May 6, 2016
The residential construction sector is moving to greater use of off-site prefabrication due to speed of assembly, lower costs, improved productivity, and range of benefits from reductions in the level of activity on-site.
Recent cost comparisons by Quantity Surveyors provided estimates of mid-rise apartment projects utilising different construction methods, and have verified that timber buildings can be lower cost than traditional concrete construction.
A number of residential developers and builders are currently proceeding with prefabricated timber systems utilising closed panel floors and walls in both timber framing and mass timber systems such as CLT.
To achieve the supply volumes involved in large projects requires highly automated prefabrication plants for manufacturing, and international equipment suppliers are busy installing plants in Australia to meet the needs emerging for timber and wood buildings.
An outstanding machine presently being commissioned in Sydney is a ROBOT-Drive, the first in Australia and the most recent addition to the Hundegger equipment range, with a completely new concept for one unit to perform all work steps in timber processing.
The key operating element is robotics, with a robot arm equipped with a tool changer that moves around the part to allow processing on all sides.
The magazine of the tool changer can hold 16 different tools to change over saw blades, drill bits, end mills, plate cutters, dovetail mills, cylindrical mills and markers for labelling parts, all in just seconds.
Tools are selected and managed in a production program depending on the type of processing to be performed, with the machine automatically selecting the appropriate tool from the magazine, and applying the characteristic data of the tools to automatically set the optimal speed of operation.
The machine is designed to allow approach to timber components without restriction, from all 6 sides and process at all possible angles and inclinations, even with extremely large timber cross-sections with absolute accuracy and precision.
Hundegger is the Principal Sponsor of Frame Australia 2016 and will be explaining the ROBOT-Drive and other automated systems in the exhibition display area, along with a presentation by Managing Director Charlie Hutchings in the sessions program.