“Blade Off “by SCM Group wins the XIA 2022 award in the Panel category

This is the second episode of our review dedicated to the winners of the XIA-Xylexpo Innovation Award, assigned last October at Xylexpo.

The XIA-Xylexpo Innovation Award in the panel processing category was assigned ex-aequo to two solutions to the same safety risk on movable carriage panel saws, better known as squaring machines, “with different approaches but equal results” (quoting the jury’s motivation).
This article is about “Blade Off”, the solutions submitted by Scm Group in Rimini.
I interviewed Massimo Paganelli, Business Unit Manager of SCM joinery machines.

Could you start with a general description of the system and its operating principle?
“The new “Blade Off” for circular saws is an innovative technological solution designed by SCM to operate in total safety. The system is built around a set of di smart sensors that can identify and recognize the operator’s hand in the “protected” area close to the blade. Should a possible collision situation arise, the system automatically excludes the blade and stops the program running, without damaging any part of the machine. This eliminates any kind of accidental contact, even at high speed.
The sensors are arranged to monitor the blade surroundings and can distinguish the human body from wooden parts.
When triggered, the system automatically activates the mechanical unit with pneumatic switch-off that, through an adequately sized and adjusted cylinder, pulls the blade below the cutting worktable in few milliseconds, thus ensuring utmost safety for the operator”.

What’s the origin of this idea?
“Our customers increasingly struggle to find qualified staff, and this increases the risk of work accidents. SCM has always been investing massive resources to make its machines safer and more sustainable. In this case, we wanted to create a system that fills possible gaps in existing protection systems and prevents all kinds of injuries”.

What’s the physical principle adopted to recognize the hand and other body parts?
“The concept is based on the measurement of an electric field, and specifically the field variations caused by the human body”.

How did you progress from the concept to the working system? What were the development steps? Did you find any obstacle, and how did you overcome them?
“The key development steps were the system integration into the machine (designing suitable protections for the most sensitive parts from dust, impact and vibration), the stabilization of the system for all the different machine configurations, and the optimization of the electric circuit. And finally, the signal detection and processing process was optimized to enable the system to be triggered instantly”.

Are there registered or pending patents? For which aspects?
“There are patents covering the principle of detection and mechanical exclusion”.

Blade Off was previewed at Xylexpo in October 2022 when it was not in production, yet. What has changed since then? Is it on sale, and what’s the price? Has it already been installed at any customer? What’s the initial feedback?
“The system and the machine work perfectly and have been long tested in our laboratories. We are now in the certification and industrialization phase, which are essential to identify a suitable list price. By the end of this year, we plan to deliver the first pre-series machines to customers. Once we get their feedback, we will move to series production”.

What are your forecasts? How many squaring machines will install this device?
“Initially, the solution will be available on a few models with a main blade up to 400 mm diameter, which represent the vast majority of circular saw demand. Our ambition is to encourage most of our customers in this market segment to invest in safety, appreciating the huge effort that SCM has made and will continue to make in this area”.

Which developments are possible, and are you already designing new features? More specifically, will you extend the system to other manual feed traditional machinery?
“At present, we are totally focused on finalizing this project and offer its benefits to many customers. We have found a method to unmistakably tell a hand from a wooden piece, so, in theory, we might develop an application of this kind for any machine. We are already studying this solution, and in the next years we will work in this direction”.


by Matteo Simonetta
Acimall Technical Office director

“Blade Off “by SCM Group wins the XIA 2022 award in the Panel category ultima modifica: 2023-04-27T11:39:13+00:00 da Francesco Inverso