It seems a lifetime ago that Brexit was hogging the limelight, yet from 2016 to 2019 it totally dominated the news. One of the companies negatively affected by the indecision surrounding Brexit was Installations Southern.

As a bespoke furniture manufacturer, its main business was in retail showroom fit-outs and reception desks. Brexit’s uncertainty, however, caused a drastic reduction in its workload, and the company had to look for new opportunities.

Neville Sykes, Installation Southern’s MD, takes up the story: “We wanted a business that would give us a solid foundation and deliver consistent workflows. Research identified a gap in the market for a fast, high-quality online service that could provide panel cutting, edging, CNC machining and finishing under one roof. Hence the ecommerce business was conceived. 

“Our aim was to start small, covering south London, Kent and Sussex, with our own delivery vans servicing customers. The project required building an ecommerce website to enable customers to input panel sizes, quantities and edge preferences for a quote.”

Homag Sawteq B-200 – impressive accuracy, speed and finish quality, with the addition of a barcode label printer

Service and support

“With regard to the woodworking machinery required, we already had an old edgebander, but that just wasn’t up to the job, so a replacement was needed,” Neville continues. “We also had a CNC machine which, with a few additions, would be fit for purpose. 

“Previously, we used a panel saw to cut boards, but for the new venture we required a more accurate, reliable and faster beam saw. 

“Past experience highlighted the importance of partnering with a company that was not only financially stable, but also offered rapid, reliable service support. That meant focusing on the ‘big three.’ 

“One of these would only guarantee machine support for seven years, so we discounted it. Of the two remaining companies, Homag’s comprehensive level of service and support won the day. Not only was its service head and shoulders above the competition, but also its machine build-quality and control software were clearly superior.”

An end-to-end operation

“The Homag solution worked from every angle. By adding a barcode reader to our existing five-axis Homag CNC we could automate the whole process using the excellent MagiCut and woodWOP software.

“Our new Edgeteq S-300 edgebander has the airTec system which delivers zero-joint edges, giving us a quality advantage. It also delivers a much higher throughput than our old model. 

“The Homag beam saw, a Sawteq B-200, is just so much better than our panel saw. The accuracy, speed and finish quality are superb and, with the barcode label printer, it enables us to keep track of the cut panels easily as they progress through production. 

“This setup. with the MagiCut and woodWOP software, gives us total control for end-to-end production. A customer can enter their cutting list details on our website and get a quote back quickly. If they’re happy with that, they place the order and as soon as we receive it we simply push a button and the job is put in motion.

“The saw cuts and labels the panels, they are then edged and, if CNC work is required, the CNC reads the barcode on the label and automatically does the necessary work.”

A true partnership

“The benefit of partnering with a company like Homag is you know 100% you will get the support and service you need, when you need it. Whether it is for the machines or the software, all the team are knowledgeable and extremely helpful. They’re a great company to work with, and the people there give us real peace of mind that we’re in good hands,” concludes Neville. 

For a demonstration or more information on Homag’s Edgeteq or Sawteq machines, contact Adele Hunt at Homag UK on 01332 856424.​​​​​​​