Holmfields is a thriving manufacturer of kitchen, bedroom and home study furniture based in Leicester. An SCM Pratix S22-31 B CNC machining centre has recently been sold and installed by SCM Group UK’s local distributor, Blyth Woodworking Machinery.

Holmfields is a family-run business formed in 1995 working in two areas of construction – furniture manufacture and new house building – with Mark and Jo Hemmings running the manufacturing side of the business. Mark has 34 years’ experience in the furniture industry and after serving his apprenticeship worked for several manufacturers before starting Holmfields with his family.

Quality products and providing excellent service to its customers in Leicestershire and adjoining counties has seen the company continually grow with most of the orders coming from referrals rather than heavy advertising.

Mark Hemmings comments: “The first few years in business were a struggle and Mark Noon from Blyth Machinery introduced himself to us in the early days. He was always found to be very helpful in offering advice about different machines available on the market that would improve our quality and production levels. In 2002 we purchased a second-hand SCM Tech 100 Super machine that was in good working order.

“We had to manually input our panel requirements and this was very time consuming but the results were very good and certainly the Tech increased our levels of production. However, as the business further increased, we struggled with demand as it was necessary to cut our panels on a sliding table panel saw then locate them on the bed of the Tech for drilling. This was time consuming and also risked damage to the panels, loss of datum, etc.

“Examining our production methods, Mark Noon suggested we look at the latest nesting technology where the panels are cut and drilled from a full-size sheet on the same machine in one cycle. After visiting an SCM in-house exhibition and seeing a Pratix being demonstrated, we then looked at two other CNC machine manufacturers to compare specifications, quality, back-up, etc, and decided to place an order for an SCM Pratix with Mark Noon at Blyth Machinery.”

The Pratix S is the ideal machine for those who want to begin machining by the nesting process. With much reduced overall dimensions – less than the Tech – it makes this machining centre one of the most flexible and compact available on the market, and therefore perfect for factories with limited production space.

It gives Holmfields the ability to nest jumbo-size sheet materials, 2800 x 2070mm, whether MFC or MDF for doors to obtain the best yield from the board – and has therefore significantly reduced Holmfield’s waste material.

The powerful SCM electro-spindle, with constant motor power of (S6) 6.6kW at 24,000rpm easily cuts through 18mm, or thicker, boards. A TR13 13-station automatic tool-changer with HSK63F tool taper and preset for head attachments plus an SCM F7 seven-spindle boring unit for vertical drilling, provides a perfect specification for nesting.

SCM’s aluminium, multi-function worktable achieves a very high level of workpiece holding-down without resorting to several high-power vacuum pumps. The result is a secure hold-down of both the lower slave panel and the machining panel giving an excellent machining speed, even when nesting small dimensioned panels.

An internal flow speed of up to 250km/h, gives high efficiency on the whole worktable and less power consumption, giving energy saving that is ecologically beneficial.

SCM’s Pro-Space safety protection ensures the Pratix is safe and compact and is ideal for those with limited available space, and is distinguished by the absence of perimeter machine protections. Bar-type protections are mounted directly on the Pratix’s mobile upright and therefore also provides free access to the rear of the machine for loading and unloading.

Holmfields’ machine is programmed by Cabinet Vision along with SCM’s Xilog Maestro and is generally programmed in the office and transported to the machine by USB. It also has Telesolve so contact can be made directly with SCM UK’s CNC service department if required.

Holmfields uses Rafix fittings to build its cabinets that do not require horizontal drilling of panels so making machining and assembly extremely fast and efficient. Diamond tooling is used with three-piece tips and generally last over two to three months before replacement.

Mark Hemmings concludes: “When we ordered the Pratix, delivery, installation and training went like clockwork, with some teething problems which are to be expected. After the week’s training we were up and running and we have been able to train other members of staff. We would not like to be without the Pratix, it is a huge asset to our company.”