In today’s challenging economic climate buying a used rather than a new machine can sometimes be a sensible move. This was the case when a firm of specialist engravers chose a five-year-old refurbished Striebig vertical panel saw supplied by the manufacturer’s sole UK agent James Wilson (Engravers), trading as Matt Black Systems, carries out general industrial engraving, specialising in the production of engraved panels used widely in aerospace control systems.

When a fire in an adjacent business unit caused extensive smoke damage to its premises in Poole, Dorset two years ago, the company took the opportunity to upgrade its existing machinery, which included a flat bed circular saw.

Explained engraving shop manager Roger Excell: “The saw was not very safety friendly because of its exposed blade. As well as needing to improve our Health & Safety, the saw’s small table was not conducive for cutting large panels.”

For example, it needed three men to manoeuvre a 20mm thick 2 x 1m panel onto the saw’s bed and hold it firmly in place whilst sawing off small pieces.

Tasked with investigating possible alternatives Mr Excell began by carrying out on-line research. By this time it had been decided to switch to a vertical panel saw because of the safety and space-saving advantages.

Mr Excell talked to eight possible suppliers about machine capabilities and prices as well as training and after sales service, before coming up with a shortlist of three. This included T.M. Machinery Sales, sole UK agents for Striebig, whose subsidiary company T.M. Services refurbishes and services woodworking machinery including the Swiss made saws.

“After liking what I had read and heard about T.M. I went along to see a Striebig in action at a local company and had a useful discussion with the saw’s operator,” said Mr Excell.

Refurbished Striebig Compact cost effective choice

This clinched the decision to buy a five-year-old Striebig Compact 4164, which T.M. Services had stripped down and totally refurbished so that it looked and performed as if it was brand new.

“I had no objection to buying a used machine as long as I knew it had been totally factory refurbished,” said Mr Excell. “The Compact matched all the criteria we had set for size, capabilities – it can handle the largest panels we use – and price.

“It was by far the most cost-effective machine we looked at for the type and amount of work we wanted it to do, and with its totally enclosed blade it’s as safe to use as a saw can possibly be.”

Installed in September 2011, the Compact cuts Perspex, laminate and aluminium panels ranging from 1mm to 20mm thick.

It’s used mainly to form small pieces from 150mm sq up to 300 x 200mm, with up to a dozen pieces produced at a time. These go to a CNC mill for machining, then to the paint shop and on to the engraving department. The saw also sizes the occasional MDF panel and piece of solid timber.

“We have become more efficient as it’s now a one-man job to size even the largest panel, releasing staff to do other jobs,” said Mr Excell. “The Striebig is an extremely robustly made saw with a powerful motor and frame which is rock solid when in use and delivers a clean, accurate and true cut every time, whatever the sheet material.”

The space released by replacing the flat bed saw has been used to house a second CNC milling machine.

With the saw T.M also supplied and installed an AL-KO twin-bag AAS 2000 mobile dust extractor unit. This reduces the amount of dust in the air during sawing to an absolute minimum.

Striebig’s Compact 4164 is one of nine models in the Compact series with a cutting range from 3100 x 1644mm up to 5350 x 2200mm. An automatic feed series, the Compact AV, is also available. They are all based on a single, fully welded sawing frame to give decades of reliable service whilst maintaining cutting precision.

The saws can be wall-mounted or freestanding. They can cut practically all wood-based sheet materials as well as timber, plaster board, plastics, composites and aluminium panels. They guarantee impressive dust limit values well below 1mg/m3ends.

For further information contact Matt Pearce, Sales Director on 0116 271 7155 or email

Issued by Stephen Barry Publicity. Tel: 020 8341 6660. Email:

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