Softforming machines are edgebanders, which apply strip-shaped coating material to the profiled edges of plate-shaped workpieces. Softforming machines differ in the following constructive features from edgebanding machines for straight edges.
The softforming process is used where the edges of plate-shaped materials are particularly profiled for reasons of aesthetics or function (e.g. folded edges on doors) and are to be coated with a coating material.
Alternatives to the softforming process
Milling unit after or instead of the premilling unit for chamfering the softforming profile
Glue application unit
Glue application units for straight edges apply the glue to the workpiece edge. This is not possible for profiled edges, the glue is applied to the surface of the edgeband. Often, Softforming glue application units can apply the glue to both the workpiece edge and the edge material to be glued on, e.g. the glue system 'ultra-granupress Duo' from the manufacturer HOLZ-HER. Since, during Softforming, an entire profile is covered, the edge material for Softforming edges is much higher than the workpiece thickness. Consequently, the glue rollers and glue nozzles heads are higher than those for edgebanding machines for straight edges.
Both glue nozzles and glue rollers are used.
Some manufacturers offer pre-glued edge material for Softforming machines, e.g. the T-SF 161 of Turanlar. One argument for using pre-glued edge material is the reduced risk of contamination of the plate surface with glue. Instead of the glue application unit, a heating fan is installed to activate the hot melt glue on the edge material.
The Pressure zone is the ultimate aggregate in the gluing process. The more form-fit the pressing of the edge material to the workpiece profile is done, the more stable is the connection. The form-fitting is reached by means of pressure rolls, which exactly reproduce the edge profile. They are arranged to circle the entire workpiece edge in one pass, starting from the later workpiece top to the workpiece bottom. In order to be able to change from one Softforming profile to another or from the Softforming profile quickly to a straight edge, several pressure ways are summarized in a revolver changer. By turning the revolver, the desired profile shape is brought to its position, see also changeable softforming-profiles.
The Softforming method can also be used on compact edgebanding machines if they can apply the glue to the edge material. They usually work with profiled pressure rollers. I.e. when switching to another profile, the pressure rollers also have to be changed.
As the glue joint at Softforming workpieces is on the panel surface, many manufacturers equip their Softforming flat scraper units with vertical scanning units in the form of tracing rollers. Furthermore, the position of the glue joint also varies, depending on the profile. The positions of the glue joint can also be different from top to bottom. Therefore, flat scraper units are equipped with similarly extensive adjustment options as profile scraper units.
Other helpful aggregates for Softforming
Some Softforming profiles only affect the top edge. The lower edge is similar to a simple straight edge. In order to prevent supernatant edge material, coated with hot-melt glue, from bonding with this edge, the plate surface can be sprayed with a release agent directly on the edge, whereby the adherence of the edge material is prevented.
Scoring and fine milling unit
To achieve a smooth transition from the glued edge material to the surface material of the panel, Softforming machines can be equipped with this aggregate. Using scorers, the surface material of the panel is cut and, using a fine milling aggregate, the panel is flush milled to exactly the thickness of the edge material.