In June 2019, the bathroom furniture manufacturer burgbad commissioned a Combima with return conveyor system in its factory in Bad Fredeburg. Since that time, the work cell has exceeded the planned production capacity every day.
The burgbad Group, which forms part of the Turkish ECZACIBASI corporation, is the world market leader for premium-quality bathroom furniture. Production is spread over a total of four factories, three of them in Germany and one in the French Nogent le Roi. Last year, the corporation started modernizing its production facilities by utilizing the most advanced equipment and technology from IMA Schelling, with the objective of expanding its production capacity. In this context, a new edge processing line was commissioned at the main factory in Bad Fredeburg in June 2019. The open-loop, semi automated process – a circular edge processing cell consisting of an IMA Schelling single-side edgebander (Combima) and an IMA Schelling return conveyor system – has replaced a semi automated U-shaped work cell consisting of two edgebanders. This U-shaped workcell had become prone to faults and could not be upgraded any more. The new work cell has a rated production capacity of 800 to 1000 parts per shift.
The new circular edge processing cell has been integrated in the existing production environment. Panel cutting is performed by an existing panel saw. Feeding parts to the new edge processing machine is carried out manually. A 10 m long floor roller conveyor carries the part stacks to the IMA Schelling work cell where the machine operator takes them from the stack and puts them on an air cushion table connected to a diagonal roller conveyor that feeds the parts to the Combima. In this process, an automatic servo infeed and end stop system allows for maximum precision. "An automated unstacking system would have been desirable in principle and technically feasible. But for financial reasons, the company decided against it,” IMA Schelling project manager Norbert Kordt explains.
Each part passes four times through the work cell. Before each pass, a camera scanner automatically reads the QR code on the part to be processed. All required data is supplied to the processing machine which automatically selects the correct part program. After the fourth pass, the edge-banded parts are carried away from the processing machine and buffered in a hedgehog conveyor.
Despite the four passes for each part, the new edge banding line has a higher production rate. "We produce an order-specific range of parts in rather small batches. With the old U-shaped double-side edge banding line, you had to adjust the reference cutter of the new workpiece width every time a change in width was made. This took valuable time which can be saved using the Combima,” Fredeburg factory manager Gunther Grittmann explains. His decision in favour of the IMA Schelling work cell was decisively influenced by the price/performance ratio of the machine.
The main work cell of the burgbad plant produces specifically carcase elements and front panels, and uses PUR glue for the edge banding operation. When producing in small batches for the high-end niche market, the Bad Fredeburg factory utilizes a Novimat edgebander wit a gluing unit and laser unit. Also the veneer part programs, which require frequent size adjustments, run on this machine. Moreover three older IMA Schelling CNC routing machines of the BIMA 400 type are utilized for panel sizing, routing and drilling.
“We were convinced from the beginning of the competence of the IMA Schelling Group, and this confidence is absolutely justified. From the first day onwards, the work cell produces more than 1000 parts per shift – which is more than the rated production capacity,” says Gunther Grittmann, still enthusiastic about the excellent project work during the planning and commissioning of the new circular edge processing cell: I have never experienced such a perfect and frictionless process in my 35 years of professional experience.” All project milestones were achieved, the tight deadlines were met – and the technical know-how of the IMA Schelling staff, from the project manager to the fitter, was impressive, Grittmann explains.
After Fredeburg, also the carcase production in the Grafenberg factory is going to be modernized. Here an ultramodern, fully automated batch size 1 processing plant from IMA Schelling will commence production at the end of 2020. It will replace an older, semi automated work cell. The goal is to increase production by 50 percent. For the Grafenberg factory, burgbad liked to have a fully automatic and fully integrated line with flexible panel cutting and sizing and a production rate of 3000 parts per shift. IMA Schelling developed an individualized concept that can be incorporated in the existing structure of the production hall. The planned batch-size-1 processing plant consists of two identical, mirror-imaged ls1 saws and a U-shaped circular edge processing cell consisting of two Combima N edgebanders and the applicable handling & conveyor system. At the same time, the existing area storage system will be retrofitted with a new Beckhoff controller and the latest stock management software.
For its utilization at burgbad in Bad Fredeburg, the Combima has been equipped with the following units:
• Workpiece infeed system X-30 and end stop system A1 for dimensional reference
• Protection milling
• Double hogger
• Protection milling / remilling
• PUR gluing unit with 24-reel vertical magazine
• Linear end trimming
• (Pre-)milling of the edging tape overhang
• Profile milling
• Contour milling unit KFA 30
• Profile scraper
• Flat scraper
• 3 grooving/rebating units
burgbad stands for innovative bathroom furnishing concepts for the domestic habitat. The company, founded in 1946, develops and produces bathroom furniture solutions in all segments – ranging from the family-oriented bathroom in lacquer, wood, veneer, acryl, melamine or country style through design-oriented or timeless classic bathroom furniture, to individualized architecturally progressive room concepts.
At the German sites in Bad Fredeburg, Grafenberg and Allmenrod and at the French site in Nogent le Roi, burgbad employs a total of about 720 people. Since 2010, the globally acting company is a 100 percent subsidiary of the ECZACIBASI Group.