Standing at over three metres high, Omnia CS Ltd (Omnia) is the proud owner of the UK’s tallest Striebig vertical panel saw. Capable of cutting panels up to 2700 x 6100mm, this purpose-built Striebig Evolution has been designed to make light work of cutting composite materials and thermoplastic sandwich panels to size.
“For over 15 years, we’ve been manufacturing and distributing lightweight, sustainable composite materials and thermoplastic sandwich panels in the UK,” says Les Meader, MD of Omnia. “An essential part of our production process is cutting large sheets to size, but it’s always been a slow and laborious process for us.
“Due to the sheet sizes, we were working with and the available space in our workshop, we were having to lay each panel on a flat surface or floor, manually measure each panel and use a chop saw and guiderail to cut each panel to the correct size. We knew this wasn’t an efficient way of working and, with orders increasing, we knew a vertical panel saw could improve productivity, reduce errors and de-skill the cutting process.”
Omnia’s requirements were clear. “We needed a saw with a relatively small footprint but that could still cut composite panels up to 2700 x 6100mm, as well as standard 8x4 MDF sheets and 1.5mm thick aluminium sheets. It also needed to offer simple operation, guarantee accuracy with every cut and offer a high level of operator safety,” explains Les.
“We spoke to three companies, but it was only TM Machinery that were able to fulfil our requirements. They knew their product range inside out and back to front and were able to work with us to find the right machine for our business. They told us the tallest standard Evolution saw was able to cut 2240mm, but Striebig were able to build a saw especially for us that was capable of cutting sheets up to 2700mm and 80mm deep and deliver it to our new 8,000m2 premises in Nottingham within seven weeks. It was this level of flexibility that was simply not available through any other manufacturer.”
Designed to simplify the cutting of panels and reduce handling, the Evolution came equipped with a wide range of standard features, including an easy-to-use 12” touch screen operating system, 5,5 kW motor, automatic locking, swivelling, plunging and withdrawal of the saw unit and support rollers for a one-man cutting operation – a necessity for Omnia, whose panels can weigh upwards of 105kg. It was also built to order with manual and digital measuring stops to provide a cutting accuracy of 0.1mm.
Following the smooth installation of the Evolution and completion of staff training, the vertical panel saw was quick to prove its worth. Les says, “The results were immediate. A job that would have taken two people a week to complete can now be completed in a single afternoon. Whilst we still need two people to lift larger sheets onto the saw, cutting a sheet to size is a one-person job, allowing us to save on labour costs and significantly reduce material handling.
“We’ve also been able to utilise the machine’s 80mm cutting depth and cut multiple sheets on the saw at one time, reducing production time and increasing efficiencies. In turn, this has allowed us to fulfil larger orders and still offer a competitive lead time.”
It’s also opened new doors for the Nottingham-based company. “We’re looking at offering a cutting service to local businesses to maximise our yield. This wouldn’t have been possible without our Striebig.”
Les adds, “We are on target to double our turnover this year. Whilst this isn’t all down to the introduction of the vertical panel saw, it’s certainly played its part. Thanks to the speed and accuracy of the Striebig, we are able to maintain a continual workflow and not have a build-up of sheets needing to be cut at one given time. This had reduced our risk of error, reduced material waste and has resulted in greater efficiencies across the workshop. Best of all, no one is required to work on their hands and knees to complete what is essentially a simple task, made complex by not having the right tools. We couldn’t recommend TM Machinery and Striebig more highly.”