A Borg company

Automated Bearer Line

Project Completion Date: 2020

Project Highlights

  • A purpose built system to re-purpose blemished and rejected MDF panels
  • Assisted customer in achieving sustainable business practices
  • Fully automated to meet increasing production demands
  • Reduce the frequency the customer needs to purchase bearers from third parties.


Division: Automation, Manufacturing
Location: Oberon, NSW
Industry: Manufacturing

Australian Panels is Australia’s leading manufacturer of board products for all joinery and structural flooring applications. The company is committed to an eco-friendly and sustainable environment. It is an intrinsic part of the way Australian Panels does business and their decisions are based on minimising the impact on the environment.

Their products are manufactured from managed and renewable plantation pine. Waste is managed responsibly through numerous recycling programmes, including recycling used timber waste back into energy and in the manufacturing of particleboard.
Automated Bearer Line
Project #35

The Challenge

With investments in state-of-the-art machinery and manufacturing techniques, the business has grown on the back of significant capital investments in automated technologies and a commitment to product innovation and development. Australian Panels contracted Crossmuller to create an automated solution within their Oberon manufacturing facility, whereby blemished and rejected MDF panels can be re-purposed into bearers that are used in the packing and transportation of their manufactured products.

The business was running a semi-automatic bearer line, however, it was unable to meet capacity requirements. Implementing a fully automated line would not only offer a more sustainable solution but also offering significant cost savings to the business.

Bearers, otherwise known as gluts or dunnage, are sacrificial timber units in varying sizes that are used to support freight, machinery or any product from contact to the ground or truck beds. They are also used to provide clearance to allow forklift tines to lift goods or machinery safely and to provide a stable bed for products to sit on once on the ground.

The Solution

The team at Crossmuller utilised their multi-disciplinary capabilities in industrial automation and manufacturing to develop a smart automation application that could meet the growing production demands of the factory.

Forklifts deliver the downgrade panels where they are loaded into the new line. By means of a fully automated process using two Fanuc R2000 series robots, the wood waste is sawn into the required size, nailed and delivered to the out-feed where a row of bearers is collated for robotic stacking. The robot stacks layers of bearers into stillages, which are collected and fed into the strapping line where bearers are secured to the base of freshly manufactured product in preparation for storage and road transport.

The speed and repeatability of the robotics and automated electro-mechanical systems have delivered a significant reduction in processing time when compared to semi-automated processes.
Project #35