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Contract Kitchen Manufacturer Invests In HOMAG DRILLTEQ H-600

Clare Hollister

Richmond Furniture is a privately owned family business with roots dating back to the mid-1940s. Renowned for the quality of its superior kitchens it has established a solid reputation as a supplier to the contract kitchen market. With a turnover for 2023 estimated at around £17 million, its 117 strong workforce manufactures specialist ranges for the public housing sector, private developer market and trade merchants. It also offers a small bespoke retail service.

“Our business has been built on providing quality, best value products delivered on time and within budget,” explains Richmond Furniture’s managing director, Gary Tootell. He continues, “To achieve this we have always invested in highly skilled crafts people and technically advanced, dependable woodworking machinery. 

“The partnership with HOMAG goes back to the early 1980s when we bought our first edge bander from them. Since then we have acquired numerous HOMAG pieces of kit including a complete assembly line in 2006 with through feed drilling, insertion, pressing, robot stapling and all the assembly stations.”

Looking for a robust drilling CNC processing centre

“Our most recent purchase from HOMAG is a DRILLTEQ H-600 CNC processing centre. We bought it to replace an ageing Italian machine and while we evaluated a couple of alternatives, the HOMAG machine came out on top. 

“Although there wasn’t a significant difference in the capability of the machines, the HOMAG DRILLTEQ stood out in terms of its build quality, the service support provided by HOMAG UK and the fact that HOMAG machines hold their value extremely well over time.

“HOMAG has a long and well established history of designing and manufacturing robust, cutting edge woodworking machinery. There’s no doubt, buying into this heritage gives you peace of mind and a real confidence that if issues occur they will be fixed very quickly, either remotely or by a visit from a service engineer.” 

A complete package – machine performance, support and service

“Another significant advantage of partnering with HOMAG is the team of people who are on hand to help. From Matt Long, HOMAG’s area sales manager, to the installation engineers, trainers and sales support team, they are all friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. You never get the feeling you are being misled or pressured.

“Specifying the drill blocks and tools for the DRILLTEQ H-600 is fairly straightforward. Matt Long, however, was a real help when it came to specifying details such as sensors and parameters that can be included. He was able to guide us as to what we needed to add and what we needed to change on the machine to get to where we wanted to be.

“The DRILLTEQ has features on it that the machine it replaced didn’t, but that’s not surprising given the age of the previous CNC. It is the service support and machine reliability, however, that make the difference. From our point of view, these are the two most important elements of the package and this is where HOMAG comes into its own.”

Quick and easy installation and training

“The machine was delivered on a Friday in early September 2022 and was fully operational by the end of the following week. The installation engineers trained our team on the basic operations of the DRILLTEQ and how best to use the parameters. 

“More recently, we sent three of our operators to Castle Donington for two days intensive training. Our people found this very useful; they learned more about the parameters of the machine and how to do certain off-line work. They also discovered a few of the machine’s capabilities that they weren’t aware of, so it was good value all round.”

Better quality products with short return on investment 

“The DRILLTEQ H-600 enables us to work directly from barcodes. Each panel is barcoded and from the barcode the machine draws the programme, drilling bespoke holes for that panel. This has enabled us to drill components as orders come through rather than at random and in bulk. It also means that individual units only have the holes drilled in each panel that are necessary; there are no generic holes which can look unsightly when a cupboard is opened.

“The heaviest use of the machine will come in the summer months when we do a lot of small batch, high volume work for student accommodation. From an investment point of view, therefore, we expect the DRILLTEQ to pay for itself within three years. 

“Overall we are extremely happy with the new DRILLTEQ H-600. It is a reliable, robust machine which has added more capacity to the business and improved the quality of our product offering,” concludes Tootell.

If you would like a demonstration or further information on DRILLTEQ models or other HOMAG woodworking machinery and software, please contact Adele Hunt at HOMAG UK on 01332 856424 or email: [email protected]

T: 0L1332 856500

E: [email protected]