September 14, 2020
System TM Helps Thermory Achieve Resource Efficiency Objectives
By Malene Frits Bou Zeid
Thanks to Thermory’s latest investment in an optimizing Opti-Kap 5103 cross-cut line, Thermory will no longer find it difficult to keep in step with the changing times in Estonia in which minimum wage rates in manufacturing are increasing and access to raw material is becoming harder.
To maintain company competitiveness, and combat rising minimum wages and hard access to raw material, Thermory had to utilize all production process parameters to the fullest – from manpower resources to wood usage. As a result, the company invested in an optimizing Opti-Kap 5103 cross-cut line in the fall of 2018.
Thermory’s investment in System TM machinery stems from the company’s desire to implement automation in order to achieve high quality control, maximum usage of raw material, minimum need for manpower, and greener production processes.
Paving the way for a relationship
Thermory’s first purchase of some second-hand System TM equipment paved the way for the Thermory–System TM relationship. In 2018, Thermory upgraded its existing cross-cut line by investing in new System TM machinery. After several design meetings and scanner tests carried out at MiCROTEC, Thermory and System TM decided on a layout of a line that secures uniform quality of end products and decreases the need for manpower.
Manufacturing neat-looking sauna boards
The Opti-Kap 5103 cross-cut line manufactures boards for saunas. The line starts with an automated Opti-Feed 6000 which de-stacks workpieces piece by piece. When they enter the line, the workpieces have various sizes of round arches, but their arches are then examined by a MiCROTEC Curvescan to allow better positioning of the workpieces before they enter a moulder later on. During the checking of the arches, the Curvescan sorts out the workpieces that fall outside the acceptable level of round arches. Next, a MiCROTEC M3 scanner makes sure the workpieces are within the moisture level limit and sorts out those above the limit. Then, a board turning device positions the workpieces based on the data received from the Curvescan and feeds the workpieces into the moulder.
The moulder calibrates the workpieces on all four sides. Next, the workpieces move onto a MiCROTEC Goldeneye 502 scanner with X-ray, after which the workpieces are distributed among two optimizing Opti-Kap 5103 cross-cut saws. After cross-cutting has taken place, the workpieces are marked based on their classification of quality by a printer located after each saw. Then, the workpieces are sorted for finger-jointing and fixed lengths are stacked automatically by three Opti-Stack 3000 stacking machines. Finally, drying sticks are placed between the layers in preparation for further processing (thermo treatment) of the packs.
Better control of workpieces
The Opti-Kap 5103 line offers Thermory several benefits – better control of workpiece uniformity and accurate positioning of workpieces before they enter the planer. Furthermore, the line ensures consistent moisture content of workpieces, provides high quality scanning and detection to achieve better quality and utilization of wood, and performs precise cross-cutting of workpieces into finger-joint lengths, fixed lengths, and other lengths.
Reducing manual operation
The line helps reduce Thermory’s level of manual operation which was previously one of the greatest challenges faced by the company. Today, Thermory only needs two operators to operate the line. This goes hand in hand with System TM’s mission to optimize manpower resources in order to achieve maximum usage of the line.