In today’s scenario we see that small-scale woodworking industry is facing lot of challenges like profitability, productivity, Quality, time delays and tensions etc. It has become very difficult to survive in the high competitive market. I was recently told during a seminar in south India that the younger generation is not interested in taking forward the family business in woodworking and inclined in white collared job. The time has been ripe today to study the situation with lot of care to make this field attractive to reverse the situation.
To ease the problem we should know the present situation. The traditionally run business thought of modernisation with investment in imported machines and equipments. Various companies invested few lakhs to few crores Rs in the modernisation. But many of them at the end of few years found themselves in a very tight situation of rising overheads, accumulated losses, quality and productivity etc.
It will be quite interesting to see why even though some of the companies have bought branded European – Taiwanese machines or non-branded one from China Taiwan and still face the problems [Productivity, Profitability & Quality]. Buying of the machines is the first step in modernisation. The other important parameters are
• Buying right machines as per the balancing of operations.
• Right quality tool for machine.
• Proper maintenance of the tools to keep them sharp all the time.
• Use of jigs to reduce / eliminate the handwork.
• Proper finishing to get high quality product.
Buying right machines as per the balancing of operations
Many times it is seen that machines are purchased in haste and by considering the optional features and cosmetics. Some machines are heavy-duty machines with many options (That may be used only 5%-10%) and accessories are purchased. This not only blocks the budget but also makes the operation very expensive and may call for expert operator.
The machine list selected should be such that most of the operations involved in production are done on machines and there is least manual work involved in production till assembly and finishing. Many times it is seen that that manual work hampers the productivity and quality. The customer is interested in good finished product and not interested in the origin of the machine.
The wooden furniture products available in the market can be categorized in three categories namely High quality, Good quality and Poor quality. All of them require same quantity of raw material, same quantity of labour and same quantity of consumables. Just by selecting correct manufacturing process and taking extra care while processing one can make a jump from Poor quality to High quality product. This can easily add 30% to 40 % of profits. By using high quality raw material and consumables, one can plan for a further jump from Good quality to High quality.
We will see how the right composition of Spindle Molder with correct accessories/auxiliaries helps to get MAXIMUM from the machine and that it reduces the manual work. The most important part of the molder is the FENCE. An accurately designed ADJUSTABLE FENCE [Pic 1, 2, 3] will make drastic increase in the output of the standard spindle molder and also the finish of the product. The ADJUSTABLE FENCE makes it possible to adjust the gap in the fence to allow the cutter block to protrude the cutter tips to required depth in the work piece. We can do the micro adjustment of the depth till we get right profile.
The fence also offer full support to the work piece at both at in-feed and out-feed (before and after processing of work piece) as shown in the picture [Pic 4, 5, 6]. Due to the design of the fence the contact area of the work piece with fence is reduced drastically. In turn this reduces the friction and the force needed to push the work piece while processing.
A magnetic feather board [Pic 7] with the above Fence will improve the finish of molding as it applies uniform pressure from side and top. This makes the process vibration free which in turn guarantee us to flawless molding finish. This will not only reduce sanding work to get smooth finish on the moldings but also offer a High Value Added Product.
Profiling & Shaping on Spindle Molder
Now we will see how to get various shapes on spindle molder with help of proper jigs and the copying device. To get profile molding on various shapes on spindle molder one need to have the copying device on the spindle molder. This is available in two types one with simple copying bearing and other with micro adjustment.
We can see a simple copying bearing with jig in the following picture. We see that normally carpenters make a similar device in plywood and use the same with a copying bearing mounted just bellow the cutter block.
The above picture [Pic 8-9] shows the copying device fixed on spindle molder & the Jig
This type of jigs are sturdy but becomes very risky if not used properly. The operator has to press the jig firmly against the copying bearing firmly and simultaneously push it in forward. To make the working safe one need to have extra long start portion on the jig from where the jig come in contact with the bearing. These types of jigs are most commonly used. It is very difficult to adjust the dimension of the work piece.
Copying jig with Micro adjustment:
[PHOTO COURTESY : AIGNER]