The Daily Grind: Scrap from panel saws is conveyed under production floor to grinder

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Cabinet manufacturing giant KraftMaid Cabinetry, Inc. in Middlefield, Ohio, engineered a material handling solution that has not only resulted in labor savings, but has also increased production efficiency and proved to be profitable.


Scrap material from its panel saws was filling up scrap hoppers at KraftMaid, and drivers were hauling it out of the production facility. “This daily process involved multiple trips to each of the saws,” says Don Cox, Kraft-Maid’s vice president of operations. “We had forklifts running in and around our equipment and on occasion they would hit it. We wanted to be able to get rid of the scrap from our saws without having to physically remove it. Our solution was to buy grinders that we could install at each of the individual saws. This enabled the operators to take the scrap material from the saw and feed it right into the grinder.”


Today, KraftMaid’s grinder arsenal is made up of Weima America’s Tiger 600 horizontal grinders and Weima America’s Leopard 600 horizontal grinders. The Tiger 600 features a V-rotor cutting system for a precise cutting action. The knives are set into a pocket, which protects three of the four corners of the knife. Therefore, the knives can be rotated up to four times before having to be replaced. The bolt heads are recessed into the knife holder to eliminate wear and tear.


The Weima horizontal machines are also equipped with a modular vibrating conveyor system. This means that the conveyor length can easily be modified if scrap size changes in the future or if the plant layout or location creates new needs.


An additional important feature on the Tiger horizontal grinders is the replaceable crossbars on the infeed system. The purpose of the crossbars is to help feed the material into the rotor. By having these crossbars replaceable, an easy process for part replacement and a less costly solution are created.


The Leopard 600 horizontal grinder has a unique trackfeeding system, which is similar to the tracks on a tank.  The tracks run on the top and bottom to operate as the machine’s loading system. The benefit is that the tracks can grab whole stacks of material at one time no matter what the scrap size or configuration. This machine also incorporates the V-rotor system. A high-grinding capacity is created in a relatively small sized machine.


Engineering and implementing a grinding system has resulted in an efficient material handling operation for KraftMaid. “Our first challenge was to figure out how we were going to feed the grinders,” says Cox. “What we ended up doing was to use a shaker conveyor that actually feeds the long strips directly into the grinder. We didn’t want to have a noise issue on the production floor so we dug pits next to the saws and put them down in the pits with sound enclosures over the top. The operator takes the strips and actually drops them down a chute that goes into the shaker conveyor, which then feeds the material directly into the grinder.

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