Step 1: Application of Glue and Lay-Up
Veneers are run through a gluing machine which essentially rolls the glue onto the face and back of the veneer. They are then placed on top of an unglued veneer so that the stack alternates; Glued, Unglued, Glued, Unglued and so on.
Step 2: Cold Pressing
Cold Pressing occurs after glue has been applied in order to prepare the veneers for Hot Pressing. This works to flatten out the veneers and ensure the glue is distributed across the veneers evenly.
Step 3: Hot Pressing (Daylight Press)
This part of the production process is where the actual panels begin to take shape. Multiple panels are loaded into the daylight press. The Daylight Press then compresses and maintains heated pressure on the boards for a long period of time. This creates and maintains required contact between the glue and veneers. It also decreases tension in the glue line and the thickness of glue layer.
Step 4: Trimming, Sanding and Finishing
Following Hot Pressing, the board is left to stabilise and cool down before further processing. Then it is a case of trimming down any excess veneer so the board has square edges, then the boards are most commonly sanded using a large, industrial sander.
Step 5: Quality Control
The final product has to be assessed for quality but it wouldn't be very efficient just to wait until the end of the process to find a large problem with production. For this reason, mills control their production by carrying out a number of tests on different sections of the production process e.g. testing moisture levels, formaldehyde release, durability, etc.
Many mills have what is called a Factory Production Control certificate which means they have been audited by a third party and had their production process approved to relevant European standards.
Step 6: Packaging
Finished products are then stacked up and banded together. Any relevant CE marks are printed on the packaging.
Step 7: Delivery