A highly successful manufacturer of high-end bespoke commercial furniture has solved a bottleneck in its sizing operations with a Striebig Compact vertical panel saw.
The saw has also delivered more accurate sizing and better use of workshop space. Manufacturing by Design creates hand-crafted furniture for some of the UK’s leading design and building practices, commissioned for blue chip clients in the retailing, banking and hospitality sectors.
Managing director Tony Juchau set up the business in 1992. The company has expanded steadily since then, culminating last year in a move to 9,300 sq ft premises in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. It has 20 employees, including eight highly skilled cabinet makers. “Despite all the talk of gloom and doom in the media, business is buoyant at the moment and we have a good order book,” said Mr Juchau.
Amongst recent prestige jobs have been retail installations for Diptyque, the French perfumers and makers of luxury scented candles, and the fitting out of Graff Diamonds’ new flagship store in Bond Street, London.
The company has also been commissioned for installations in Europe, the Middle East and the United States. It was because of the steady increase in demand for its work that a second saw was needed in the workshop.
“We have a panel saw which was not able to cope with the increasing amount of sizing we needed to do on it,” said Mr Juchau. “As most of our work starts off with panel sizing, this was causing major problems further down the line.”
Striebig increases production
After deciding to invest in a second machine, Mr Juchau and workshop manager Chris Lawley agreed that a vertical panel saw would save on workshop space. “From reading the trade journals we soon realised that Striebig was considered the bench mark to aim at,” said Mr Juchau.
“The two other manufacturers we looked at in addition to Striebig offered cheaper machines but they were far less well-built and not as robust,” said Mr Lawley. “They were also not as simple to set up, which is important as almost all of our work consists of one-offs.”
They then talked to Striebig’s UK agent, T.M. Machinery Sales, about which model would be best for their needs.
“T.M. suggested that a Compact would do the job well, so I went to look at one used at a local kitchen cabinet maker,” said Mr Lawley. “Seeing it working and listening to the positive views of the operators clinched our decision to buy. It’s amazingly accurate and cuts perfectly square every time, which is not the case with the panel saw which needs to be checked and reset from time to time.”
Manufacturing by Design’s Compact 4164 sizes various sheet materials, mainly veneered boards and MDF, plus the occasional acrylic sheet, ranging in thickness from 19 to 38mm. The machine is the smallest in the nine-strong entry level series with a cutting range of 3100 x 1644mm (10 ft x 5 ft) and a maximum depth of cut of 60mm.
Featuring automatic moving backing support and with a powerful 3.9kW motor, it has exceptionally efficient integral TRK dust extraction that surpasses current European health and safety legislation.
Useful accessories chosen by Manufacturing by Design included a scoring saw for laminates and a 600mm strip cutter for repeat cuts.
Felice Iannone, one of the company’s team of cabinet makers, said most of the panel sizing work is now being done on the Striebig.
“As well as being simple to set up, we get a totally accurate cut every time and it’s far easier to load the biggest panels on to it than on to the panel saw. It has made panel sizing much, much easier.”
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