2016/06/21   |   Australia

Why invest in zero joint

While AKC – based in Darwin and Alice Springs – have purchased a BRANDT Ambition 1440 airTec, the Western Australian company Busselton Furniture Products decided to invest in the smaller BRANDT Ambition 1230 airTec model.

“We don’t touch the board anymore; it goes straight into the cupboards of a kitchen.”

Christian Slavik, Project Manager, AKC Darwin

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

AKC: on top of the market in the Northern Territory

Since having opened a second branch in Darwin, the quality joinery shop AKC from the Northern Territory saw the need to invest in new machinery in order to establish the branch in the top end.

“We always want the best quality product and to achieve this, we need to find the right machines and tools to output that product,” says Christian Slavik, project manager at AKC in Darwin. Based on his credo that machines should output a quality product without the influence of people, AKC has invested in a hot air edgebander Brandt Ambition 1440 airTec.

First seen at the Awisa exhibition in 2014 and installed in October last year, AKC can clearly see the benefits of having a hot air edger. “We don’t touch the board anymore; it goes straight into the cupboards of a kitchen,” Christian says. With their new ability of producing boards with no visible glue lines, AKC advertises with airTec technology, in particular as Christian says, “The look of the edges is outstanding.”

AKC began in Alice Springs over 15 years ago and has been growing from strength to strength ever since. Owner Dennis Puckett employs 9 staff in the Darwin branch, including Christian who relocated from the centre to the top end.

With a remarkable showroom in Darwin, AKC offers a variety of commercial and domestic work. They construct custom cabinetry to meet individual requirements, aiming to offer a personal touch with each customer. Whether taking the DIY approach, choosing a flat-pack or leaving it up to their skilled tradesmen to install, AKC offers great flexibility. They are able to provide a service throughout the Northern Territory, from Alice Springs to Darwin, and all townships between, including remote communities.

Setting high standards for themselves, AKC want to continue satisfying their clients by delivering good quality at an affordable price. “Without the new machine, it would hardly be possible,” Christian admits.

The increasingly popular white gloss has become attractive for commercial clients as well. “Now with airTec you can really see the difference even on natural coloured boards,” Christian says.  

When it comes to the edging material, airTec can be used to process all types of currently popular, laser suitable edging types, such as ABS, PP and PMMA that are equipped with a functional layer on the backside of the edging material. “We can get any colour we want taking into account, of course, there is a minimum quantity you need to buy,” Christian says.

Furthermore, AKC recognise a big improvement in the production process. “We can now adjust the heights of the scrapers via the screen which means we don’t need to change it inside the machine. The preset settings make it easy for the operators, too. All in all, little maintenance is needed, and if we needed it we got great support from Homag.”

Even though edgebanders featuring hot air technology are still relatively new to the Australian market, AKC does not automatically support a wait-and see attitude. “You have to be on top of the market,” Christian says, “and we can now say that we have moved a step forward.”


Busselton Furniture Products: more output and less labour

When Aaron Tucker and Rodney Manning founded their company Busselton Furniture Products back in 1999, they didn’t know in which direction the company would develop. What they always knew was staying ahead of the game is key to success.

Starting off in a small shed in Busselton, a city two and a half hours south of Perth, they have worked their way up to employing 11 staff and producing on 850 square metres floor space. After having built their own factory in the Vasse business park, Aaron and business partner Rodney were in a good position to further grow the business.

Investing in a new edgebander was on top of their list. Choosing a hot air edgebander goes hand in hand with Aaron and Rodney’s forward-thinking approach. “We have to be well-prepared for future developments of the industry, particularly because the industry is changing so much,” Aaron says.

The Brandt Ambition 1230 airTec has helped Busselton Furniture Products to take on more jobs. “Previously, it took us 4 to 5 hours just wiping the edges,” Aaron says. “These days are over. We never had an edgebander where the finish is that nice and clean.” It easily adds up: “We have a higher output and were able to reduce our labour – owing not least to the much easier maintenance. This saves us a lot of time. Therefore, we can now offer our products at an even more competitive price”.

Busselton Furniture Products specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of custom made cabinets and solid timber furniture. They commenced operations primarily working for local builders in the upmarket segment, and over the years built up a strong reputation and client base.

Especially customers that “are happy to spend a bit more on a kitchen” expect quality that is better than anyone else’s. In order to show customers the different edge quality that comes off the Ambition 1230 airTec machine, clients can find airTec samples in their showroom. “They like them straight away as they can hardly see a line,” Aaron says.

Most of their products are produced in-house, which means they can provide fast turn-around times, especially for post form tops, vinyl wrap doors and Corian bench tops.

With their recent investment Aaron and Rodney are looking positively into the future of the business as long as “we can offer products which are competitive priced to keep ahead of competitors”.

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