Usually, brushing machines are adjusted very roughly to material thickness. Frank Leibold, production director of parquet fabricator Trumpf couldn’t live with that kind of tolerance. He searched for a texturing solution that would provide the precision of a widebelt sander in order to meet the parquet industry’s rising needs for greater accuracy …
With his stylish, high quality floors, Trumpf Fertigparkett from Rottenburg am Neckar (Germany) made a name for himself: “As I started my career as a master joiner at this company 20 years ago, thickness tolerances of two tenths were state of the art”, recounts production manager Frank Leibold, “today we’re talking two hundredths”.
Supreme quality of the end product isn’t everything though, he says: “The different types of surface finishes are also very important, and those depend vastly on contemporary taste.” Leibold has an evident flair for staining and lacquering and thus spends a considerable amount of time finding solutions for optimising the current popularity of structured surfaces.
The company located in southern Germany has 40 years of experience in manufacturing finished parquets. The major share of the 200’000 m² yearly production volume comes from double layer parquet for floorers and exclusive triple layer parquet from oak, beech and nutwood. The parquet industry has changed a lot, says Leibold: “Previously, finished parquet was sealed, today about 50% of our production output is oiled.” It’s a matter of honour that someone like Leibold has fine floors at his own house: “When I’m at home, I quite often sit on the floor, because it just feels and looks so good”, he smiles.
The production expenses required for a high quality parquet is remarkable. The clearly organised facilities show several production lines that are arranged parallel to each other: “We work job-oriented, that’s why our production needs to offer a lot of flexibility” he says and explains that they have made a lot of investments in the past years. Nevertheless we need good employees: “Automation processes are often too inflexible and rigid compared to our workers.”
Production of decorative structured surfaces with constant quality is, despite using modern machinery, still a very difficult task, he tells us: “After every material change, we had to readjust the machine to the new material thickness. When brushing, we really missed the accuracy that we were so used to from all the other production steps. In order to compensate for wear on the brushes or material thickness, the standard brushing machines can only be adjusted very approximately with a lot of effort involved.” That’s why Trumpf was constantly on the search for a practical solution and as a result ended up contacting Swiss precision sanding specialist Kündig.
What followed leaves Leibold impressed to this day: “Kündig was the only company in Europe that could help us by brushing test samples for us.” Aside from this, what really captivated him was the technical know-how, especially from Gerald Krebs: “Krebs was just fantastic and he’s unbelievably competent”, Leibold praises. He precisely tuned the Kündig Technic to Trumpfs requirements. The thickness adjustment can be performed comfortably and very accurately at the touch of a button, just like on a widebelt sander. “That really proved to be very practical”, says Leibold, “finally the surface quality is absolutely constant.” Compared to other texturing machines, the Kündig Technic combines high drive performance with great working width: “This means, we can use the whole width of the machine and process up to four lanes simultaneously.” Three brush units allow for better finishing results in subsequent production steps. “A synchronously rotating steel brush structures the surface and the two following counter rotating nylon brushes break down the protruding fibres. This makes for surfaces that are consolidated much better which results in optimised oil-consumption when finishing. The fine surface quality is just great.”
By the way, the Kündig Technic line doesn’t just cover brushing machines, but also a lot of modular, highly customizable solutions for industrial requirements. The ability to process wood, plastics, glass and many other materials with innovative sanding techniques like CNC and oblique sanding thus can be realised very cost efficiently.
The decision for a bespoke Kündig Technic was right, says Leibold: “The machine was perfectly preconfigured straight from the factory. We didn’t have to adjust anything, it just worked from the very first floorboard.”