Stiles Machinery Inc., in conjunction with REHAU, hosted live demonstrations October 19 20 featuring the Homag laserTec edge processing machine and REHAU LaserEdge™ adhesive-free laser edging technology.
Following Stiles’ October 2009 introduction of the revolutionary laser-welded edging process facilitated by the Homag laserTec machine, the company invited customers to see this technology in action at its corporate facility in Grand Rapids, Mich. This was the first opportunity for manufacturers in North America to see the Homag laserTec machine.
More than 200 individuals attended the event and specialized demonstrations. Attendees observed the Homag laserTec machine apply the patented two-layer REHAU LaserEdge edgebanding material by activating a color-matched polymer layer on the reverse side of the edgeband and welding it to the carrier board.
Stephan Waltman, vice president of sales and marketing for Stiles, explained the benefits of this patented process, “The result is a finished edge with superior bond strength and aesthetics as well as increased heat- and moisture-resistance. Imagine not having to worry about obvious glue lines on your work pieces. Consider the bottom line after eliminating the cost of maintaining and replacing glue pots. It’s all possible with Homag laserTec,” Waltman said.
“With the initial REHAU LaserEdge product introduction in Europe, laser-welded edgebanding technology has generated a tremendous amount of interest among furniture manufacturers who recognize that its adhesive-free process not only provides a higher-quality finish but also significantly reduces production steps,” said Dr. Thomas Troeger, North American Business Team Manager for REHAU’s furniture business unit. “We are looking forward to meeting similar demands in the North American market now that this innovative technology is available here.”
According to Troeger, REHAU has made a commitment to laser-welded edgeband technology in the U.S. and Canadian markets and will support customers with North American production of LaserEdge by mid 2011. Currently LaserEdge, available in PP, ABS and PMMA formulations, is sourced from REHAU production facilities in Germany.
As a direct result of the October 19 and 20 event, combined with a recent technology tour in Germany, Stiles secured the first U.S. order for a Homag laserTec edgebanding machine with a sale to an office furniture manufacturer. “This is an exciting new frontier that we are entering along with this customer,” stated Waltman. “The technology that Homag has unveiled is truly a game changer that leapfrogs current state-of-the-art edgebanding.”
Stiles plans to host another event showcasing this revolutionary technology in the first quarter of 2011.
Read about Veriset Küchen's application of laser edgebanding technology in a related Surface & Panel article.
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