A trip to Switzerland to evaluate a new sanding option confirmed that Kündig sanding solutions were ‘the best on the market’ for Gloucester-based specialist joinery firm

Hi-tec Joinery was established in June 2002, for the production and supply of certificated fire doors, linings and screens to commercial markets. Quickly outgrowing its first site, the company has twice moved to larger premises, most recently in 2012.

The company supplies doors and screens to schools, universities and colleges; hospitals, care homes and surgeries; as well as refurbished offices or new premises for blue chip companies. The fire doors are certified under the BM TRADA QMark scheme and are tested to BS 476:Part 22 Fire Doors.

As part of his programme of investing in the best machinery to do the job, company owner Ian Matthews recently purchased a Brilliant-2 1350 REd-L sander from Kündig, through Southampton dealer Sawtec, which was delivered and commissioned in March 2014.

As a growing company, Ian explained that his aim is to reduce his dependence on outsourcing by bringing more processes in-house, making the company more self-sufficient. This is an ongoing process, and as such, further investment is expected in the future. The choice of the Brilliant-2 exemplifies Ian’s attitude: although at present it is used for general sanding, Ian selected the L option – where L stands for lacquer – meaning that Hi-tec has the capability to sand veneered and lacquered doors as well, as his business continues to develop.

Hi-tec doors are available in a range of veneers – including walnut, cherry, maple, beech, oak, ash, koto, eucalyptus and sapele – and the company supplies a full range of laminate faces from all the main manufacturers – including Formica and Polyrey – so the ability to work with these materials in the future was important to Ian.

Ian investigated four different machines, and settled on the Kündig for a variety of reasons. He has a long-standing relationship with Sawtec, which provides the company’s saws and cutters for the CNC machinery. Ian also appreciated Kündig’s quality: “Because they are a specialist in the field, all they do is sanding: they were the best on the market,” says Ian.

He adds: “I like to look at the machines we are looking at actually being made, and I also like to have contact with the people doing the manufacturing.”

To this end, says Carl O’Meara of Kündig Ltd: “We took Ian for a tour of the Kündig factory in Switzerland to see what I believe to be the largest static display of sanding machinery in different configurations and available for demonstration purposes, along with machines in production and the manufacture of the sanding belts.” According to Ian, this tour helped influence his decision to purchase the Kündig sander.

When asked, Ian said he would definitely recommend the sander, citing the improved quality of finish as well as the greater control that he has now that he manufactures in-house.

The sander selected by Ian was a twin-belt machine configured with a roller and an electronic sanding pad and lacquer options for solid wood, veneers and lacquer.

A constant passline machine, where the sanding group raises and lowers to the desired thickness rather than adjusting the height of the worktable, the machine has a standard working height of 3-200mm and a working width of 1350mm: the Brilliant-2 is also available with a working width of 1100mm and 1600mm, and a wide variety of head configurations is available.

The full Brilliant range offers from one to four working heads, generally with the final head being oblique: a Kündig feature believed to be unique which reduces oscillation marks and thereby improves the quality of the final workpiece. Optional foldaway infeed and outfeed tables are also available with this range.

Brian Bourne of Southampton authorised dealer, Sawtec, comments: “I had no doubt that the best machine for Ian would be a Kündig. The demonstration in Switzerland represented a comprehensive range and their knowledge of the machinery with the potential applications is unprecedented.

“Our visit confirmed that the Brilliant-2 1350 REd-L would not only meet Ian’s exacting standards, but also has the capabilities to help him exceed his exceptional quality.”

The growth that Hi-tec Joinery has seen in the past speaks of attention to detail as well as a focus on quality, and this is where a Kündig sander is a good fit for the company.

As Carl O’Meara summs up: “We are delighted to welcome Ian as one of our latest customers and for his recognition that at Kündig we are constantly striving to be the best at what we do. His investment with Kündig also represents a long term investment in the future of Hi-tec Joinery.”