1997 Randek automated wall panel line, rebuilt in 2006 and 2010 (frequency drives & wiring). The automated production line is CAD driven and assembles both interior and exterior walls in an automatic fashion which significantly reduces strain on the operators. Multiple walls can be processed at each station for increased efficiency. 3-5 workers can operate the entire line depending on the required speed. Workers operate the machine at the various stations with the use of computer touchscreens. Wall heights can range from as short as 7.5 ft and up to 11 ft. The length of walls can vary from 2.5 ft and up to 16 ft. 2×4 and 2×6 walls can be built on this production line. Walls that are designed are exported and processed automatically for efficient stacking by wall height. Requires .CDT file export (Known support by Mitek). Windows XP (upgradable to Win 10 with assistance from GE Automation). Compatible with Cimplicity automation software. Overall length of the system can be shortened by as much as 50′ by removing some tables.
This production line includes the following stations:
- Standard Rough Opening table with motorized chain conveyor
- Framing Station with automatic stud feeder
- Sheathing Transfer Station
- Sheathing Application Station
- Staple Bridge Station
- Routing Bridge Station
- Plate Saw Station
- Stacking Station
Multiple walls are grouped together with a post processor program called Optifab. This process converts single walls into multiple walls to form a layer up to 16 ft in length, thus increasing efficiency. The operator can view the wall to be produced on the touch screen (HMI) along with all critical studs and components. The top and bottom plate is set in place by the operator. At a push of a button, studs are automatically transferred to the Framing Station and precisely positioned and nailed to create the wall assembly. The wall is extruded through the framing station as studs and components are applied until the wall is complete. 2 nails are automatically fired for each stud on both bottom and top plates. Any additional nails will need to be fired by hand and can be done at any station on the production line. Wall height changes are simply made by the operator when the station is clear with the use of push buttons which operate the motorized height adjustment. The cycle time can range from 1-6 minutes per wall depending on wall complexity and total number of components. Angled, raked or balloon walls cannot be processed through this machine.
For most interior walls without sheathing, the wall will proceed through the production line until it is cut and stacked.
Various sheathing saws (sold separately) can be utilized to precut the sheathing (such as OSB) into 16” and 32” bundles. Full 48” sheets can be set in place by the machine. The sheathing material from the precut bundles or full bundles are lifted automatically with vacuum grippers and transferred to the production line. When the framed wall is ready to receive the sheathing, it is automatically set on the framed assembly with vacuum grippers. For the sheathing application, it is advised to manually tack the corners of the sheathing to ensure best alignment during the automatic stapling process. Staple guns are configured for 1” crown 16-gauge staples.
Once the sheathing has been set in place and tacked, the wall will proceed to the Staple Bridge station. The 8 Bea Staple Guns mounted on the bridge are industrial machines capable of high duty cycles and high speed. Spare guns are available for quick changeover. The entire wall including above and below window/door openings will be stapled. The pattern is 3” around the perimeter, openings and seams and 6” everywhere else. The fasteners are 1” crown staples, 16-gauge. The staples in use had 1-3/4” leg. The staple process can be stopped and started anytime with a push button. The entire wall will be stapled automatically. The cycle time is typically under 2 minutes per wall.
After the wall is stapled, the door/window openings and excess sheathing is routed automatically with a routing bridge. Once completed, the wall is cut into individual walls at the saw station. Finally, the wall is stacked and the stack bundle can be moved outside ready to ship.
Maintenance & Support
Remote support (upon request) and stock some parts available from OEM at additional charge. Discontinued parts can be upgraded. Technical maintenance staff is highly advised to support this automated machinery. IT support will be required to configure the server and update computers if necessary. Complete system is in working order. Proper disassembly and installation by OEM is advised. 480 volt, 3 phase, electrical required (2-20A, 5-30A & 1-40A circuits).