Efficient extraction technology supports sustainability policy
EGGER optimises production in Bünde with Höcker Polytechnik
The aim of automation in the production of furniture parts is to shorten the response times and thus be able to meet customer needs with even more precision. Modern machinery with minimal set-up times, for batch sizes of 50 to Ultimo and direct CAD/CAM connection is the key to more flexibility in production here.
The EGGER Group consistently relies on technology. The new plant II in Bünde has been operating with fully-automated front production with sawing and edge banding since autumn 2020. Furniture fronts can thus be efficiently manufactured in almost any batch size with the level of quality remaining consistently high. The manufacturing data is usually sent directly from the customer via EDI connection, the production process started and delivered with the desired surface and edge. With these processes and streamlined logistics procedures, EGGER gives its customers a clear competitive edge thanks to time saving and minimised storage costs.
Furniture fronts ready to fit for the furniture industry
EGGER supplies its customers with melamine-coated and lacquered furniture fronts with edges “ready-to-use” as prefabricated furniture. Sawing, grooving and milling produce large quantities of wood dust and chips every hour. Particular attention was therefore paid to the machine extraction system when the new plant was still in the planning phase. Just as with Plant I in Bünde, Höcker Polytechnik GmbH was a successful partner here. The core of the machine extraction system is now a MultiStar vacuum filter unit with a system of interconnected extraction points with slide control. As such, Höcker Polytechnik is reducing the
energy consumption and supporting EGGER’s sustainability concept.
Viktor Thiessen, team leader for technical projects at EGGER in Bünde, developed an extraction system adapted to the machinery: “We supply the premium manufacturers in the kitchen, bathroom and home sector with our front elements. Thanks to our new production line, we can respond to customers’ needs quickly and with great flexibility. The production line must, of course, operate safely and reliably for this. And that’s where a well thought-out extraction concept is important. With Höcker Polytechnik, we had an experienced partner with the necessary knowledge at our side who has already been assisting us in our Plant 1 for more than 25 years. Together with project manager, Felix Mallon from Höcker, we designed the new plant and developed a space-saving and energy-efficient solution for extracting dust and chips. We consider waste materials to also be recyclable materials and have integrated an automatic disposal concept. A large part of the residues from production is reprocessed into chipboards and a small reminder is thermally recycled. Our new front system has been functioning in normal operation since autumn 2020, and we’ve been more than happy with both the machine extraction system and the automated chip recycling.”
MultiStar filter unit for machine extraction and recycling
The core of the extraction system by Höcker Polytechnik is a MultiStar stirrer device filter. It operates directly next to the chip silo and requires an installation area of just 16 m2. Thanks to the high-level structure, the compact filter provides an adequate and generous filter area which is cleaned by pressure pulse in a highly efficient manner. In the attachment module, two frequency-controlled 37 kW IE3 motors generate the negative pressure for a maximum extraction rate of 50,000 m3/h at approx. 4200 Pa. The power of the extraction system was deliberately generously dimensioned and offers EGGER a growth reserve for the coming years. The extraction performance naturally adapts to the machine load.
Sustainable management and a love of wood makes up an essential part of the EGGER DNA. The EGGER plants in Bünde actively implement the energy and environmental management systems in accordance with ISO 50.001 and ISO 14.001. Höcker Polytechnik supports EGGER in this regard with the jointly developed, resource-efficient extraction and recycling concept. As a result, the energy demand is considerably reduced, less CO2 is produced and the forests are conserved as a result of recycling the wood residues.
Automated management of the wood residues
A large chip silo and two big containers are available for the wood production waste. The chip silo is used for thermally recycling the chips, a large part of the material is blown into the containers and recycled in the EGGER plant in Brilon.
The larger pieces of wood are chopped up using a chipper, which is 100 m away from the MultiStar filter unit, and transported to the filter via a pipeline with a transport fan. All wood residues are then discharged via a stirrer device with a rotary valve and transported pneumatically into the silo or containers. Sensors provide information about the fill levels of the silo and containers, a switchover point in front of the containers automatically redirects the flow of chips to the empty container and signals to the logistics that a container is ready for collection. Apart from the manually operated chipper, all recycling processes are automated. All relevant fire safety and explosion protection regulations and rules were taken into account and complied with here.
Making the disposal process profitable and sustainable
Sustainability becomes particularly appealing if it becomes profitable. The control pros at Höcker Polytechnik were able to take full advantage of the savings potential thanks to an event-based programming. Every machine connection is sensor-monitored and continuously ramps up the ventilation performance of the MultiStar filter via frequency converter when the motorised slider is opened. Only the energy needed for operation is thus consumed. In addition, the extraction under vacuum ensures an efficiency bonus through maximum efficiency.
The heat recovery also pays off. The raw air extracted from the machines contains valuable heat energy which is fed back into production after the filter process and is largely retained. This considerably reduces heating costs. The system is also monitored by a residual dust sensor for possible filter breaks or leaks.
User-friendly thanks to sensor monitoring
From the machine to the silo, the entire extraction system was fitted with sensors, residual dust monitors and silo monitors. This information was visualised so that the user has access to all information quickly and straight-forwardly using the 12” touch panel. Höcker Polytechnik thus fits seamlessly into EGGER’s sustainability concept. The extraction unit operates with minimum energy use and automates the wood recycling.
Felix Mallon, the leading project manager from Höcker Polytechnik says: “After having equipped the first plant in Bünde back in 2005, we were of course particularly motivated with the second plant. Together, we developed an automated chip recycling concept requiring practically no manual effort. There were some hurdles to overcome for our PLC programmers as sensors, sliders and the extraction system have to be 100% in harmony. EGGER has now been operating productively since autumn 2020 and both the machine extraction system as well as the recycling process are functioning smoothly. The team at EGGER and the colleagues from Höcker worked tremendously well together, and from the planning stage right through to installation had a really great time. And the best thing is of course: it works just as we planned and devised it. Efficient and ultra-quiet!”
Höcker Polytechnik GmbH
Borgloher Straße 1
49176 Hilter a.T.W.
Fon: +49 (0) 5409 / 405–0
Fax: +49 (0) 5409 / 405 - 555