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My 11yr old bander is due for replacement. Knowing banders to be the most persnickety machines to keep running well and the most easiest to screw up by an operator.
I am looking for opinions on the most reliable, accurate, and easiest to use "brand" of edgebander. Also important is the reputation of the seller for support after the sale with local techs in the North East.
Include comments on the most desirable features of a modern machine, i. e. pre-mill, round-over, glue application types, etc..
Please base the comments on a machine that will run eight hours a day, a fair amount of 3mm pvc, some wood strips and costing under $100k
I would look real hard at the machines that can use "laser" banding. No glue line/mess. There are new ones coming to market that are a lot cheaper than the Homags that started it all. I think most of the new ones are using super heated air in place of lasers. Don't know the pricing yet but am going to IWF. There is at least one banding supplier that can apply the back plastic to most any PVC/ABS here in the states, more will follow.
Larry is correct that the newer technology of bonding a co-extruded edge to substrate through a process of melting is exciting. In the past it was reserved for high volume high dollar manufacturing but this is changing. The methods are laser (expensive), plasma (little less expensive), hot air, and HolzHer's new NIR technology.
We us a Holzher bander & I much prefer the nozzle glue applicator to the glue pot. With the Holzher you don't heat all the glue just the glue you are applying. The more times you heat the glue the less strength it will have. Also the system is much less work to maintain.
I have seen the Laser applied product and it leaves a nice edge but at the price I will stay with the Holzher. I like the way the glue fills in the open pores on the PB core it seems just heating a thin coat of glue on the back of the banding is not going to achieve that filling action.
I've got a glue pot machine & a Holz Her. The two machines can't be directly compared because one is a true production bander the other a small shop type. The argument about reheating the glue doesn't apply to a production environment. The machine uses a relatively small pot and an automatic refilling system. The level in the pot is kept fairly consistent and the machine will run all day w/o needing to add glue.
The HH is an OK small shop machine. Quick heat up for short runs. It takes just as much or more glue mess cleanup than the big machine. It is slow and the melt system struggles to keep up with thicker panels.
Two different approaches for two different markets.
The Brandt Airtech does the air heated fused edge. The edge is very nice both for normal and fused but the cost is not in the range of what the OP wants to pay.
That said edges come off the machine as close to perfect as can be.
We paid significantly more than his budget.
I do have a nice used Homag with return conveyor for sale.
For clarification purposes. HH Glue Jet systems can run granulated, puck style, EVA and PUR in the same system and have no issue feeding at feeds speeds above 25m/min (82fpm+) applying up to 30mm (1.18") solid wood or other edges 2 inches tall or smaller. It is important to note that the HolzHer Glu Jet is the only standard system that is sealed and can handle PUR glue. All other pot style machines need an expensive PUR application unit to do this. We see this as an advantage to potential buyers for reasons noted in my earlier post. Additionally HolzHer produces a full line of over 20 standard edgebander configurations and many optional versions. We have heavy duty world class production machines also and would be happy to speak with anyone about the comparison to competitive machines mentioned above.
The most reliable (industrial) edgebanders are built by Homag and IMA. There are a few Biesse running in industrial environments but what I hear they are not really there yet when it comes to multishift high volume operations.
We currently have three Homag lines in production, the newest was installed five years ago and is currently running in five shift operation. More than 12M pieces has been produced without any major breakdowns (we have changed some bearings in a few trimmers but that is all I think). We also have an old second hand IMA running around the clock, which will be replaced by a new IMA line later this year.
Homag is really good and affordable for standard machines, if you need something more special IMA is more creative and easy to work with but with a higher pricetag.