Opti-Match
Model: #35A-

The Opti-Match is the only machine to completely automate the color matching process for high quality solid wood panels. The Opti-Match combines innovative scanning and sorting technology with complex computer programs to build and stack sized, color matched, and color blended panels, automatically. It completely eliminates the labor intensive and subjective job of manual color matching.

The Opti-Match Will:

  • Accurately measure board width and color from parallel ripped defected stock.
  • Scan an area 5″ in from the end of each board as it traverses across grain.
  • Choose from 22 boards at a time to find boards that are close in color to make a specified size panel.
  • Assemble the chosen boards in the proper order to blend the boards in each panel.
  • Automatically stack the assembled panels on a scissors lift, ready for gluing.
  • Keep accurate tallies of panels and board pieces.
  • Allow entering of multiple panel widths.
  • Smart stack multiple panel widths.

With a production Level of approximately 1200 Panels per day (assuming 5 to 7 boards per panel), you can substitute the Opti-Match for 3+ men hand sizing panels.

A Challengers Award Winner!
The Opti-Match was named a Challengers Award Winner at the IWF 2002 Show in Atlanta, Georgia.

How it Works

Operation of the Opti-Match is simple. The operator enters the desired panel width into the computer. The machine is quickly adjusted by a hand crank to accommodate the board length. Boards are then placed on the infeed of the machine. The Opti-Match singulates the boards and feeds them under color and width sensors. The computer uses this information to select the optimal combination of boards to build an accurately sized, color matched and color blended panel. To build the panel the Opti-Match uses a series of lifters to re-arrange the order of the boards on the conveyor. The newly arranged boards continue to travel down the conveyor to the stacker. The stacker piles the created panels into a neat stack using a self-leveling scissors lift. When the lift is full, the machine stops itself. The operator rolls the stack off the lift and raises it for the next stack.

Color matching is a difficult job. Since every human sees color differently, matchers are difficult to train and consistency is hard to maintain. A human matcher might consider as many as ten boards when determining which boards to use to build a panel, all while trying to keep the panel size close to the desired width and also attempting to maintain uni- form color. Because of the large amount of information the operator has to process, panel building is a painfully slow operation and usually, either size or color suffers.

The Opti-Match considers twenty-two boards at a time. It uses its computer power to analyze hundreds of thousands of possible combinations, all in a fraction of a second, to determine the best combination of boards to match both size and color. The computer then uses complicated color algorithms to arrange the boards in the order that best blends the colors. All of this is done very quickly. The Opti-Match allows one untrained operator to match and size panels at the rate of four trained matchers… consistently all day long.

Production

The Opti-Match will produce on average 1260 panels per day (assuming 5 to 7 boards per panel), you can substitute the Opti-Match for 3+ men hand sizing panels.

Specifications

Dimensions:

  • Overall Height: 54″ (1372 mm)
  • Overall Width: 72-1/2″ (1842 mm)
  • Overall Length: 27’ 2″ (8.28 Meters)

Specifications:

  • Minimum Board Length: 10” (254 mm)
  • Maximum Board Length: 66” (1676 mm)
  • Maximum Board Width: 6” (152 mm)
  • Minimum Board Width: 1” (25.4 mm) (Optional 10″ Wide Capacity Machine Available upon Request)
  • Maximum Thickness: 8/4” (51 mm)
  • Maximum Panel Width: 36” (914 mm) (Optional 42” (1067 mm)

Power Requirements: 3 phase power

Productivity: 3-8 Panels/Minute

Advantages
  • Increased Yield
    • Experience has shown that manual sizing produces panels, on average, that are 1/2” or more too wide. Operators are impressed not to make under sized panels. To balance color and size, it is easier to produce a panel much wider than needed.
  • Reduce Labor
    • The Opti-Match can consistently produce panels within 1/4” of the desired size. This is a small advantage per panel but many board feet of savings per week, month, or year. A typical operator is capable of sizing and matching 20 panels per hour manually. With an Opti-Match, that same operator can size up to 4 panels per minute. The owners of the first Opti-Match are currently producing with one operator what used to take four operators.
  • Save Space
    • The Opti-Match centralizes the sizing and matching into one location, replacing multiple layup tables.
  • Consistency
    • The Opti-Match sizes and matches consistently all day long. Manual matchers vary in skill level from one to the next and may grow tired toward the end of the day. Additionally, manufacturers can now color match panels that were previously unmatched due to cost.