Established in 1951, Wreake Valley Craftsmen creates thoughtfully-designed, carefully-made and immaculately-finished furniture. A company that is committed to combining traditional craftsmanship with modern manufacturing methods, Wreake Valley Craftsmen continually invests in the most modern machinery and systems, enabling the company to match the prices of high volume manufacturers whilst maintaining the highest quality standards.
So when the company’s wide-belt sander was no longer providing the results that Wreake Valley Craftsmen wished to achieve, it was replaced by a new Premium-2 1100 RE from Kündig.
Describing the old sander at the end of its life, company owner, Andrew Duncombe, tells Furniture production: “Our old sander was just getting worn out: motors were going and things on it were not working properly. A replacement was required.” Much of the work carried out by Wreake Valley Craftsmen is the sanding of veneered panels, which requires a particularly high degree of accuracy.
Andrew described how the company was already favourably inclined towards Kündig, having a Kündig Uniq edge sander with which was very pleased. Investigations of the wide-belt sander market took Andrew and his team to W12, where they were able to see the Kündig Premium on show. “We thought they were very good quality,” says Andrew.
This was followed by a visit to the Kündig facility in Switzerland, to see the machines demonstrated and the machines in build. Andrew comments that the visit to Switzerland was quite informative, and a useful exercise.
He continues: “We did look at a couple of other sanders and decided that, although the Kündig Premium was not the cheapest sander available, it offered the best value for money: it was the quality we were looking for.”
The Premium is a key part of the workshop equipment. As Andrew says: “Virtually every job that we do goes through it. We do a mixture of things but the bulk of what we are doing is sanding veneered board. You need to be very accurate to be able to do that.”
Key advantages of the new sander are “Reliability - and the fact that you aren’t going to sand through the veneers.”
The sander selected by Wreake Valley Craftsmen has two sanding heads, the first being a calibrating roller and the second being an electronic segmental sanding pad with a working width of up to 1100mm. All new Kündig sanders now come equipped with the Eco energy saving mode, which constantly checks the electricity required by the sander. If, after an appropriate period of time, no workpieces are being processed, the machine automatically enters an energy saving mode. According to Kündig, studies have found this saves about 10-15% of the electricity that would otherwise be required.
In order to produce the high quality finish and high level of precision required by Wreake Valley Craftsmen and similar clients, Kündig pays particular attention to the mechanical engineering of its sanders: from initial design, in the choice of components and parts, during construction, and through to commissioning of the machine in the customer’s premises. Research carried out by Kündig over the years has led to innovations such as automatic thickness measuring over the whole working width, the direct storage of actual operating settings and of course the fixed bed system which offers far easier handling of the machine as it is the sanding group which adjusts to the desired height, giving a fixed platform from which to work.
The quality of the finished article is important to Wreake Valley Craftsmen. To quote the company website: “Every item of furniture that we make, whether it is a single bespoke piece, or part of a major contract, is subject to our stringent quality checks, including a personal inspection by one of our time-served craftsmen. The same rigorous approach to quality is maintained by our project designers and fitting teams. We believe that every project is unique: our goal is always to provide complete satisfaction.”
This philosophy is shared by Kündig, and perhaps explains why the Kündig Premium was such a good fit for Wreake Valley Craftsmen.
When asked if he would recommend the Premium, Andrew immediately replied: “Yes: we have had good service, and it is a very good sander.”