"The perfect component": this was the motto of the edgeband symposium that took place at the machine manufacturer HOMAG Group in Schopfloch on the 23rd March. This is the 32nd time the series of events, which REHAU organises every year alternately with the IMA Schelling Group and the HOMAG Group, was once again able to build on the usual high level of popularity among furniture experts. 100 participants familiarised themselves with the latest trends and technologies in edgebanding - and finally "live and in colour" again after three years.
The REHAU edgeband symposium is a permanent fixture in the calendar when it comes to innovations and further developments in the field of furniture edgebands. Every year, REHAU invites customers, partners and everyone involved in applying edgeband to get to know the innovations and latest developments.
This time, Dr. Uwe Krämer, the Director of Engineering Edgeband (REHAU) and Frieder Schuler, Vice President (HOMAG), welcomed the guests to Schopfloch in Baden-Württemberg. "After three years of having to organise the event online, we were finally able to be on site again," Dr. Uwe Krämer says. "The joy about this was clearly noticeable." In addition to discussions and personal contacts, the focus was of course on the edgebands. In live demonstrations in the HOMAG showroom and the subsequent series of lectures in the DEKRA Congress hotel Wart, innovations interacting between design, quality, service and the function of edgebands were presented by network partners HOMAG, LEUCO, RIEPE, NESTRO, JOWAT and REHAU. The aim is clear: "We intend to offer the perfect product for every application, which is why dialogue with industry colleagues is so important to us," Dr. Uwe Krämer says.
Digitalisation: the smart edgeband
The focus of Matthias Hacker's presentation was on efficient processes through the digital link between machine, tool and edgeband. The project manager and senior engineer for the REHAU Edgeband Division explained and demonstrated the integration options offered by the #edgeisdigital digital service and also presented solutions for machine retrofitting for industry and interior design. Matthias Hacker summarised: "Anyone who works with edgebands today can not only optimise its storage and production processes thanks to the digital possibilities with #edgeisdigital, but also work more flexibly thanks to automation, whilst also ensuring a consistently high quality of the outcomes."
Quality: multi-layer and frosted edgebands
To achieve the quality of a component, material and technology have to evolve in equal measure. The perfect component without frame effect and joint is the objective for every designer. With RAUKANTEX pigmento - an edgeband development with pigmented base material - the visual transition from surface to edgeband also achieved in the milling radius. In combination with the zero joint technology, the pigmented edgeband manages total seamless integration.
In a practical session, Jens-Uwe Affeldt, Head of Product Engineering in the Edgeband Division at REHAU, also presented the multi-layer edgeband with an invisible joint. Due to the product structure with several edgebands, tight radii with high edgeband strength can be achieved. Other innovations include RIEPE's "Frosted Edge Technology" - for a perfectly matt milled radius as well as special applications such as the folded edgeband for handleless fronts or doors.
Sustainability: Edgebands without glue and closed loop concepts
The topic of sustainability occupies the entire furniture industry - including the world of edgebands. As partner speakers, the adhesive experts from JOWAT reported on which environmental guidelines, labelling demands and training requirements will apply in the future when edgebands are glued - and presented PUR MR, a type of adhesive that has significantly more favourable properties. Those who want to avoid adhesives altogether have been using zero-joint edgebands for some time now - and here REHAU presented RAUKANTEX eco.protect, its sustainable edgebands with recycled and organic components. Material recovery - in combination with an extraction technology from the company NESTRO - as well as pilot concepts for reducing the CO2 footprint were also topic of this series of themes.
Design: The trend is towards matt surfaces
In addition to sustainability and quality, the design of furniture ultimately determines the decision to purchase or not. Here, the trend has been moving away from high-gloss surfaces towards matt, refined and, above all, durable designs for some time now. In combination with concrete, wood or glass, completely new concepts are created, which at the same time place particular demands on the components. Within this context, REHAU presented a whole range of product innovations with which manufacturers can satisfy this trend: the RAUVISIO noir and RAUVISIO crystal deep surfaces form just as much a part of this as the sustainable board and edgeband materials from REHAU, which Lisa Dressler from REHAU Product Management presented. The highlight in terms of appearance was the so-called tree edge. In combination with RAUKANTEX pigmento and the zero joint technology, components can be created with a genuine wood appearance, as the wood design can also be continued in the radius.
The varied part of the program was followed by the next item on the agenda, which was not possible at the digital part of the symposium: at the edgeband feast in the evening, not only regional specialties from the Northern Black Forest were offered - there was also an opportunity for exchange: "Experts talk to experts, we as manufacturers talk to our customers," said Dr. Uwe Krämer. "This is a win-win situation for everyone. We as producers and the machine manufacturers learn what the current challenges are or what the industry's requests are - and can then develop solutions together, in line with our motto 'Enabling Exceptional Design'."
All content for the Edgeband Symposium 2023 is available here: