2019/06/06   |   United Kingdom

Cookstown Panel Centre gains cutting advantage

In 2018 it became apparent that Cookstown Panel Centre would need to upgrade one of their beam saws to enable them to satisfy the increasing demand for their products.

Because the new saw is much more user friendly and is packed with the latest technology, it is far more efficient and accurate. It has enabled us to maintain and improve our service to customers.

Gerry Mallon, Cookstown Panel Centre's managing director

Based in an 85,000 sq. ft. facility in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, is the £10m turnover business, Cookstown Panel Centre. The company, established in 1983, has always insisted on sourcing the finest materials and machinery to produce its renowned range of kitchen products.

“Our customers demand top quality products,” explains managing director, Gerry Mallon. He continues, “That’s why we buy the best materials we can and when it comes to machinery, HOMAG is always our first port of call.

“The relationship with HOMAG began over 25 years ago when I first met Derek Reid, the company’s representative here in Ireland. Straightaway, I was impressed with Derek’s approach and knowledge of the woodworking industry.

“Over time, we’ve built up a really strong rapport and his in-depth understanding of our business has gone from strength to strength. Derek doesn’t pull any punches, so when we ask his advice we know we can trust him to give us not only his honest opinion, but also a solution that is the very best for our business.”

Time to sharpen the saw

“In 2018 it became apparent that we would need to upgrade one of our beam saws to enable us to satisfy the increasing demand for our products. We wanted to improve our efficiency and the accuracy of our production whilst at the same time maintaining the reliability and continuity.

“Customers lead times are coming down all the time and it would be disastrous for our business if we couldn’t deliver what they want, when they want it. Gone are the days when you could say to the customer, “It will be delivered in three weeks.” That just won’t wash now, people expect product to be ready in a few days at the most, even if they are bespoke items.

 “Having made the decision to invest in a new beam saw we spoke first with Derek and asked him to come back with a proposal and specification for a beam saw. We explained that we wanted a solution that would not only satisfy our current demands, but would also be able to cope with future growth.”

HOMAG SAWTEQ B-300 with integrated lifting table

“Although we have a long-standing relationship with HOMAG, we are conscious not to overlook other options that might be available in the market. In this instance, however, the solution Derek came up with, a HOMAG SAWTEQ B-300 with integrated lifting table, made the most sense in every way.

“The saw has all the latest technology from HOMAG. It can handle large 4.2 m panels and delivers short production times and high throughput due to automatic feeding via the lifting table. For our operation, the lifting table is essential; most of our products are cut from 2.8 m boards which are stacked onto the lifting table by fork lift truck, thus avoiding manual handling.”

Efficiency, accuracy & reliability

“Historically, we have used the Magi-cut software in our business. It enables us to drive the production process from the offices, rather than the factory floor. The Magi-cut software is easy-to-use and integrates seamlessly with the HOMAG saws.

 “Using this software enables us to plan efficient cutting processes and we can optimise waste and systematically lower the overall costs for cutting. It gives us full control of costs and is quick and easy to use.”

Feeding the edge banders

“With the increased volume of bespoke products of varying shapes and sizes, it is vital that our beam saws can maintain high throughputs. This is not only to maximise the potential of our two latest HOMAG edge banders, but also to enable us to meet the spikes in demand that are part of everyday business pressures in our service orientated world.

“Because the new saw is much more user friendly and is packed with the latest technology, it is far more efficient and accurate. It has enabled us to maintain and improve our service to customers.

“The SAWTEQ B-300 does what it says on the tin. It’s what you would expect from the world’s largest woodworking company: a reliable, highly accurate and super-efficient saw. We believe it will pay for itself within two years and so we’re more than happy with it,” concludes Gerry Mallon.

 If you’d like a demonstration or more information about HOMAG beam saws, please contact HOMAG UK on 01332 856424. 

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