In July the Leitz designed RipTec machining process won the Se-quoia New Product Award in Las Vegas. This follows the IWF Chal-lengers Award won last year and is the second internationally major award presented to this new processing method.
Black Jack, Poker, one-armed bandits and casinos immediately spring to mind when one hears the name Las Vegas, but Las Vegas offers more. The AWFS Fair, the international trade fair of the Association of Woodworking & Furnishing Suppliers, draws nearly 20.000 visitors from the woodworking sector each year to the mecca of gamblers. More than 600 exhibitors showed in July 2011 including Leitz. At the fair, Leitz won the renowned Sequoia New Product Award in the tool-ing category for the RipTec process. Since 1997 the prize has been awarded to innovative technologies for environmentally sound proc-essing methods in the woodworking industry. In 2010 the RipTec process won the IWF Challengers Award, the top award at the U.S. timber industry‘s most significant trade fair.
The RipTec cutting procedure
Naturally grown timber which many call solid wood offers many ad-vantages as a working material: Its cell structure is a perfect thermal insulator whilst the fibres make it a stable material. The natural struc-ture of solid wood can cause problems during processing. Planed wood not cut parallel to the fibres often has surface tear outs around the deformation around knots, twisted fibres or stability differences in the annual rings. The component is not usable without further proc-essing or has to be repaired. The Leitz developed RipTec process improves the process reliability and machined quality of the planed timber. A fine ripple profile is machined into the surface before finish planing. “The workpiece is not unlike a washboard in miniature,“ ex-plains Leitz’s chief R&D engineer Andreas Kisselbach. This is followed by a second processing step which smooths the ripple profile. So the problems with in the naturally grown wood structure are eliminated resulting in each work piece pre machined by the RipTec process having a consistent planed finish. „A perfect finish," says Kisselbach proudly. A resource friendly processing solution and companies working with the RipTec process have less processing faults and less scrap. Additionally RipTec planning knives have both a longer life time and use less energy - saving both money and the environment.
The RipTec process is ideal for other applications in the woodworking industry, e.g. window corner joints. Applying glue on a serrated surface creates small glue pockets. When compressing by another wood component, the glue remains in the joint sealing the joint better. Com-panies using the RipTec process for scribed or slot and tenon joints have significantly more stronger products.
Innovation management as a key of success
Luck is not a factor in the success of the RipTec machining process in a city of gambling. “In a high-tech industry such as the woodworking sector, innovative products and procedures are not the random ideas of inventors,” emphasises Dr. Dieter Brucklacher, Chairman of the Leitz Board. Company decisions are the reason for new develop-ments; they allow successful research - innovation management is the magic word. “The technical progress has to be planned and controlled systematically”, says Dr Brucklacher. “This stretches from first identi-fying promising areas of research through to making necessary in-vestments, investments which can take years to recover. “
The Leitz Group of companies, founded in 1876 in Oberkochen, Southern Germany, is an acknowledged worldwide leading manufac-turer of precision tools for industrial processing of solid wood, wood derived materials, plastics and compound materials. The product range covers the complete range of automatic precision tools. In a complete package encompassing both technical advice and other services, 3,500 Leitz employees worldwide pass their knowledge and experience of cutting tools to Leitz customers – and so day to day meet the demands as the problem solvers and production service pro-viders.
Leitz delivers its products and services to over 150 countries supported by its own production companies and quick manufacturing capability, Leitz is present on all 5 continents through its network of sales and service companies plus a network of around 200 service centres mak-ing Leitz near its customers in more than 100 countries around the world.
Leitz GmbH & Co. KG
+49 (0) 7364 / 950-662