BIELE CO-CREATES THE FIRST HIGH-SPEED PLYWOOD REPAIR LINE
Accurate and rapid patching of its plywood’s surfaces is essential to Finnish plywood maker UPM and two technology companies (Biele Group and Argos Solutions) worked closely together to satisfy its requirements.
The softwood plywood produced by UPM-Kymmene Wood Oy is not a commodity panel; quality is very important and patching of the surface veneer is a vital part of that quality as spruce naturally has cracked knots, resin pockets, splits and other defects to be repaired.
The problem to be overcome was that traditional manual methods of patching with putty are labour-intensive (and Finnish labour is not cheap), time-consuming and difficult to do, while directly impacting panel quality.
UPM needed a more high-tech solution, so the plywood producer – with the largest-capacity plywood mill in Europe and as the seventh largest producer in the world – found the answer in a fully-automatic patching line supplied by a combination of the expertise of Argos Solutions of Norway and Biele SA of Spain.
Argos has great experience in vision systems and defect detection and repair, particularly in wood based panels, while Biele has great experience in a wide variety of handling systems for panels.
“We are very proud of this patching line and currently have the only one operating on this scale worldwide” said Mika Kekki, director of operations and spruce production for UPM plywood, based in Pellosniemi, near Ristiina in Finland, when interviewed in late June.
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