Robots repair veneer imperfections at Georgia-Pacific

3 July 2018

Operating under the guidance of specially trained technicians PolyPatch robots increase production of wood veneer efficiency while helping to create a better-finished product, says Georgia-Pacific. The robots scan wood veneer for imperfections during production and if a defect is found, the robots repair it.

“Our robots can handle 525 plywood panels in one hour – about one panel every 20 seconds,” says JT Lee, a robotic technician at the company's plant in Corrigan, Texas. "Normally, it can take twice that amount of time to treat the same number of panels."

The PolyPatch panel repair system is made by Globe, a machinery maker focused on the panel and door manufacturing industries. 

In most wood manufacturing plants, the PolyPatch responsibility is handled by up to four workers who are stationed on the line determining where the glue-like filler is needed and using it to repair the wood panels. By investing in PolyPatch, Georgia-Pacific is able to reduce the number of employees needed in this area to two. 

With this modernisation, employees have either advanced as robotic technicians or have assumed different roles within the plant. While technology can sometimes be a threat to those on the front lines within the manufacturing sector, Georgia-Pacific is optimistic the new robots will have an opposite effect on workers.