North America’s Largest Woodworking Event | Tuesday – Friday | August 23 – 26, 2022

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The Show

Woodworking Robots-An Inside Job

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April 4, 2022 | Bill Esler

Expect robots at IWF 2022, and lots of them, among the many facets of the show that provide more ways to harness the power of new: New technologies to increase production efficiencies, new products to drive sales, new connections to tap emerging markets.

A Stiles Homag Feedbot keeps a Drillteq machining center busy.

Robotic systems began appearing at IWF as soon as they entered the woodworking industry, most visibly in large-scale materials storage and retrieval systems from Biesse Winstore (Booths B7553/7573), IMA Schelling vs (Booth B5011) SCM flexstore elr (Booths B6953/6973/7153), Stiles Homag Storeteq (Booths B5034/B5052), Weinig Holz-Her USA (Store-Master, Booths B5737/B6037).

Con-Vey’s Robotic Layup Line uses 5 robot arms with vacuum end of arm tooling (EOAT) to pick in place veneer sheets on layup line conveyors.

Now robotic firms such as Fanuc America (Booth 10503) and Kuka (integrated by Robotic Solutions in Booth A10931 and AutomaTech Robotik in Booth A 10654) put robots into action in every aspect of wood products production. Notably, Robotic Solutions and AutomaTech Robotik are both first time exhibitors, as are ABB Robotics integrators 7robotics (Booth A10219) and Con-Vey (Booth A10515).

Among 120 first time exhibitors

7Robotics trained this ABB robot to nail together pallets.

Other examples abound from the major industry suppliers, including robots integrated into vertical machining centers at Stiles, dowel drilling and insertion at CNC Factory (IWF Booths B8253/8353), and operating beam saws including the Stiles SAWTEQ B-320 flexTec, or the Biesse Selco WN 6 ROS (robotically operated system) which jettisons air tables since the robotic operators don’t require them.

SCM Superfici offers the Valtorta Bravorobot finishing line, and this six-axis Robot Maestro (above, extendable to 11 axes) for spraying various sized window frames and louvered doors and other complex workpieces.

Fanuc, with 2.4 million installations, is one of the largest CNC manufacturers, a testament to the fact that a 5-axis CNC is largely a robot wielding a cutting tool. Fanuc’s range of robots include the increasingly popular cobots, smaller robots that fit snugly between or within production nodes and fulfill very specific tasks such as affixing knobs, pulls, and hinges or handing off materials.

Robotic arms in the Biesse Viet sanders wield conventional sanding tools adapted to automating a tedious chore.

Robots are becoming less visible as they pick up critical roles in finishing, directing spray heads and sanding tools over varying shaped workpieces with a consistency of control and diligence that alleviates another woodworking industry constant—the shortage of skilled workers. Robotically enhanced finishing systems from SCM, Biesse, Cefla and others will be plentiful on the IWF 2022 show floor. Learn more and register at IWFAtlanta.com.

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International Woodworking Fair
Tuesday - Friday
August 23 - 26, 2022

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