“Ten thousand square feet may sound like a big area until you have to fit in a piece of plant like the HOMAG SAWTEQ B-400,” explains Martin Cossington, managing director at Universal Wood Products Ltd. He continues, “Given its capabilities, the saw itself is relatively compact. However, when you consider the in-feed space needed to cope with boards up to 5.49m long, plus the area required to remove the processed strips, the size of the challenge becomes abundantly clear.”
Universal Wood Products (UWP) manufactures primed MDF mouldings and profiled components at its Romford facility. The company’s customers comprise of timber merchant groups such as Travis Perkins, Huws Grey and James Latham Timber which account for 30 per cent of its volume. The remaining 70 per cent of business is spread across a diverse range of house developers and architects.
The company has also established a name for itself with its bespoke capabilities. UWP’s products have been specified for prestigious projects such as The Shard and the British Library. And, whilst the majority of clients are based in London and the south-east, it also has customers further afield in Liverpool and Manchester.
Finding a suitable replacement saw
Martin Cossington again, “For many years we had a Japanese multi-ripsaw which had performed well for us, but was approaching the end of its life. There was another issue as we discovered the ripsaw would not be compliant with upcoming Health and Safety Executive (HSE) requirements.
“As a replacement, we decided to invest in a second-hand saw which we were told could handle our needs. To cut a long story short, that turned out not to be the case and so we began a process of searching for a suitable new beam saw.
“Obviously, a saw is integral to our business, and so as a stopgap we outsourced the cutting of our boards to a third party whilst we did our due diligence to find the right saw solution for UWP.
“We narrowed the search down to two manufacturers, but ultimately it was HOMAG that came out on top. Our decision wasn’t down to price – the two quotes we had were very similar. What really impressed us was the attitude and approach of everyone at HOMAG, they were so knowledgeable, open and friendly.
“The HOMAG area sales manager, James Mason and senior technical engineer, Charles Smith made several visits to our factory. They wanted to ensure we specified a solution that would not only fit and be operable in the available space, but would also increase our throughput.
“After many laser measurements and much scratching of heads, a plan was agreed. Before proceeding, however, we talked to a number of large suppliers of MDF moulding boards who all use HOMAG equipment and their glowing feedback gave us the confidence to place the order for the SAWTEQ B-400 beam saw.
“Despite the confines of our facility, the installation of the machine went very smoothly thanks to HOMAG’s meticulous planning. In just over two weeks from delivery, the saw was up and running. The HOMAG engineers did a great job and left no stone unturned in training our staff on the new kit.”
A springboard for success with a 20% uplift in yield
“The HOMAG SAWTEQ has given us a springboard into processing various full format sizes from all the MDF producers. It has optimised our production, delivering an increase in yield of at least 20 per cent.
“More importantly perhaps, it has given us increased flexibility to service our broad range of customers with high quality products delivered speedily. The saw secures our future for the specials and made to order market in which we have established such a strong reputation over the years,” concludes Cossington.
If you would like more information or a demonstration of any of the HOMAG machinery and software, please contact Adele Hunt at HOMAG UK on 01332 856424.
T: 01332 856500