Last year the HOMAG Group combined almost all of its existing brands under the single HOMAG name. At Holz-Handwerk; Xylexpo and AWISA the machines were presented in a new, modern machine design across all products as well as new, consistent and coordinated product names.

Homag, like SCM and Biesse, are increasing their sales figures, more than likely due to the boom manufacturing period many countries find themselves in. Homag’s key selling points in Germany and Italy were a progressive design; a modern look and feel; and all machines linked to the ‘Tapio’ machineboard as standard. The software is yet to be released in Australia but is planned for later this year. It allows a machine operator to access all machine displays in real-time using a smart phone. Homag accepts that the furniture industry is changing and see’s smart living as an end customer product trend. Homag also see’s customer demand for complete manufacturing solutions and all the major players are working on offering this kind of service.

Live in action in Germany and Italy was a panel cutting cell developed for batch size one production. A robot takes on all the parts handling including de-stacking pallets. With the Kuka robot and the Homag ControllerMES production control system, an unlimited number of recuts is possible and up to 1,500 parts are possible in one shift. Complex cutting plans are no problem with an increase in quality through a reduction in errors, added to savings in wages and material through better cutting options and elimination of waste.

A second and even more impressive release was a fully autonomous workshop where cut parts were drilled and edged without any human intervention except the initial feeding of the edge bander. The edge banding machine was fed with pre-cut parts; then automatically de-stacked onto pallets that were moved either to a waiting bay or a vertical CNC drilling machine by a Driverless Transport Vehicle or DTV. When the stacked parts are required to be fed to the CNC machine; the DTV will retrieve the correct stack of components and move it to the robot feeding station that will take care of the loading of the CNC machine. The award-winning ‘autonomous cell’ is able to take full advantage of its flexibility in trade as well as in the industry, and opens up new options for production. An additional feature of this cell is that the manually-fed edge banding machine was fitted with Homag’s new ‘intelliguide’ system that lights up a series of LED lights the length of the side to be fed into the machine. It’s poetry in motion and this new operator aid was presented at AWISA in Sydney.