Investing in factory machinery

Sven's West Midlands factory takes delivery of new edgebanding and CNC solutions

Investing in factory machinery

The Homag operating software is fast and intuitive

Although known for our extensive portfolio of standard products, a significant part of our production now comprises custom-made items. These may be variations on standard products or entirely bespoke.

To consistently achieve quality and reliability, Sven has always invested in the best woodworking equipment available. Our partnership with Homag UK has grown out of this approach, with the majority of machinery in our West Midlands facility supplied by Homag.

Changes in demand drive need for new machines

“The move away from producing two or three hundred standard pieces of a particular item towards customised batches of one, two or three items was putting pressure on our business,” said our Director of Operations, Patrick Rudge.

“Producing batch sizes of one requires constant changing of set-ups, particularly on edgebanders. We were losing valuable production time having to manually do this, so we decided to invest in a machine that could handle such changes automatically.”

We also wanted to free-up some of our team to work in other areas, so specified a machine that could be operated by one or two people.

Homag knew what we needed the edgebander system to achieve and they presented a number of options for our consideration – settling on the Homag KAL 370 flexLine edgebander (now known as the Edgeteq S-500) with a Loopteq O-500 return system.

Edging excellence

The beauty of this configuration is that you can put any size of panel through and it automatically processes without having to manually set up for each different-sized panel.

It also features an edge tape magazine that holds up to 12 different tapes that automatically change as required, plus the airTec glueless edge system creates a superbly finished, seamless edge.

The return system enables the edgebander to be operated by one person. Once the panel has been edged on one side it automatically goes onto a return conveyor back to the operator, who then turns the panel and puts it onto the machine to do the next edge. The improved flexibility and time savings this gives are immense.

Our old double-sided edgebander often only operated productively for four hours in an eight-hour shift, the rest of the time taken up with changing settings. The new Edgeteq S-500 can run continuously throughout the shift, massively increasing productivity.

According to Patrick: “The new machine is also very easy to operate. We sent our people over to Germany for training before the machine was delivered. Then, once it had been installed, the Homag engineer provided more on-site training, staying until the team was 100% happy.”

Superior CNC technology

We took delivery of a new CNC machining and processing centre just a month after installation of the edgebander. This Homag Centateq E-310 CNC was a replacement for an older model. Again, the main drivers were for a machine that was both more productive and accurate.

Our need was for a CNC that would enable us to machine complex parts and also edge the shaped panels. The E-310 is perfect, with all of the essential functions in clear view and mounted directly on the machine. Operators can see what’s going on through the large window and, due to Homag’s latest advances in safety technology, there are no prohibitive barriers around the machine, so the operators have easy access to a table top panel from any side.

Overall it is much more accurate than our previous machine and, consequently, it too gives a better finished product. Additionally, we can cut, shape and edge panels all on the one machine which makes life much more efficient and straightforward.

“There is so much this machine can do. The table clamping system is quick and easy to use with its LED positioning system, and the woodWOP software used to operate the machine is fast and intuitive. From drilling and routing through to sawing and edgebanding, it is a tremendous piece of kit.”

In conclusion: “The Sven brand is known in the industry for high quality, so it is vital for us that we maintain this level of finish. These Homag machines are extremely reliable and the quality of the finished furniture we produce using them is first class. Overall, we’re delighted with the new equipment and believe the machines will pay for themselves in well under five years.”

For more details about Sven and how our office furniture can help create the perfect work environment, simply check out our website, drop us a line or call our friendly Customer Service team on 01384 400120.

Based on extracts from an article originally published by Furniture & Joinery Production.