Wood And Plastic Moulded Parts  
   
   
    MOULDED PLYWOOD COMPONENTS FAQ


Can I order a moulded part from the wood products catalogue as a sample?
In principle you can order a sample to act as a prototype, provided we have the item in stock. Samples can be delivered quickly and at cost price. Our product overview will show you our entire product range and the variety of options available. It also features moulded parts made with tools operated by some of our customers, which are available subject to the customer's approval.


What pressing systems do you operate?
We operate three different pressing systems.

  • Our high-frequency system uses wooden tools with a wooden mould lined with aluminium plates. The heat necessary for gluing is generated in the glueline itself by an alternating current. The machine itself is not heated.

  • Electric heat: wooden mould tools with electric heating plates are used.

  • Steam-heated machines: solid aluminium tools are heated indirectly on steam-heated presses.

What is an aluminium mould tool?
In an aluminium mould tool, the two halves of the mould are made from one aluminium block. The two halves of the tool are mounted on steam-heated presses and heated from below or from above. Aluminium tools are used when high degrees of morphing and precision are required.

What is a wooden mould tool?
In a wooden mould tool, the two halves of the mould are made from one plywood block and then layered with an electrically heated aluminium plate.

How much does a pressing mould cost?
The price depends on type, size and the complexity of the component to be moulded. We manufacture the tools ourselves very cost-effectively and specifically for use in the three systems described above.

What are the lead times for a wooden moulded part?
Once we have allowed for our production process, veneer manufacture, pressing, the subsequent processing and the design aspects specific to your particular order, we estimate a lead time of around four to six weeks.

What are your minimum order volumes?
The minimum viable order is generally 250 pieces, but smaller quantities can be negotiated on an individual basis.

What coatings are available?
To protect the wood surface, parts need to be lacquered with either an opaque or transparent varnish. Alternatively a veneer can be oiled or waxed.

Do you offer moulded parts that come already lacquered or ready-made?
Yes. We can provide both pre-lacquered and ready-to-use components.

What is manufacturing tolerance?
Manufacturing tolerance describes the amount by which the measurements of a moulded component can deviate from the design due to machining processes such as milling, drilling, sanding and the use of fastening systems. It is usually very low and can be measured in tenths of millimetres.

What is form tolerance?
Form tolerance arises during changes in the ambient conditions, particularly moisture. Angles can change and flat surfaces can warp. To avoid this, form tolerance must be factored in at design and manufacturing stages.

Why do the logs have to be steamed/cooked for 48 hours before peeling?
Before peeling, the logs have to be made sufficiently supple. This can be done with steam. To that end, the logs are placed in special pits for two days where they are treated with hot water or steam.

Can decorative veneers also be pressed?
As sliced veneers, maple, cherry wood, oak, walnut and many other types of wood respond well to pressing. They are often used for surface layers, with beech rotary-cut veneer being used for the interior layers.

Can you combine wood with other materials to make moulded parts?
The wood for moulded parts can be pressed with laminates (HPL, CPL), decor paper, primer foil and other similar materials.

What are the maximum dimensions for moulded parts?
We can make veneers up to 2.2m in length. The width is limited by the size of the presses, which is 1.25m.

What is the smallest radius you can make?
The radius is determined by the thickness of the veneer and of the moulded part. For a moulded part with a thickness of 10mm made from 1.2mm or 1.5mm veneers, the shortest possible radius is 25mm. As a rule of thumb, the radius needs to be at least 2.5 times the thickness of the moulded part.

How long does it take to press a moulded part?
In order to ensure the glue takes and the moulded form holds, the component has to be subjected to sufficient pressure and heat in the press. The following rule is applied: the thickness of the component divided by two provides the heating time in minutes. To that must be added one to four minutes of adhesion time, depending on the adhesive used.

Can OWI make prototypes?
Thanks to our many years' experience of producing prototypes for wood and plastic moulded parts, we can produce a range of models, often with short lead times. Our in-house design studio, staffed by specialist wood and plastics engineers and model makers, is where we produce prototypes, samples, tools and other equipment.

As a supplier, why does OWI have to be involved early on in the development process?
Experience has shown that the decisions taken at the start of a project with regards to process, design and material determine the cost of the end product. Our specialist staff and trained engineers are on hand to help you decide whether the moulded part should be made of wood, plastic or a combination of different materials. They will also help you achieve the optimum price-performance ratio.

Which drawing formats can the OWI production department work with?
We can work with all the usual file formats. However, our preference is for IGS or STEP files.

Why do you use rotary-cut beech veneer?
Beech has a good price-performance ratio, is relatively strong and is extremely easy to shape and work with. Rotary-cut veneers are much more economical to produce than sliced veneers.

Can you produce moulded wooden parts that are non-flammable?
Moulded parts can be treated to be non-flammable. Tests have shown that simply maximising thickness of the part can increase flame resistance. But we can use a special salting process to make parts non-flammable as well.

What is the difference between laminated wood and plywood?
For plywood, the veneers are laid crossways ('blocked off'). This makes for a high degree of stability in flat parts such as seat shells, seating surfaces and rests. For laminated wood, the veneers are all laid in the same grain direction and glued together. This provides high tensile strength. Laminated wood is mostly used for armrests, ladder stringers and cantilever chair sides.

How heavy is beech per cubic metre?
Untreated beech typically weighs 680kg/m3 (at 10% moisture retention).

A note on our beech sourcing:
The logs we use come solely from sustainably managed forests in Germany and Hungary. Sustainability means that trees are only cut down at a rate at which they can grow back again. Thanks to strict sustainability laws, sources are secure for coming generations. These forests are certified by both the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), both of which organisations promote sustainable commercial activity and the maintenance of forests in all their diversity.

Where do you get your beech logs from?
Our procurement area is right on our doorstep. In Lohr am Main, we source from the Spessart and Odenwald forests; in Zala from the surrounding region. This local procurement strategy allows us to keep transportation and fuel consumption down.