2016/06/20   |   Australia

"Now is the time to invest in the future"

It did not take long until Martin Smith and his team at Euroline recognised the benefits of their newly purchased horizontal storage system. Since the installation of the HOMAG Automation TLF 210 in November last year, the workflow has increased big time.

"The efficiency is massive and it’ll pay off in about 4 years."

Martin Smith, General Manager, Euroline

The article was first published in the AWISA Magazine, Show edition 2016.

“The efficiency is massive and it’ll pay off in 4 to 5 years,” says Martin, who is the general manager of the Sydney-based company. The company has now made the workflow more effective in order to remain successful on the market.

Changing from old-school to modern mindset

However, Euroline was not always as forward-thinking as they are nowadays. “We were a bit old-school,” Martin admits, “but when Alex from HOMAG brought up a storage system we started to change our mindset. We went to see already installed HOMAG storage systems at both big and small companies and could clearly see the benefits. We were then ready to try something new.”

Considering the fact that they started as a small joinery in a unit block around the corner from where they are located now, their pace of development had been rapid. Founded 20 years ago, Euroline underwent radical changes in the long-term direction of the company. When Martin joined the company 11 years ago, the company from Sydney’s western suburb of Auburn changed the market they were delivering from residential to commercial.

On the basis of the way they produce and the machinery set-up, commercial projects suit their profile very well. Within the last years, Euroline has worked its way up and is now dealing with Tier 1 builders, which are the largest and most experienced firms in the industry. One of the largest projects they were involved with included the Sydney University School of Business.

Being at the right place at the right time

Since 1992, Euroline has built its reputation to become one of Sydney’s leading architectural joinery companies. They service a range of areas across the industry including one-off high end architectural joinery, multi floor fit-out, hospital fit-outs, health, airports and banks.

Since the relocation to the current premises in Auburn 8 years ago, the company has made its biggest move taking into account that they grew their staff from 8 to 60 during that time.

After putting the storage system into place, Euroline didn’t increase their manpower but did increase their capacity. “We want to keep our number of staff stable and rather invest in more automation,” Martin says.

He continues, “Now is the time to invest in the future. We are busy for the next 3 to 5 years, and therefore, we made the investment last year. We have to keep up if we want to be in the right place with our infrastructure in order to maximise profit.”

Finding stock by just one click

The TLF is an all-rounder for a wide variety of panels. It helps to reduce utilised capital from storing up to nesting or sawing and the material used is coordinated with the ordering system and the order planning. Running orders over night is not a problem, and there’s no more manual handling necessary. The TLF sets the program a night before, picks orders over night and is ready for production the next morning.

Furthermore, stock-keeping is managed as needed as well as offcuts managed automatically. It not only shows what is in stock but also precisely where it is. Additionally, the scanning of bar codes provides a quick integration of panels into the system. Even offcut panels are integrated in the storage and can be used for further cutting. Thus, the sophisticated material management reduces offcuts.

The management of stock is the biggest benefit for Martin. “We used to accumulate our stock. We found sheets of 8 years old. Now it’s all in the system, and our office staff can see it and make the floor staff use the old boards first. We then print the reports of boards and use or move them out of the system. This is a smart way to use our stock,” he explains.

It also allows Euroline to have more variety of stock. All stock that comes off the truck is directly transferred into the system. “Now we are ordering just in time,” Martin says who appreciates the fact that everyone is now able to see what is in the storage. “We used to have spread sheets but now it’s just a click. “

Minimising manual handling

With the implementation of the storage system, Euroline could not only increase their safety but also their productivity. Production manager Daniel Buchanan explains why, “We reduce our forklift work by 80 per cent. The time for manually loading has dramatically decreased. We were able to put our forklift driver, who is actually a machinist, back to the machine.”

In relation to this, Euroline is able to prevent any damage that is caused to boards by moving them around. Daniel says, “The storage takes the stock and loads it directly into the infeed bay. The amount of boards the TLF can move is incredible.”

More output by integration of existing stand-alone machines

“We didn’t shop around,” Martin says with regard to the decision for a storage system from HOMAG Automation, reinforced by the fact that HOMAG is able to integrate existing stand-alone nesting machines into a storage system.

Their WEEKE Vantage 100 is fully integrated; the 10-year old nester of the same kind is partly integrated. Nevertheless, the team at Euroline can clearly see the further benefits of such integration as Daniel illustrates, “In connection with the nesting machines, we don’t need to stop our work and don’t have downtime.”

Having found “the perfect employee who ticks by itself without any sick days” will be the key to Euroline’s success, Martin says.

With 3,500 square metres factory space, Euroline accommodates in-house spray painting facilities, state-of-art machinery, dedicated assembly areas and large storage facilities under one roof, which allows them to continue the highest level of quality control ensuring they maintain their reputation in the industry.

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