Edge processing has, with a few exceptions, become a task for automated, software-driven machines that are often capable of several processing functions while offering high productivity numbers. Edge banding has become so sophisticated that some leading woodworking machine manufacturers specialize in only edgebanders, making machines unrivalled in capability.
While machines and functions may vary across manufacturers, there are three common considerations when choosing an edge processing machine:
- feed speed
- edge capacity
- number of hours per day required to meet production targets
No matter what else you require of your edgebander, these are the criteria that will allow you to compare apples to apples and select the machine that will best help you meet the needs of your customers.
The variety of edge banding machines represented by Stiles range from simple gluing and edge banding to machines that sand, shape, cut, and apply an assortment of edge treatments using a variety of different adhesives and application methods. There are machines that edge band on hard profiles, machines that soft-form a continuous strip on a contoured edge, and machines that post-form a banded profile. There’s even a machine specifically for contour forming, an all-in-one bander for multiple shapes and sizes.
Edgebanders range from value-focused, stand-alone units that are ideal for small-to-medium size shops, to robust, midgrade machines with a wide variety of options, to ultrafast, high performance machines that deliver optimum quality at very high production speeds.
Glue application is a quickly evolving technology in edge processing, with a variety of adhesives in use and new applications developing. One recent development is an edge bander that uses a laser to melt the glue surface of the edge band for optimum, speedy adhesion with all standard edge types, including PVC, ABS, PP, PMMA, wood veneer and melamine.