Staircase Construction & Timber CNC-Processing

Automation of Production

Compass Software Inc. is able to control automated loading systems for staircase machines.

By now, several manufacturing cells have been put into service, for example the fully coordinated loading of a CNC manufacturing center equipped with a movable robot for tread manufacturing with an automated movable table.

All processes run fully automated, partially parallel, and systemized with collision control.

Loading time is practically zero and multilayered working is more easily done. This makes it possible to attain an increase of capacities and profitability, as well as a significantly improved utilization rate of machines, and optimized capital investment with maximized rates of return.


Another example is a loading portal, which supplies one CNC machine with parts through the use of hedgehog loading and a hedgehog unloading buffer. This makes it possible to supply the cell with materials for extended periods of time, which makes it run largely automated.

Compass Software controls the data flow for the entire manufacturing cell, generates the CNC programs and even specifies order, suction cup positioning, as well as the formats for the blanks which have to be placed into the hedgehogs. 


Automated Suction Cup Calculation and Positioning

An automated loading would not be possible without the fully automated positioning of vacuum cups and clamps. We at Compass Software have devoted ourselves extensively to this topic for some 10 years. We are now able to offer adequate software control modules for every manufacturing center for building stairways which includes the option for automated centered clamp positioning.

This automatism is useful, even without automated loading, since the loading time for mixed productions on conventional machines still takes up about 20-30% of the whole production time. This time can be near eliminated with the use of an automated table. Furthermore, error ratio is reduced drastically.

It is rare these days that a business with an interest in building premium-quality stairs with flexibility will be supplied with a new machine without an automated table.

Additional options make the manufacturing even easier, for example the possibility to load parts onto the edge, which will be transported to the centre for processing.

Additional tread separation devices are also a thing of the past.

By reclamping small parts (handrails, bottom rails, etc.), it is possible to process these entirely on the machine.


A Look into the Software

It is possible define all centered clampings in the machine settings, as well as record all parameters necessary for the calculation. It is possible to define joists, angular suction cups, circular suction cups, as well as clamps.


Different configurations can be recorded for the particular parts in the default settings, according to requirements.

Furthermore, one can choose from different strategies for the calculation.

To automate calculations further, it is possible to define interference contours for particular processes, which will prevent the planting of centred clamps in these areas (profiling tools, through-holes, undersurface aggregates, angled 5-axis processes, etc.).


Automated tables with bars are standard with many manufacturers today. However, there are also other concepts which can be controlled by Compass Software. For example, so called pin tables (above), which have suction cups that are activated beneath the processed componentĀ“s surface, while the rest stay down. The company MMB featured similar concepts as far back as the 1990s (left). These can also still be controlled by Compass Software.

This means that Compass Software is able to create special solutions on the existing basis, which has already happened several times over the years.