The Right Fit
The shop fitting industry is notoriously competitive, and when working with big names like Harrods, Selfridges, TopShop and Addidas, you need to be able to design and manufacture high quality products efficiently and within a short timeframe. To help achieve this, Hampshire-based commercial interiors specialist, Oakwood Shopfitting, has invested in its second Striebig vertical panel saw from machinery distributor, TM Machinery.
“Our vertical panel saw is the most used piece of equipment on our factory floor, running for up to 10 hours a day,” begins Steve Oliver, Workshop Manager at Oakwood Shopfitting. “We have between 12 and 14 joiners working on the floor at any one time and every single one of them favours the Striebig when cutting materials to size. We even invested in a table saw in a bid to stop anyone waiting to use the vertical panel saw but with simple one-man handling and guaranteed accuracy, the Striebig is always the go-to machine in our workshop.” It’s this continual use and the company’s widening portfolio that has led to Oakwood Shopfitting replacing its 15-year-old Striebig ‘Compact’ with the very latest model.
“The company has evolved in recent years, which has seen us build strong relationships with leading names in the commercial, retail, food and beverage sectors,” says Steve. “We’re not mass producers but we attract business because of our skill set and bespoke joinery offering. So, when faced with replacing our favoured wall saw in order for us to keep up to date with the latest technology, it was an easy decision to swap the existing Striebig with a like-for-like model.”
The new ‘Compact 5207’ – which boasts a cutting size of 4600 x 2070mm and a cutting depth of 60mm – has been installed to work primarily with Perspex, Plywood, MDF and solid timber. Featuring a digital readout, the new addition continues to save the company time and money.
Steve explains, “Whist the Striebig comes with an upfront cost, it has paid for itself over a short period of time. A good example of this is the amount of skirting and architrave we produce with the saw. Many joiners would buy this from a merchant but because of the wide range of sizes we use and the sheer amount we need available to use, it’s considerably cheaper to produce it on the Striebig.”
It’s also changed the way the company works. “It’s hard to say what we did before we owned a Striebig because we now use it on every project we win,” says Steve. “From working on Prezzo and Chimichanga chains to Next clothing stories, the Striebig has an important role to play. Even when we make doors, we cut panel holes out of the design using the vertical panel saw. Years ago, we used to route out holes, which took a lot of time and it relied on a very accurate eye. Now, we can cut straight out of the middle with minimal fuss. And, as we’re able to cut materials four metres long by two metres high, we’re never restricted by the machine’s capabilities.”
Oakwood Shopfitting also takes advantage of TM’s servicing package. “We invest heavily in our machinery and in order for them to run smoothly and efficiently, we service every piece of equipment annually. TM’s engineers specialise in traditional woodworking machinery so they take care of our edgebander, table saw, cross cutter, spindle moulder, sander and planers. This extra care pays for itself over time. Unlike other companies we’ve worked with, they know the machines inside and out and can help us with even the smallest of problems. Nine times out of 10, they can explain how to resolve a problem over the phone but if needed, they arrange an engineer to come out quickly. That’s what makes TM Machinery stand out. They know how important it is to get a machine up and running quickly and efficiently. I have every confidence in TM’s sales and servicing team and couldn’t recommend the team or the Striebig brand enough.”