“Our tools are sometimes perceived to be expensive but,” says Brian, “if through quality and consistency of service, they last twice as long – and in many cases longer – than the alternatives, then it has to be money well spent.
“Customers who have invested in Leitz in the UK over the last 30 years understand this,” continues Brian. “That part is simple, but there is a lot more to using Leitz tools. Everything we make is manufactured to EN847 1-3, which means that every tool is tested to a high standard of accuracy and safety which helps prolong the life of the tool and, ultimately, the machine itself. Our tools give good finishes, which means less sanding and rectification, less coating and ultimately, lower labour costs.”
Companies can become fixated on the purchase price of tools, but on closer examination of the tooling budget, find it is a very small portion of turnover, particularly for furniture production.
“What we call environmental issues – labour costs, material cost, rectification cost, downtime, setting costs, noise issues, safety issues and dust issues to name a few – far outweigh tooling budgets, but correct, quality tools can have a fantastic positive impact on other costs.
“Over the last few years, we have worked with many companies interested in efficiency,” explains managing director Simon Liddell. “This has paid them dividends now the market is growing again. We have many examples where customers were changing tools every shift, now it’s once per week. Other areas where we have introduced new technology, such as our MC33 coated tools, have seen dramatic improvement, with even better surface finishes, more components produced per hour and a lower tooling cost per component.”
A high quality sharpening service is another key issue. Derek Statham, Leitz UK service and works manager says: “Sharpening TCT saws 12-15 times is relatively easy, but the ability to sharpen the same saws to 20+ regrinds can reduce your overall tooling costs by 50% or more.
“The high precision grinding service we provide can also yield longer service life between sharpening or repair, resulting in fewer tool changes, less machine down-time and improved productivity; all of which are big concerns for all our customers, whether they are small joinery workshops or large manufacturers.”
Leading building interiors manufacturer Grant Westfield produces 4000-5000 domestic shower panels per week in 9mm plywood, laminated both sides and PVA glue bonded. Cutting five stacked boards at a time, its production line saw blades needed to be changed every 300 to 400 boards, but a trial with Leitz Tooling had saw blades lasting up to a recorded 1358 boards before a change was needed.
Grant Westfield machine shop foreman Grant Finlay says: “It’s a no brainer, the new blades are far superior. These saw blades might cost more but the savings far outweigh the price. We were spending much more on so-called cheaper saw blades before we made the switch. The difference between the old saw blades and Leitz is like night and day and we’ve not looked back.”
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