Automation in the wood-processing industry

  • Sensoren zur Breitenkontrolle an der Förderstrecke

  • Materialbegleitkarte und Handscanner

  • Stationäre Barcodeleser BCL 504i am seitlichen Gestänge

  • Stationäre Barcodeleser BCL 504i am seitlichen Gestänge

  • Sicherheits-Laserscanner ROTOSCAN RS4 sichert Verfahrweg ab

  • Genaue Positionierung des Transportgestells inklusive Container an Übergabestation

  • RFID Schreib-/Lesesystem in der Rollenbahn an einer Profibus Anschlusseinheit (links) zum Lesen der in den Containern integrierten Disk-Transponder

  • RFID Schreib-/Lesesystem in der Rollenbahn an einer Profibus Anschlusseinheit (links) zum Lesen der in den Containern integrierten Disk-Transponder

  • Die Positionierung der Transferwagen übernehmen Barcode-Positioniersysteme BPS 37, die Kommunikation erfolgt kontaktlos und verschleißfrei mit Datenübertra-gungslichtschranken DDLS 200

Beautiful furniture from the assembly line

Sensors from Leuze electronic automatize modern furniture production

RMW Wohnmöbel has commissioned a new production workshop which is characterized by an extremely high degree of automatization with high flexibility. The success of the project can be ascribed to the reliable project partners. These partners include the company Kraft Maschinenbau, which is responsible for project planning and realization of automatized intra-logistical systems, as well as Leuze electronic, which handles the on-time delivery of all necessary sensors.

RMW Wohnmöbel GmbH & Co. KG, with headquarters in Eastern Westphalian Rietberg, is an owner-run company committed to the development, production and sales of high-quality household furniture (title image). In the context of a consistent policy of on-site manufacture, the decision to build a new production workshop was made in 2010. When doing so, the goal was to achieve highly-flexible production with an optimum degree of automatization.

Quick project planning and especially the detailed planning of internal processes by RWM made an impressive implementation time possible: production start at RMW occurred only just under 12 weeks after award of the contract. This fast start was the result of the consistent use of components available at short notice from as few suppliers as possible. The main supplier was G. Kraft Maschinenbau GmbH from Rietberg-Mastholte, a partner to companies in the furniture manufacturing industry.

The decision to work with Kraft Maschinenbau was made quickly, since with them, it is possible to reliably realize the complete project volume regarding transport systems and all necessary automation systems. This is how Kraft Maschinenbau can handle the entire project planning and installation of hard- and software in their own specialist departments. Within an astoundingly short amount of time, not only an order picking warehouse but also production, assembly and packaging lines as well as shipping systems were created at RMW. Looking back, RMW Managing Director Rudolf Eikenkötter says: "We've found an innovative partner in the Kraft company with whom we can completely implement our ideas. This partnership of equals is surely one-of-a-kind."

Material warehousing

The focus of automation is on material warehousing, order picking and internal transport to the mounting and shipping areas. The components delivered in containers are transported on transport systems to the order picking warehouse (figure 1). Destination control is realized through a printed bar code in throughput. In addition to the 2D-code hand-held readers (figure 2), the BCL 504i stationary bar code readers from Leuze electronic are used (figures 3a/b).

As was the goal, transport to the specified storage location occurs automatically. Distribution in the warehouse is performed in rail-mounted motorized transfer cars, while travel and conveying movements are controlled by an operator riding in the car.

Since the warehouse consists of narrow passages and unhindered staff movement in the shelf levels is absolutely necessary for smooth production, some very specific safety measures must be taken. This is why Leuze electronic ROTOSCAN RS4 Safety Laser Scanners (figures 4 and 5) were primarily used for personnel protection in the transport areas of the transfer cars. This safeguards the vehicles in both directions of travel.


Order picking and provision of the components for production is performed in special transport frames for gentle transport of the furniture components ("containers"). As soon as a container is filled, all relevant order information is attached to it. The TFM 051110 disc transponders integrated in the containers are used as data carriers for the order information. Information is transmitted using RFM 32 read/write systems (figures 6a/b).

Reading out of the data carriers is always done at the nodal points. This allows moving towards a bypass transport system for the manual addition of further components, for example.

Internal transport

Rail-mounted, automatically driven transfer cars are used to supply assembly lines and the shipping system. Picked containers and packaged furniture pieces are automatically collected at the pickup points and brought to the goal defined by the destination control. Emptied containers automatically return to the order picking warehouse.

Several transport cars are used for optimum material supply. Each is responsible for permanently defined traversing ranges and logistics functions. Due to the free accessibility of the ranges, personnel and forklift traffic must be anticipated in all transport areas. ROTOSCAN RS4 Safety Laser Scanners are also used here for safeguarding.

Positioning of the transfer cars is done by BPS 37 bar code positioning systems from Leuze electronic; they are located at the top of the cars (figure 7). Communication in the up to 90 m long tracks is contact-free and free from wear with Leuze electronic DDLS 200 Data Transmission Light Beam Devices.


  • Branch/Area

    Wood working industry, conveyor and storage systems

  • Duty

    RFID, Speed, Bar code, Optical data transmission, 2D-code, Danger area safeguarding, Positioning

  • Application

    Automation in the wood-processing industry