The first of its kind in Austria

Article by Martina Nöstler (translated by Eva Guzely) | 30.10.2019 - 10:57

Stora Enso Wood Products produces cross-laminated timber (CLT) in Bad St. Leonhard already since 2007 – by now in a four-shift operation with an annual capacity of about 80,000 m³. Up until recently, the machining of CLT elements was done exclusively with two gantry machining centers (PBA) by Hundegger of Hawangen, Germany. Since the beginning of 2018, Hundegger’s UFA processing center supports the two PBA centers. “This investment makes the production of CLT in our factory even more efficient and, most importantly, safer”, explains Christian Scharf, factory manager Bad St. Leonhard. “The machining volume had been growing constantly, and we had to react to this development. The UFA processing center also increases availability.”

Formatting, folding and drilling

At Stora Enso, the UFA processing center precedes the two gantry machining centers because it does not carry out the final machining. "We use the UFA for formatting, folding and for drilling certain types of holes”, explains Martin Salzmann who is responsible for technology in Bad St. Leonhard. In which system rabbets are milled, is a strategic question and depends on the capacity utilization of the three centers. “In any case, the drilling for the lifting system is done with the UFA”, says Salzmann and adds: “Thanks to the UFA we eliminated a bottleneck in the machining of CLT. Now that we do the formatting, among other things, with the UFA, the further processing in the PBA can be done significantly faster.” As in the UFA all processing is done from below, the need for the complex and time-consuming turning of the CLT elements is eliminated.

At Stora Enso, elements with 2 to 3 meters in width, 8 to 16 meters in length and with a maximum thickness of 300 mm are machined. Elements for the UFA enter the system by means of a roller conveyor after leaving the press. All processing data are sent online from production planning to the UFA. Like the two gantry machining centers, the new machine works with Hundegger's Cambium software. “To be able to operate all three systems with just one program is a big advantage for us”, says Markus Baumgartner, who is responsible for CLT production in Bad St. Leonhard. This means that all employees, who have been trained to operate the Hundegger machines, can operate any one of the other machines as well. “Cambium is characterized by a simple input tailored to timber constructions and high user-friendliness”, comments Arno Gaggl, Hundegger representative in Austria. “Cambium automatically adopts all necessary data from the machining and timber construction programs without the need for manual post-processing or an additional programming effort.” Each user can define and save their own processing macros, such as drilling patterns or complex profiles.

“The control system again receives data on all processing steps done with the Hundegger machine and verifies whether everything is okay”, says Salzmann.

Seven tool aggregates

At Stora Enso, the UFA is equipped with a total of seven tool aggregates, which include two 22 kW edge-trimming aggregates, for example. The aggregate on the operator side adapts to the desired panel width and is equipped with a mechanical width control. During each round of milling, a maximum of 25 mm can be removed. “The design of the UFA makes it possible to integrate more tools”, explains Baumgartner, referring to an additional milling tool from above.

“Hundegger’s UFA processing center has definitely helped us to further increase customer satisfaction. Furthermore, this investment has led to a better process safety”, says Scharf. And even though some of the manual work has been eliminated because of the UFA, Stora Enso was able to create one additional job due to increased performance.

Stora Enso Wood Products

Location: Bad St. Leonhard
Managers: Herbert Jöbstl, Gerald Hongleitner-Welt
Factory manager: Christian Scharf
Employees: 285
Types of wood: spruce, fir, pine
Cutting capacity: 600.000 sm³/year
Processing: 80.000 m³ of CLT/year