The market for nonwovens demands innovative solutions - and Groz-Beckert welcomes this challenge.
At the ITMA 2007 in Munich, following extensive development work, Groz-Beckert presented the prototype of the Board Master System. Further development of the modular system is currently a priority, and the first models are already being tested in practice.
The Groz-Beckert Board Master System consists of the components NeedleMaster, a semi-automatic needling unit for needleboards, and BoardScoot, a mechanical needleboard wagon for the safe transport of needleboards. Feedback from customers, business partners and employees was carefully analysed and evaluated from the very start, and on this basis Groz-Beckert decided to focus the new NeedleMaster on the process of needling.
The NeedleMaster is available in various versions, i.e. in different stages of technical expansion. In this way, different customer requirements - ranging from a simple workstation to the full version with needle alignment, automatic needle insertion unit and BoardScoot interface - can be successfully met. In the fully deployed version the needles are aligned by machine and manually removed using a hand tool. The operator presses the needles into the needleboard with the aid of a hand tool and then inserts the needleboard into the insertion unit.
The use of exchangeable, gauge-specific components enables almost all the usual gauges to be processed with this module. The prototype of the NeedleMaster is undergoing practical testing at the moment, on the premises of several customers. These test customers are currently very satisfied with the performance of the NeedleMaster in their production, and so far no weak points have been detected. Initial results have confirmed that needling performance has been tripled in comparison to manual needling of the needleboards. The advantage of this module lies not only in reduction of needling duration but also in improvement of needling quality: the number of bent needles is sharply reduced, as are flaws in the angle of the needles in the board. This also means that the quality of the end-product being manufactured is enhanced still further.
Work has also been proceeding rapidly on further development of the needleboard wagon. The result is a new version that goes by the name of BoardScoot and is faster, lighter and even safer. The mechanical drives have been replaced by comfortable electric drives. Board loading has also been successfully improved, and the safety has been further optimised. The prototype of the BoardScoot is currently in the testing phase. Initial feedback from test customers has shown that handling of the BoardScoot is highly satisfactory, and that no weak points have so far been detected.