The 4D Experience
When you manufacture 25,000 kitchen and bedroom doors and components every week for over 1,500 customers, you need the very best machines to maintain the high standards your customers have come to expect. For Cramlington-based Browns 2000, this meant investing in its third Striebig vertical panel saw – a top-of-the-range Striebig 4D – from woodworking machinery supplier, TM Machinery.
“Investing in the right machinery is important to us,” begins Graeme Brown, Sales Executive at Browns 2000. “Over the last 20 years, we’ve invested heavily in our machinery in a bid to improve efficiencies, increase production and maintain our reputation as a leading door manufacturer. For us, the Striebig 4D vertical panel saw ticked all the boxes to help us achieve this.”
It was the 4D’s integrated Panel Optimisation Programme (POP) that first caught the attention of Browns 2000 during a demonstration at woodworking machinery and materials show, the W Exhibition. Designed to reduce material waste, the software facilitates an automatic cutting sequence that optimises the sawing procedure and calculates the best possible material usage. “We could see the cost saving benefits to this immediately,” says Graeme. “Now fully up and running, the 4D makes around 3,000 cuts per week. By optimising the cutting process, it has reduced the amount of material we use, saving us unnecessary material costs.”
Whilst the company’s other Striebig vertical panel saws – both the Control model – were introduced to cut a range of smaller accessories, including cornices, pelmets and plinths, the 4D was purchased to work predominantly on the manufacturer’s premium door collection, the Glacier range. With increased orders and short lead times, speed and accuracy were important factors to consider: “Producing our Glacier doors is a three-step process and the 4D is crucial to deliver consistent results. We laminate the front and back of raw board with high gloss acrylic and PVC. This then needs to be cut to size and labelled correctly before being transported to our edging department. The 4D automates the whole process, making it quicker and simpler for our operators, whilst reducing the risk of any errors occurring.”
The 4D model does this thanks to its Panel Lowering Device and Programmable Panel Feeder – both of which are designed to transport panels vertically and horizontally though the saw automatically with a precision of 0.1 mm. And, for fuss-free handling, it also incorporates a printer that can label parts coming off the machine with product information or barcodes.
But for Browns 2000, the purchase of their second Striebig came down to much more than the 4D’s innovation features and advanced software package. Graeme explains, “For us, when we’re buying a new machine, the people we’re buying it from are just as important as the machine itself. In this industry, people talk. We engage with our customers every day and you quickly get to hear about people’s experiences when working with different companies. TM Machinery was one of those names that kept cropping up and, after working with them, we can see why they have a solid reputation in the industry. Their fantastic product knowledge and high level of customer service has given us real confidence in them as a machinery supplier and as such, we’ve continued to invest in their portfolio.”
Graeme adds, “I strongly believe in the phrase, ‘people buy from people’ and in this instance, it couldn’t be more true. Our customers take a keen interest in our production facilities and we’re often asked about the machinery we use. We’re very transparent about what we do and how we do it and as a result, we are happy to share our thoughts and opinions with them. In fact, we’ve already invited one of our customers who is in the market for a wall saw to come and see the saw in action. Our business has benefited from the service TM Machinery has provided, so why shouldn’t we share our experiences with others in the industry?”