We will be discussing timber-frame construction techniques. And in particular, cross-laminated timber as a potential construction material of the future?
A model for professional implementation is the automatic nesting technology that the Austrian company Binderholz Bausysteme GmbH has adopted by installing several six-axis CNC-controlled "Oikos" machining centres by the Italian SCM.
The Binderholz Group, with its five facilities in Austria, two in Germany and two in Finland, is committed daily to demonstrating its advanced expertise in traditional timber construction techniques and in cutting-edge, highly automated production methods. A total of 1,420 employees manufacture a broad range of solid wood products, including lumber, planed wood, profiled timber, glued laminated timber, single-ply and multi-ply solid wood panels, and cross-laminated timber as well as biofuels.
In particular, the company’s managers attach the utmost importance to constantly improving production - both creatively and through innovation. This is true both for the materials used and for the smart and flexible production techniques which are also crucial for keeping up with future trends in the BBS sector.
In this regard, Thomas Aigner, executive and plant manager at the production site in Unternberg says:
"Our cross-laminated timber elements must meet customer demands, ensuring absolute precision and the utmost degree of readiness for assembly and transfer when they leave the factory. In particular, because during assembly at the construction site, it is essential to ensure the sturdy mounting of the accurately fitting parts as well as the extensive finishing of the connection and structural details. Due to the complexity of the timber framing, this requires that we are able to machine ready-to-use wall, ceiling and roof elements at the factory. All this must be done in a single pass and all around on all six sides, with all the necessary tools that are already assembled. And, of course, possibly 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is also essential that the operation of the machines should be as simple as possible, since all of the time-consuming or complicated programming work has already been done in advance when preparing the work. This means that by using a PLC-based simulation software specially developed by SCM the components are modelled to ensure trouble-free continuous operation of the plant. Thus, less specialised knowledge is required to operate the machines.”
As mentioned above, rather than relying "only" pure timber framing, state-of-the-art nesting technology is now used. A perfect synergy for all those involved.
All of the well-known advantages of six-axis technology applied to CNC machining centres can be exploited effectively for almost unlimited machining options.
The tools already available in the magazine machine all structural components at any angle and in any position thanks to the interpolating axis movements. Especially the sawing at any angle and in all directions offers remarkable performance features and absolutely new perspectives. Therefore, this means flexible angle cuts on five axes as well as the opportunity to work with the saw blade in almost any position.
The fully automated layering and the removal options with forklift truck or crane are also important for cost-effective operation. Thanks to the all-round machining, there is no need to rotate or turn the piece.
According to Thomas Aigner, the ability to reliably calculate the following assembly steps of the wall, ceiling and roof elements already at the factory is equally important. He greatly values the current application opportunities with the three "Oikos" machining centres (the first of which has already been in use since 2015) and offers an account of the facts: "six-sided nesting of the elements with high-speed rotating tools that are already present in the changer and always ready for use. All the time-consuming programming work and necessary changes are done by the specialists in the process planning phase. The machining processes are easy to operate by the worker at the machine and always controllable.”
A successful partnership between Binderholz and SCM, based on the both companies reliability and exclusive know-how.
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