Xcelerate at Felder KG
Felder KG has been developing, producing and selling machines and accessories for woodworking for over 60 years. What began in 1958 as a workshop located in the founder’s parents’ house has now evolved into the world’s leading mechanical engineering and technology company in the field of wood and composite processing. Through innovation and technology, the family-owned company continues to set new standards in the field of intelligent solutions for woodworking. With its FELDER, FORMAT-4 and Hammer brands, it is able to meet the individual requirements of trade, commerce and industry without compromise.
Felder KG learned about Cellro through a demonstration of the Cellro cell at Steindl, Makino’s representative in Austria. “The demonstration at Steindl convinced us. The simple functionality and flexibility of being able to place the Excelerate on any other machine were critical factors in our decision.”
Xcelerate is used at Felder KG’s company headquarters in Hall in Tyrol in conjunction with a Makino a51nx. Given that there are several Makinos in house, this processing machine was the optimal solution. “We have simple components that we can load very well using the robot. The batch sizes that we handle with the robot vary between 30 and 300 units.”
Another reason for using Xcelerate was the shortage of staff in the region. Through automation, they are aiming at unmanned operation during the night shift. Xcelerate has been in use at Felder KG since mid-April 2018. The machine was put into operation after two days of training. Xcelerate has also gained the employees’ acceptance. “The employees are pleased to have received the new cell, and they can now handle it very well,” said Markus Mailänder.
Felder KG’s biggest challenge is to make automation profitable despite small batch sizes. “According to our calculations, we’re expecting a necessary reduction in labour costs by as early as next year.”
This is how Felder KG’s Markus Mailänder sees the future of automation in the next 10 years: “There’s currently a boom throughout Europe, with a shortage of skilled workers in many sectors, especially mechanical engineering. As a result, automation will continue to be driven forward. Wage costs are also rising sharply. This is a further indication that the automation of production plants will continue apace in the future. I cannot say whether this trend will continue for the next 10 years, but I personally believe that the networking of production areas must continue, especially in the age of industry 4.0. Automation components also play an important role in this chain.”