Determining the Economics of New Moulder Configurations

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Title: Determining the Economics of New Moulder Configurations
Author: Morales, Lucia
Advisors: Dr. Steve Jackson, Committee Member
Dr. Richard L. Lemaster, Committee Chair
Dr. Thom Hodgson, Committee Member
Abstract: The moulder is one of the most used machines in the wood industry. It is used to cut stock with rough dimensions to a finished width, a finished thickness and a finished cross-sectional shape in one pass, making it cost effective to produce mouldings, floors, door and window components, furniture and other products that we use everyday. Since its invention, the moulder has gone through several changes. Today's moulders are faster, more flexible, more versatile, more precise, safer and more productive. This research highlights the different technical aspects of the modern moulder and presents an economic calculator that will help the user determine the economic impact of choosing different moulder configurations. The economic calculator is based on the examination of the technical and economic aspects of the moulder from the literature review and consultation with machine experts and users. It has been validated by international machining experts and a leading moulder manufacturer. The Moulder Economic Calculator (MEC) Program uses LabviewTM and requires a basic knowledge of the machine capabilities and of the production requirements. It is based on economic considerations of the wood machining process. The MEC program uses input data on machine price and purchase method, machine configuration (feed speed, spindle speed, type of tool clamping system, type of spindle positioning indicators, tool design, etc.), production parameters (number of shifts per year, length of shifts, etc.) and production costs (tools, maintenance, labor). The MEC program gives three types of outputs: surface quality (knife marks, pitch height), productivity (setup time and possible jobs) and costs (machine, labor, setup, tooling, power consumption and maintenance). The MEC program is a flexible tool that allows the user to estimate the cost of machining one linear foot of wood with a particular machine configuration, production parameters and production costs. Some capabilities of the MEC program include determining the effect of machine price on machining cost, the effect of setup time on production time and the effect of machine configuration on machining cost. In this way, the MEC program serves the user to compare between different machine configurations and determine which one is best based either on cost, production or flexibility.
Date: 2006-11-08
Degree: MS
Discipline: Wood and Paper Science

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