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Hoffmann unveils face-frame combo station

Hoffmann Machine Co. is offering a new face-frame combination station designed for the production of standard (square-edged) and beaded face frames.

The system combines an automated stop system with THK tracks made by RazorGage, a heavy-duty OMGA 14" chop saw and a Morso beaded face-frame notching machine.

All components are locked together with a heavy steel frame to provide accurate, repeatable and efficient results, according to Hoffmann.

“Adding the RazorGage, an automated stop system, to our Morso notching machines, improved their speed and ease of use quite a bit, but we figured we could improve the setup even more by adding a cutoff saw as well,” says Markus Hueber, general manager of Hoffmann Machine Co. Hoffmann sells combination stations that consist of the basic stop system with the notching machine. However, users are relying on a tape measure and cutting the raw material with a chop saw, and in many cases a contractor’s saw, which leads to an accuracy problem.

“We didn’t want to sell the customer two stop systems; one for the saw, one for the notching machine,” Hueber says. “Instead we put the saw in between the stop system and the notcher, and mounted all on one heavy base. Now you can use the stop to do the cutting and then use the same stop to do the notching.”

Hoffmann selected the beefy 14" OMGA T50 350 chop saw for its face-frame system. The 3-hp saw weighs approximately 220 lbs. and has a maximum cross cut of 6-3/4" at 90 degrees and 4-3/4" at 45 degrees, and a maximum depth of cut of 4-5/16".

The system’s software design program was developed by RazorGage with input from Hoffmann. The PC-based setup enables the user to design a face frame right on the touch screen. 

Hoffmann face-frame combo station

“It will ask you the overall width and height of the frame, the size of the beads and the width of the top, bottom, left and right stiles and rails,” says Hueber. “Then it will show you the actual face frame, and if you want to add, for example, a cross rail, you can do that right on the touch screen. When you are all done, you save it, it creates a cutlist, and you can give it a [job] name.”

Since the software is PC-based, a design can be made in an office, converted to an Excel spreadsheet and transferred to a small USB stick [flash drive]. The drive can be inserted into a USB port behind the touch screen monitor and the program created in the office will appear on the screen. The included software package also accepts material created from other cabinet design programs.

The combination of the automatic stop system, heavy-duty chop saw and notching machine into one operating system is the key to providing increased productivity for shops that build face frames. 

“Efficiency becomes more and more important,” Hueber says. “You can’t just stand there with a tape measure and a pencil and lay things out. What’s nice with this system is we looked at a couple of different stop systems because we are familiar with what’s out there, and they all have a computer and they all work great. The problem is most of them just give you a couple of lines of numbers and, on this one, you have a touch screen where the operator can see the actual frame that he is making. This reduces the chance for errors and makes it more user-friendly.”

The Hoffmann face-frame combination station, model 96M, is priced at $26,081 and includes the stop system, chop saw, notching machine, 15" monitor, PC and software package, steel frame and a 96" working length. The RazorGage stop system can be purchased separately for those that have a Morso notching machine. The stop system and OMGA chop saw are also sold as a combination package for shops that already own a notching machine.

Contact: Hoffmann Machine Co., 1386 Drexel Road, Valdese, NC 28690. Tel: 866-248-0100.

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