Long established and leading UK joinery manufacturer, Howarth Windows and Doors, has recently installed two SCM Accord CNC machining centres at its New Holland, north Lincolnshire factory following the floods in December 2013 that decimated its production facility.
Howarth Windows and Doors produce sash, casement, shaped, arched, gothic, profiled and cambered head windows and all types of doors including entrance doors and frames and bi-fold doors as well as associated joinery products, all from European redwood obtained from well managed, sustainable sources. The company also offers a supply-and-fix service if required.
With the flood water one metre high, all the machinery on the factory floor badly damaged and production grinding to a halt, immediate action was necessary to restart production of Howarth’s high performance windows and doors in order to keep its many customers happy.
Having already installed an SCM Record 220 CNC several years previously, and more recently, an SCM Concept 2000 double-end tenoner, factory manager, Mick Toner, decided to contact Ian McCarthy at SCM Group UK – as well as other potential machinery suppliers –to discuss Howarth’s immediate machinery requirements, even before the insurance assessors had agreed the level of compensation Howarth would receive as time was of the essence.
Mick Toner comments: “Although the flood was a disaster for our production, it did enable us to contemplate our immediate and future production requirements and therefore the specifications of the machinery required and, of course, delivery times were very important.”
Ian McCarthy and Mick Toner discussed in detail the CNC machine specifications and the next day quotations for two CNC’s were made with a fast delivery as the machines were in SCM’s Rimini showroom after being exhibited at the 2013 Ligna Exhibition.
The Accord 40 FX, in particular, had a number of hi-tech features included, some never seen in the UK. For example the Mach 5 shuttle for rapid tool changing in masked time with a TRC 48 position rear tool magazine, the Maxi-Prisma T five-axis routing head with chip conveying device, eight Matic bars with suction pods or clamps, Tecpad mobile console, etc. It has a 5020 x 1680mm table size.
The Maxi-Prisma T five-axis machining unit ensures quality and productivity at the very highest level. The SCM Group’s patented solutions provides the unit with the rigidity of a vertical routing head, therefore allowing the carrying out of even the most heavy duty machining, and its compactness keeps to a minimum the overall dimensions in all directions. This results in a high quality finish to all machined components, maximum operator convenience and flexibility of use.
The Matic Table ensures set-up times in just a few seconds. A single positioning to obtain elements for the assembling of a complete window or door due to a dedicated motor in each pod/mobile surface and the configuration is performed in just a few seconds with guaranteed safety against the risk of collisions between the tools and the worktable. The suction cup/clamp changeover operation is quick and easy by pressing a pushbutton integrated on the base without having to use external tools.
The tool magazine, positioned on the machining heads allow for tool changes in masked time. Positioned on the mobile gantry they house up to 48 large dimensioned tools which can be changed in just five seconds with the SCM Mach 5 shuttle unit.
The possibility of pendulum machining ensures that productivity is at the highest level. The operating cycle is never interrupted, whilst the machine operates on one side of the table, the finished work pieces are unloaded on the other side and the new ones loaded. Double-acting component lifting bars assist the operator loading heavy or large components.
The second CNC, the Accord 20 FX has a 3680 x 1380mm table size and it also has a 5-axis routing head (PRISMA KT) with chip conveying device, an F14L Drilling Head, Rapid 16 rear tool changer plus a TR10 side / rack tool changer and “Tecpad” mobile console. It machines posts and scroll posts, arched windows, doors and frames etc.
Programming of the Accord 40 FX and 20 FX is carried out at the machines PC while it is machining by operator Aaron Dixon using AlphaCam CAD/CAM software, with training on SCM’s Xilog Maestro operating system carried out on site by SCM Technicians as the machine was installed and commissioned. The programming system automatically informs the timber department the size and section of the timber required at the machine for processing.
Howarth operates a SFO (shop floor orientated) system so there is no CAD/CAM office or R & D department in the factory, preferring to use the operators and personnel on the factory floor to run the production. Time is allowed every day for maintenance and an hour on a Friday for preventative maintenance and to solve any problems that can affect production on the machines.
Howarth Windows and Doors supply many of the UK’s leading house builders and developers, small builders, self-build individuals and companies that refurbish old buildings such as mills, churches, etc. As there is a diverse range of products and varying quantities taken by their customers, Howarth are successfully aiming towards just-in-time production, therefore much reducing stock that costs money. Builders place an order for windows and/or doors, and subject to the weather, prefer to call off their orders on a short term basis, so a very short lead time is required and that is where the two new SCM Accord CNC’s have greatly assisted the production department.
Mick Toner concludes: “We have been very impressed with SCM and their salesman and their team of technicians, engineers and trainers as well as the two Accord CNC’s which are high quality products. The machines were installed and commissioned promptly as SCM knew the urgency required after the flood. Also, our SCM DET has been fully refurbished on site, with production continuing over a three month period. We provide an excellent service to our customers as we always want their next order and SCM have exactly the same philosophy.”