Even an industry as old as the wood industry is not immune to digitalization. Automated production chains, digitally connected machines and tracking of individual products are just a few examples of how modern technology is helping to increase efficiency here.

In the DigiKurztakt project the Institute of Energy Technology and Thermodynamics is working with a project partner from the Austrian wood industry to further digitize the particleboard production chain.

It is impossible to imagine today's exterior and interior furnishings without wood-based materials such as particleboard or fiberboard. They have long been used for their customizable material properties and also have economic and ecological advantages over other building materials.

Coating wood-based panels with melamine-formaldehyde resin impregnated decorative papers brings a variety of different aesthetics, as well as protection against mechanical and chemical damage and good hygienic properties.

For the coating of wood-based panels, cooling presses with long pressing times are mostly used, but there are also faster-working short-cycle presses (KTPs). Process knowledge about KTPs is mainly empirical; physical-chemical processes in the pressing procedure are only known phenomenologically. This means that finding the cause of quality deviations in the end product is difficult, lengthy and not sustainable.

As part of the DigiKurztakt project, a digital, physical model of a short-cycle press is being developed to expand process knowledge and store it sustainably for the project partner.

With the help of this digital model, we are taking the first step towards a digital twin for the short-cycle press. The use of digital twins in manufacturing is being tested in various industries to optimize processes and increase productivity - for example in our DigiTEx project (link), which is located in a different industry sector, but is nevertheless very similar in the use of solution approaches.

  1. Zechner, N., Birkelbach, F., & Hofmann, R. (2023). Modeling the thermal processes in a short cycle press to improve product quality. In Proceedings of the International Panel Products Symposium 2023 (pp. 129–138).