Modern furniture is increasingly made by man-made materials. Victory Woodworks, a company based in Sparks, Nevada, is known nationally for its ability to use these materials to manufacture complex and high quality products. The majority of these materials come in the form of 4 foot by 8 foot panels 3/4 of an inch thick. When the different pieces of furniture are assembled they leave a profile view, of all the layers, of material used to make the furniture. This edge needs to be covered to finish the furniture and to make it look like one nice clean and complete piece. After the parts are cut from these panels and put together the cut edges need to be covered with a banding called edge-banding.
The edge-banding, which come in 500 foot reels, needs to match the color and look of the panel so it undergoes a finishing process with paint or lacquer. This finishing process is making the edge banding ready to complete the furniture and make it ready for sale. Currently, Victory Woodworks rolls these 500 foot rolls onto large construction tubes by hand to allow the edge-banding to be finished. Unrolling the edge banding by hand takes at least one skilled wood worker away from making furniture in order to prep the edge banding, for the staining and drying. Once dry they roll the edge-banding back up by hand to be used later.
Team JKATZ will design a machine to automate the process of rolling the edge-banding onto the construction tubes and, once dry, back off the tubes into a usable roll. This will allow the edge- banding to be unspooled and re-spooled without the need to take a skilled wood worker away from other more important tasks.
Proof of Concept
In order to find the allowable torque for the motor, the ultimate strength of the edge banding must be determined. There is a variety of types of wood that edge banding is made from, and each type has varying grain patterns that create strong and weak points. The Proof of concept for Team JKATZ is: to conduct a tensile test of multiple samples of edge banding to find a good approximation of the ultimate strength of the edge banding material.
Six different types of edge banding were cut into two inch pieces. And the width and thickness of each material was measured. This information will be used to calculate the cross-sectional area, which will be necessary to calculate the Young’s Modulus for each edge banding material. An Instron machine was used to pull the samples to their respective breaking points, see picture below. Team JKATZ tested 5 pieces of each type of edge banding. The data from this test has been collected, and is awaiting analysis.
The EBS Machine will be considered successful if it can unspool the edge banding faster than it is manually unspooled. The final design is set to do just that. The two-motor design will enable the EBS Machine to unspool a 500-foot section of edge banding in under 10 minutes. This will allow the two technicians to work on other projects, increasing overall efficiency. To ensure that the EBS Machine is simple to operate, the option for having different speeds for different edge banding types has been removed. The maximum torque applied to the edge banding, via the motors, has been calculated from the lowest values obtained from the Proof of Concept testing. This means that the EBS Machine has one speed, and accommodates all types of edge banding.
The EBS Machine has two motors. One spins the large central construction tube, which is the driving force for the unspooling process. This motor also turns a threaded shaft that raises and lowers the edge banding platform. The second motor spins a portion of the edge banding platform. This second motor turns the edge banding wrapping it on itself. This second motor is only used for re-spooling the edge banding. The large construction tube is removable so that while one type of edge banding is being finished, another can be unspooled.
The expected cost of the EBS Machine has increased from the initial estimates. However, the prototype is still expected to be under $1000. The final design is open and accessible to enable ease of access for maintenance and adjustments.
Parts and tools used to make the pulleys
Parts used to make the EBS machine run including the engine, V-belt to run gears, gears, bearings to hold the drive shaft, wheel to turn the turntable, and vertical track to move the edge banding platform.
Major structural parts and construction tube.
1in x 1in 20 ft steel hollow beams were cut into various lengths and welded together to create the frame. Wood is cut into the shape of the frames base and top to provide footing for the EBS machines mechanisms. A base for the construction tube is made of two parts; a wooden square base with rounded edges where the engine attaches and a wooden circular holder. The circular holder is 37’’ with a groove cut to hold the construction tube in place during operation. Slide tracks are attached between the base and the frame to allow for easy access to the construction tube. A vertical drive shaft was attached using bearings to allow for ease of attachment. Various gears are made by attaching two ¼ inch pieces of wood to a ½ piece of wood which were cut circularly using a CNC lathe in various sizes. The ¼ pieces are stapled on opposite sides of the ½ pieces. Various gear diameter sizes for the ¼ pieces: 7.41’’, 8.755’’, 2.255’’, 2.25’’, 1.75’’, 10.75’’ with all having 1’’ smaller diameter for the corresponding ½ pieces. Three V-belts are used between the gears to operate the EBS machine.
Testing metal frame after welding it together.
Gluing the wooden pulley pieces together to keep them connected.
Finishing the pulley pieces with a nailgun.
Connecting the metal frame with the wood platform.
Closed up on the connection of the frame and platform.
Closed up on the connection of the frame and platform.
Rollers mounted for edgebanding tray movement.
Pulley installed in place under the platform to run the EBS machine.
Tracks mounted to remove construction tube.
Inside the construction tube and showing the turn table.
Larger gears stacked prior to application.
V-belt being attached to the gears turning the drive shaft.
Construction tube base being curved to allow for the drive wheel to reach the turntable.
Groove being cut into the turntable to allow for the tube to sit in the turntable while in operation.
EBS machine nearing completion, gears still need to be attached at this point.
EBS machine frame resting on its side to allow for ease of access when attaching the bottom gears.
Testing and Results
Testing and Results
The EBS machine underwent two separate tests. The first test was to determine whether all the mechanical parts functioned together. The EBS machine has four pulleys with two separate belts, and a long threaded shaft. All of these parts need to work together as expected or the machine will not function. To perform this test the machine was assembled, and turned on without edge banding. Video 1 shows the initial testing.
The EBS machine passed this initial test with no problems. The second portion of testing was to determine if the EBS machine can unspool the edge banding faster than the current manual method. The current manual method takes two technicians 15 minutes. Team JKATZ tested the EBS machine and it did the same job in just over three and a half minutes. This success is beyond the expectations of the project sponsor and Team JKATZ. Video 2 shows the second portion of testing.
The EBS machine can be used by a single operator from start to finish in five minutes. This will save Victory Woodworks time and money. Team JKATZ was excited to show the completed EBS machine to the technicians at Victory Woodworks. One technician who was working in the workshop mentioned that it looked “cool and easy.”
|Testing Portion||Description of Test||Results||Pass/Fail|
|Phase I||Do assembled parts work together?||Yes, assembled parts work together.||Pass|
|Phase II||Can EBS machine unspool 500 ft of edge banding faster than 15 minutes?||Yes, EBS machine unspools 500 ft of edge banding in less than four minutes||Pass|
Additional notes on Testing
In subsequent testing the EBS machine began to lag in performance. The motor was replaced with a more powerful motor. The more powerful motor was too strong for the custom built pulleys, and the pulleys were replaced. A new pulley configuration was designed, and new pulleys in standard sizes were acquired. This new configuration was subjected to both phases of the testing procedure with similar results. In preparation for UNR’s Innovation Day, the EBS machine was transported on it’s side. This resulted in the EBS machine underperforming, however it is expected that when the EBS is positioned in the workshop it can be fine tuned back to it’s optimal performance.
Meet the Team
Zach Monette is a senior in the Mechanical Engineering department. He is originally from Orange County California. He and his wife moved to Reno to attend the University. After graduating Zac plans to continue at UNR to study Biomedical Engineering and work in prosthetics.
Trevor Gordon is a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno getting his degree in Mechanical engineering. He is a Reno local and after graduation would like to work in the engineering field, and eventually raise a family, in his home town.
Kelli is a junior at the University of Nevada, Reno. She will be graduating in fall of 2017 with an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering. She has lived in Reno since birth and seeks to work in an engineering field.
Jonathan Adams is a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno, studying for his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is working part time at the machine shop Advanced Precision, while also attending school. This year he is undertaking several design projects and is a hard, reliable worker.
Andrew McCurdy will be graduating in the Spring of 2017 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Minor in Business Administration. Born in Logan, Utah but raised in Sparks, Nevada, he currently works in the Engineering Department at Victory Woodworks, a local millwork and casework company. His pride and joy are his wife, Elizabeth and two small children, Isabella and Michael. After graduation he looks forward to establishing himself as a critical member of an organization whose goals and passion are to improve the lives of the people they serve by applying technology to streamline their tasks.
Team JKATZ would like to thank:
- Victory Woodworks for sponsoring Team JKATZ, and allowing the EBS machine to be constructed at their workshop
- Team mentor Tony Berendsen for answering our questions and helping us realize our vision
- ME 451/452 Teaching staff and TA’s for the structure and help they provided along the way