27. February 2012   1:00 am
Andy Stecher

Andy Stecher
Elgin, IL

Dear Reader,
 
One of the most impressive aspect about atmospheric plasma technology is the breadth of the available applications. From Whirlpool to Boeing, from Mercedes to Siemens, the customers, markets and product applications are really quite enthralling. One of the latest technological moves that helps “pushing the envelope” in this particular industry is the seamless edge or zero bondline for furniture makers. For years furniture manufacturers have struggled finding a good, clean and efficient way to attach the edgeband to veneer furniture. Of course, in a perfect world, a final work piece of veneer based furniture such as table tops, shelf pieces or wall elements for wall units or armoirs, could rival the look of all wood furniture with the distinct advantage of even better accomodating the customers’ wishes if the wood-only look does not suffice.
The holy grail in creating top quality furniture panels is producing secure edges with seamless edges or, as some people call it, zero bondlines. In any case, after adhering the polymer based edgeband, the edge seam should not be visible. Furniture edgebands are usually are joined in edgebanding machines after a hot melt adhesive was applied to the panel. Hot melt is a messy affair. It works but clean up is no fun. Also every so often, the glue has to be replaced as sitting in the glue pot all day, it tends to get crusty and becomes less effective and less efficient.
After conclusion of this process customers will often experience glue joint darkening. Often if the edgeband is not tightly adhered to the board, moisture can penetrate and cause the particle board under the veneer to bubble up. For higher quality furniture makers this is an unacceptable product result.
 
Newer processes rely on laser technology, but integrating that can pose safety-related complications, require elaborate equipment engineering, require speciality trained staff members, tends to be very costly.  Plasmatreat instead has developed an innovative atmospheric plasma based  solution to create a seamlesss and tight sealing edge. This plasma based edge works without applying an extra adhesive in the machine. A previously applied functional polymer layer replaces the former hot melt glue. All of a sudden the glue pot is gone, the messiness has disappeared, the material costs for glue and clean-up costs are vanished and the furniture manufacturer and their customers can admire a seamless edgeband product with strong adhesion to the board.
  • The resulting joint is no longer visible with the naked eye;
  • No glue joint so it is permanently colorfast and age resistant; and
  • Highly resistant to peeling, with great thermal stability
After implementing several dozen such applications in Europe, Plasmatreat is now in  partnership with a industry leading edgeband supplier in the United States to offer this leading edge technology (no pun intended) right here in North America. 
 
Consider this cool aspect: Simple and cost-effective integration, including into existing equipment!  In contrast to laser technology, Openair Plasma can be added to existing equipment very easily and without major expense, including to existing edge gluing systems. Plasma technology is suitable for equipping or retrofitting all categories of machinery – from the manual workstation, through simple through-feed machines, to high-speed equipment and two-dimensional machining centers. The result:
  • Less expensive edge band material since no expensive laser inhibitors are required;
  • Lower investment expenses, in particular when retrofitting existing systems;
  • Lower operating costs; and
  • Simple maintenance without expensive technical staff.

Interested? Questions? Shoot me a line, would love to tell you more about it.

Till next time

Andy

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