Design and simulation of an automated robotic machining cell for cross-laminated timber panels

Emanuel Martinez Villanueva, Harshavardhan Mamledesai, Pablo Martinez Rodriguez, Peyman Poostchi, Rafiq Ahmad*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

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Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is an innovative construction material that has brought advantages over traditional wood structures, reducing cost and lead time of buildings in recent years; yet CLT benefits primarily from offsite construction methods instead of automation or safety, while keeping the human onsite. The few advancements in automation for CLT panels have been in the implementation of dedicated CNC machines. Nevertheless, using CNC machines for machining CLT panels have disadvantages like clamping batches of massive panels with individual profiles, lacking the flexibility to access all acute machining angles, and struggling with the extraction of dust while the cutting spindle moves through large tight spaces. These disadvantages can be overcome with industrial robots’ help, which the construction industry has not been traditionally favorable on their application, giving then the research gap in this study. This paper explores the introduction of a robotic cell for the machining of cross-laminated timber panels. The robotic cell is designed using 3D modeling and validated through motion simulation in a virtual environment. The proposed cell design is based on a minimum viable product and compared against a minimum throughput benchmarked on the Canadian market. This study aims to research the feasibility of CLT’s automated machining by providing clear production characteristics of the designed robotic cell, such as material and tool utilization rates, lead time, or production efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-180
Number of pages6
JournalProcedia CIRP
Early online date2 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


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