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Title:
A PANEL PRODUCT AND AN APPARATUS FOR MANUFACTURING THE SAME
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/193156
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to an apparatus (500) for manufacturing a panel product (100, 200, 300). The apparatus (500) comprises more than one machining means (501), configured to make grooves (105, 205) in the direction transverse to the longitudinal direction of the use surface (103, 203) of the panel product (100). The invention also relates to a panel product (100, 200, 300) made by the apparatus (500).

Inventors:
IMMONEN, Markku (Rinnetie 4, Lappeenranta, 53650, FI)
Application Number:
FI2018/050207
Publication Date:
October 25, 2018
Filing Date:
March 20, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
TILEWOODS OY (Rinnetie 4, Lappeenranta, 53650, FI)
International Classes:
B27C5/00; B23C3/00; B27F1/02; B27G5/00; B27M3/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2016193541A12016-12-08
Foreign References:
US3538968A1970-11-10
US4243081A1981-01-06
US0708074A1902-09-02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BERGGREN OY (Visiokatu 1, Tampere, 33720, FI)
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Claims:
Claims:

An apparatus (500) for manufacturing a panel product (100), characterized in that the apparatus (500) comprises more than one machine tool (501 ), the machine tools (501 ) being configured to simultaneously provide the use surface of the panel product with grooves (105) transverse to the longitudinal direction.

The apparatus according to claim 1 , characterized in that the apparatus further comprises conveyors (503, 504) for conveying the panel product (100) to be subjected to more than one machining means (501 ).

The apparatus according to claim 2, characterized in that the conveyors are formed of scraper chains (504) or guide bars (503), or combinations of these.

The apparatus according to claim 1 or 2 or 3, characterized in that the apparatus comprises means for making a groove (206) at one end of the panel product (200) and for making a tongue (207) at the other end of the panel product (200).

The apparatus according to any of the claims 1 to 3, characterized in that the apparatus further comprises means for aligning the panel product against an end stop.

The apparatus according to any of the claims 1 to 5, characterized in that the apparatus is configured to machine a panel product made of a wood material, MDF material, vinyl, or composite.

7. A panel product made by an apparatus according to any of the claims 1 to 6.

Description:
A PANEL PRODUCT AND AN APPARATUS FOR MANUFACTURING THE SAME

Field of the invention

The invention relates to a panel product and an apparatus for manufacturing the same.

Background of the invention

Panel boards can be made, for example, by planing sawn timber to make the surface of the timber smooth. In connection with the planing, the panel board may be provided with a tongue and a groove, for connecting the board to another board upon installation. Typically, the tongue and the groove are made by planing a longitudinal groove on one side of the panel board, and a longitudinal tongue on the opposite side of the panel board. In addition to wooden panels, panel products made of other materials are also found on the market. These panel products may also have longitudinal tongues and grooves for fastening to an adjacent panel product upon installation.

Brief summary of the invention

It is an aim of the present invention to provide a panel product and an apparatus for its manufacture. The panel product according to the invention is char- acterized in that the panel product comprises a front face and a rear face, as well as sides between these, and that the front face of the panel product comprises more than one groove transverse to the longitudinal direction of the panel product. In an embodiment, the panel product further comprises a planed tongue or groove on each side between the front face and the rear face.

In an embodiment, the panel product further comprises an end tongue or an end groove at each end, one of them being a tongue longer than the groove to which it is attached. In an embodiment, the panel product is made of a wood material, MDF material, vinyl, or composite.

The apparatus for making a panel product according to the invention is char- acterized in that the apparatus comprises more than one machine tool, the machine tools being configured to simultaneously make the grooves transverse to the longitudinal direction of the panel product.

In an embodiment, the apparatus further comprises conveyors for conveying the panel product to be subjected to more than one machine tool.

In an embodiment, the conveyors are formed of scraper chains or guide bars, or a combination of these. In an embodiment, the apparatus comprises means for making an end groove at one end of the panel product, and for making an end tongue at the other end of the panel product.

In an embodiment, the apparatus further comprises means for aligning the panel product against an end stop.

In an embodiment, the apparatus is configured to machine a panel product made of a wood material, MDF material, vinyl, or composite. Description of the drawings

In the following, the invention will be described in more detail with reference to the appended drawings, in which Fig. 1 shows an embodiment of a panel product according to the invention;

Fig. 2 shows another embodiment of a panel product according to the invention; Fig. 3 shows a layout of panel products according to an embodiment of the invention;

Fig. 4 shows the layout of panel products according to another embodiment of the invention;

Fig. 5 shows an apparatus according to an embodiment for manufacturing a panel product; and Fig. 6 shows the principle of operation of the apparatus according to an embodiment.

Detailed description of the invention Figure 1 shows an embodiment of a panel product 100 according to the invention. The panel product 100 may be planed, fine sawn, or rough surfaced timber. The panel product may comprise a tongue and a groove planed in the longitudinal direction (not shown in the figure), on opposite sides 101 , 102 of the panel product. The panel product 100 may also be planed timber having no tongue or groove, or having tongues or grooves different from the example above. The panel product 100 may also be made of a material different from wood material. Examples of other materials include MDF material (Medium Density Fibreboard), vinyl, or a composite. Panel products made of a material different from wood may also comprise a tongue and a groove on opposite sides 101 , 102.

As shown in Fig. 1 , the panel product 100 comprises grooves 105 cut in a direction transverse to the longitudinal direction of the panel product. The grooves 105 may be cut over the length of the whole panel so that more grooves than one are machined over the length of one panel. The grooves 105 may be cut at regular or irregular intervals. What is essential, however, is that a pattern of more than one groove 105 is provided on the front face 103 of the panel product 100.

The depth of the groove 105 may vary according to the use, for example between 1 and 10 mm. If the panel product is a floor board, the depth of the groove may be even lower than that. Furthermore, some panel products are provided with a so-called cracking groove on the rear face of the panel product. This cracking groove has to be taken into account when determining the depth for the transverse grooves, to leave a sufficient thickness of wood material between the cracking groove and the transverse groove. The width of the groove may also vary according to the use, and according to the desired visual appearance. One example of the groove width is 10 to 30 mm, but it is obvious that the groove may be wider or narrower than that. Figure 2 shows a panel product 200 according to another embodiment. This panel product 200 comprises grooves 205 cut in the transverse direction on the use surface 203, as shown in Fig. 1 . Deviating from Fig. 1 , the panel product 200 of Fig. 2 further comprises an end groove 206 and an end tongue 207. By means of the end groove 206 and the end tongue 207, the panel product 200 can be installed in another panel product so that the tongue 207, longer than the groove of the panel product 200, installed in the other panel product, remains visible between the panel products, whereby the visible part of the tongue 207 resembles the transverse cut grooves 205. As a result, the transitions (i.e. joints) between the panel products remain invisible, which further enables the use of panel products of different lengths at the installation site. This will be discussed further in connection with Fig. 4.

Figure 3 shows a plurality of panel products 200 according to an embodiment of the invention, comprising more than one transverse cut groove 205 and installed in an object to be provided with a paneling. As shown in Fig. 2, the transverse grooves 205 cut in the panel products 200 form an impression of a brick layout when the panel products are installed in an object.

Figure 4 shows another example of panel products 300 installed in an object. As shown in Fig. 3, these panel products 300 also comprise more than one transverse cut groove 305. In addition to the transverse cut groove 305, the panel products 300 are provided with a tongue 307 and a groove planed in the longitudinal direction. The tongue 307 is machined to be partly inserted in the groove of an adjacent panel product. In addition to the tongues and grooves in the longitudinal direction, the panel product 300 also comprises an end tongue and an end groove, as shown in Fig. 2. A tongue 302 is provided at one end of the panel product, and a groove is provided at the other end (not shown in Fig. 4). The end tongues and grooves make it possible to install panel products of different lengths in the same object without affecting the visual appearance, because the joints remain hidden. This is a significant advantage to solutions of prior art. Thanks to the application of panel products (such as boards) provided with end tongues and grooves and equipped with transverse grooves, the production is not limited to using/storing/delivering panel products of a single size only, but a delivery may comprise panel products of several different sizes, because the joint will not be discernible after the installation of the panel product.

Figure 4 shows that the tongues and grooves in both the longitudinal direction and the transverse direction further enhance the impression of a brick layout after the installation of the panel products. If no tongues and grooves are pro- vided at the ends, the ends of the adjacent panel products will abut, whereby the impression of a brick layout is lost.

The transverse cutting shown in Figs. 1 to 4 may be implemented manually. For enabling mass production, however, it is obviously preferable to make the transverse cuts by an apparatus, such as a machine tool, which is also an object of the present invention. The function of the apparatus is to provide the panel product with more than one transverse groove in one run.

Figure 5 shows an example of the apparatus, i.e. a machine tool for machining a panel product. The machine tool according to the embodiment shown in Fig. 5 comprises more than one cutter 501 , several dancer rolls 502, stationary guide bars 503, and scraper conveyors 504. According to this embodiment, the machine tool comprises 17 cutters 501 arranged over the whole length of the panel product, for example 5400 mm. As mentioned, the cutters 501 may be placed at regular intervals of, for example, 300 mm, whereby the grooves are formed at regular intervals in the panel product. In the machine tool, the cutters 501 may be placed below or above the panel product to be machined.

The functionality of the cutters 501 may be adjusted so that the cutters 501 can be freely be set on and off. For example, it is possible to apply only every second/third/fourth cutter, whereby the cutters in between are not in use. In this way, it is possible to vary the spacing between the transverse grooves. In some cases, the cutters placed in the operating position may be selected at random and asymmetrically. In an embodiment of the machine tool, the cutters may be completely movable, whereby the machine tool may be more and more easily customized to meet various needs. Movable cutters may be used, for example, when the cutters are placed in the upper part of the machine tool, above the piece to be machined.

It is obvious that the example of Fig. 5 is one possible embodiment, and it is thus understood that the cutters, conveyors, guide bars, and scraper conveyors may be placed in a way different from Fig. 5, and that the number of these machine elements may differ from that shown. Furthermore, in another embodiment, these elements of the apparatus may be replaced by one or more other elements which provide a corresponding or almost corresponding or more efficient functionality in the machine tool.

Figure 6 shows one example of the operating principle of the machine tool. Figure 6 shows a feed plate 530, a dancer roll assembly 540 comprising more than one dancer roll 502. The number of dancer rolls 502 may be equal to, or clearly smaller than, the number or cutters 501 in the apparatus. A larger number of dancer rolls makes it possible for a piece to move smoothly within the machine tool. Moreover, the figure shows a scraper conveyor 520 and a cutter unit 510 comprising more than one cutter 501. In this example, the feed table 530 is provided with a first detecting eye 550, and the dancer roll assembly 540 is provided with a second detecting eye 560.

The first detecting eye 500 detects a panel board piece on the feed table 530, whereby the feed belts rotate and feed the piece to the dancer roll assembly 540. The second detecting eye 560 in the dancer roll assembly 540 detects the panel product piece, whereby the dancer rolls 502 rise and push the panel product piece towards the end stop of the apparatus (not shown in the figure). The end stop is used as an initial stop, against which the end of each piece to be machined is placed, so that the transverse cutting can be implemented at the same point in each piece to be machined. After a pre-set time, the scraper conveyors 520 push the panel product piece placed on the guide bars through the cutters 501 to a receiving table. Alternatively, the pieces may be guided to a stacker carriage or another receiving device downstream of the cutters 501 , or the piece may be guided to a suitable cage or receiving carriage, or the like. A press may be provided above each cutter to hold the panel product piece against the guide bars during the cutting.

The machine tool may be a separate apparatus, or it may be connected to, for example, a planing or painting line. The size and the number of the feed table, the dancer rolls, the scraper conveyors, and the guide bars are dimensioned according to the cutters.

Figures 5 and 6 are intended to show the operating principle and the most important functional elements of a machine tool. It is obvious that all the technical details are not shown, because they are obvious for a person skilled in the art. For example, the apparatus comprises one or more motors for power- ing the guide bars, the dancer rollers, the cutters, etc. Furthermore, the apparatus may comprise a control unit for controlling said functional elements.

A panel product and a machine tool for manufacturing the same have been described above. As mentioned, the panel product may be made of a wood material, MDF material (Medium Density Fibreboard), vinyl, or composite. In addition to the impression of a brick layout described above, the panel product may be machined to give a tile-like or corresponding impression when installed. The above-mentioned machine tool may make a transverse cutting as described, but in some cases an end tongue or an end groove as well. Alternatively, the end tongue or end groove may be made before or after the transverse cutting. In an embodiment, an end tongue is machined to be slightly longer than an end groove. Thus, the joints of the installed panel pieces resemble the cut transverse grooves, whereby the symmetry provided by the machining is maintained.

A panel product cut in the above described way has significant technical advantages to panel products of prior art. As can be seen, the transverse cutting makes the panel product lighter in weight. This may provide a significant advantage, for example when the material of the panel product is wood, because the transverse cutting may reduce warping of the wood in the radial and/or tangential direction, and thereby also moisture movement. Thanks to the reduction in moisture movement, coating agents may also remain better on the use surface of the panel product.

The panel products of the invention may be used, among other things, in inte- rior design, sauna cladding, weather stripping, floor decking, as well as, for example, in terraces. In addition to having significant technical advantages, the panel product with transverse cuts also enables a visual advantage. As shown in Fig. 3, the panel boards with transverse cuts can be placed so that the cut grooves of adjacent panel boards are not aligned, whereby the layout resembles a brick layout. Moreover, the cut grooves create an impression of a mortar bed between bricks.

An apparatus for manufacturing a panel product has been described above, the apparatus comprising more than one cutter, configured to cut grooves in the direction transverse to the longitudinal direction of the use surface of the panel product. However, it is obvious that instead of cutters, the apparatus may comprise a corresponding number of blades, stacks of blades, cutter blades, cutter discs, milling cutters, or a combination of such tools for machining the transverse grooves.

Moreover, it is obvious that the panel product of the invention may be subjected to any known surface treatment: painting, varnishing, waxing, staining, etc. Furthermore, it is obvious that the size (length/width/thickness and the relative dimensions between these) of the panel product may vary in different uses, and the invention is thus not limited to the above presented embodiment. Further, the profile of the panel product (e.g. the shape and the positions of the tongues and grooves, or other planing on the sides) may vary from that presented above. The above described embodiments should not be interpreted to restrict the invention. The scope of protection of the invention will be formed according to the claims to be presented hereinbelow.