production of windows and French doors, that brought a new impulse to the factory and guaranteed maximum reliability and safety.
With a turnover of 130 million Euro, Svenska Fönster AB is one of Sweden’s leading and most eco-friendly manufacturers of windows, with three brands – Traryd Fönster, SP Fönster, and the joiner’s app Svenska Fönster. Its head office is in Edsbyn, where most of the company’s 800 employees work.
Svenska Fönster is part of the VKR group, which has a long-term interest in this company and is now making major investments in it.
As the technical manager, Göran Hammarlund, tells us, the good quality of its products, the continuous investments in technology and the production process automation play a key role. Its windows are produced entirely in solid wood and are aimed at the high end of the market, both private individuals and construction companies; a market characterised, in any case, by an increase in orders and an ever growing product customisation. This is the so-called “mass customisation”, a production that needs to be increasingly customised in line with the demands and tastes of individual clients, without sacrificing industrial production advantages. A production structured for small batches while still being smart, fast and with a minimum possible waste of time and resources. This can put industry companies in a lot of difficulty, and even more so in the case of Svenska Fönster AB, that produces everything internally.
How can these increasingly arduous challenges of “mass customisation” be dealt with? How can large volumes and flexibility be satisfied at the same time? The Swedish timber giant opened a genuine “window” onto the future and chose to adopt one of the most innovative solutions offered by SCM, Italian leader in technologies for secondary wood processing: the System 1 line. The demand which the SCM Engineering team tried to satisfy from the outset was that of a high production line (with a target of 1,800 pieces per shift), for the processing of windows and French doors, that brought a new impulse to the Swedish factory and guaranteed maximum versatility, reliability and safety. The result is a line fitted with sufficient units to permit “automatic passage” between all the types of elements to be produced, without any operator intervention. In addition to this, the work is further simplified by the state-of-the-art operator interface which is extremely intuitive and means orders from the company management software can be imported directly.
The System 1 line consists of 11 different stations. The raw pieces loaded in different shapes, are firstly smoothed in the superset nt automatic throughfeed moulder, an extremely versatile machine that can be customised around the client’s needs and type of product to be achieved. It is fitted with extractor devices to be able to work individual pieces with a minimum length of 280 mm and all those functions useful for correctly advancing and treating the machine piece. From here, via transfer, the pieces are conveyed to a celaschi p60 double tenoning machine, in which the head tenoning is carried out simultaneously on the two tips of the pieces at an advancement speed of up to 20m/min.
Thanks to the “pyramid” function of the operating units, pieces differing in length from one another up to a maximum of 300 mm can be processed without having to empty and reposition the machine, thus saving a considerable amount of time. Other advantages include the electronic “Colibri” anti-splinter system which, in combination with the automatic change of tools, makes this a flexible and versatile solution.
From here, again via transfer, the pieces arrive at the Fleximat passage drilling and milling centre, where all the accessory processing work can be carried out, like the milling for a lock and holes for the handle, meeting and connection point, required for the subsequent assembling of the window. Another transporter with buffer function for temporary accumulation of processing pieces, essential for balancing the frequency of the flows, brings the piece to the profitech shaping machine where the longitudinal parts are shaped on the right and left with machining centres equipped with tool magazines and automatic tool change. Lastly, the finishing work is carried out on the upper and lower sides via units at high rotation speed. This way, all the elements for the hinged door are produced and the piece that entered raw, is ready to be painted.
Another important advantage comes from Maestro watch, the line supervisor software to manage the entire production process, designed for simple use and to import the work orders from all the company management systems.
“Thanks to this line, we have managed to replace out-of-date machinery and made gains in precision and speed” confirms Göran Hammarlund. The Swedish company decided to invest in made in Italy technology because, as the Technical Manager explains, it is a guarantee of the best quality-price ratio. “System 1 is a fundamental line nowadays for our production and, as a result, the post-installation support and services offered by SCM are also essential”.
Svenska Fönster is a genuine intelligent factory, but what is even more incredible is its strong focus on the environment. Indeed, this is the first Scandinavian company to have met the new and strict requirements to achieve the Nordic Swan ecolabel. A company which, since 2009, has radically changed its production processes precisely with the aim of reducing waste and saving energy and which today, not only uses renewable sources in its factory but also exclusively uses water-based surface treatment solutions.
Svenska Fönster: innovation that is good for work and the environment.