Extra-large CNC Panel Processing Solution Draws Attention

C.R. Onsrud (Troutman, NC) built an over 1000-square-foot High-Rail CNC machine to process TerraLam® cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels for their customer Sterling Structural, a division of Sterling Site Access Solutions, LLC (Phoenix, Illinois). Standing at 18-feet tall, weighing over 40 tons, and wielding a 42-inch saw blade, this machine captured attention.

“All of our machines are beefy. We use steel for every base, column, bridge, and gantry to give customers the rigidity they need for high-speed and accuracy. But still, by comparison, the High Rail dominated the floor,” said Rich Guerin, Director of Operations and Controls for C.R . Onsrud. “Visiting manufacturers and everyone in our company came to see it. One guy said it is larger than his apartment.”

With the High-Rail CNC machine, a cutting process which had taken several hours now takes minutes. While one spindle performs all the milling operations, the other does the sawing. The High Rail requires several skilled technicians two weeks to install, align, and prepare the machine for production and includes training the Sterling’s operator. The High Rail is built to order and engineered for a customer’s specific application.

“C.R. Onsrud and Sterling co-specified the 5-Axis High-Rail to be the exact machine we needed to transform our Terralam CLT standard billets into robust buildings components for the design and construction industries we serve,” notes Michaela Harms, Senior director of Mass Timber for Sterling Structural. “Our customers expect reliable and seamless installation of our CLT products, and with this modified, domestically-produced, 5-axis CNC, we can deliver even more buildings across the country.”

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