Despite the increasing individualisation in furniture production, the need for automated processes is growing. Robots in particular have the potential to relieve staff and harmonise parts handling. In the case of IMA Schelling, a specialist for sophisticated plant solutions for the woodworking industry, robots perfectly matched to the in-house panel-sizing saws are to ensure that the strips are first buffered and then independently fed back to the saw. But that's not all: after cutting, they also stack the material on up to three floor spaces. In this way, non-productive times can be reduced and the availability and profitability of the systems can be increased.

"Robots classically perform three types of tasks," explains David Schelling, Product Manager Cut-to-size at IMA Schelling, "dangerous, unergonomic and monotonous." A definition that absolutely applies to strip and part handling in cutting. IMA Schelling's robots are optimised in particular for working with the fh 4 and fh 5 panel-sizing saws, with which automated cutting of parts with a length of up to 3,200 millimetres, a width of up to 1,300 millimetres and a weight of up to 150 kilograms is successful. "Our sawing robot solutions are also suitable for even smaller performance classes of 500 to 800 parts per shift," explains Schelling. "They can be implemented as a stand-alone solution with destacking or in direct interlinking." For destacking, there is a choice of different variants; depending on the customer's requirements, the panels land on pallets, on lifting tables or directly on the floor - or in special racks with additional stacking destinations. There is also a choice of stacking patterns: from single layers to chaotic. Even waste disposal is customisable, either automated via waste flap, vibrating chute and chipper or it simply goes into the waste bin.

IMA Schelling has placed great emphasis on the integration possibilities of the robots. They should also be able to be integrated into existing production processes at a later date without any problems. "Some customers appreciate setting up the plant first and then integrating the robot solution later. This is no problem with our systems," says Schelling, who also points out that so far only his company has made this option possible. The system also shows flexibility with regard to changing panel formats, thicknesses, weights and materials. Equipped with a vacuum load pick-up, the robots should also be able to pick up very thin metal and plastic sheets - if the load pick-ups are adapted.