When the melamine faced chipboard (MFC) that is the staple material being used starts to chip, companies start to face a whole range of production, rectification, time and cost issues.
“Toward the end of their lives, you’re changing saw blades on a daily basis for frequent sharpening. You need that clean edge on the product but with the downtime it gets costly very quickly,” explaibs Terry Stephens, managing director of decorative board specialists Mersey MDF, Plas & Ply.
Six months ago, Leitz Tooling’s technical sales representative for the north west visited the Liverpool-based company to discuss how tooling from Leitz could help their production.
While material chipping is a widespread problem experienced by most manufacturers using MFC, it is one of many production issues for which Leitz Tooling can offer solutions.
Such is Leitz’s confidence in its high quality BS EN847 1-3 manufactured tooling that it offered to install a set of saw blades at Mersey MDF, Plas & Ply on a free of charge/pay on results basis.
Mersey MDF Plas & Ply was founded as Mersey Timber in 1919, and MD Terry Stephens bought the company 30 years ago. A family firm working nationwide, the company supplies cut and edged MFC from stock and to specification for trade customers from the kitchen and bedroom fitting industry. Its online business has been successful from when it was launched two years ago, building from one delivery a week to currently over a hundred.
“Leitz gave me numbers for the life and performances of the saws that I thought were impossible. I simply didn’t believe it; but we lost nothing by trying,” says Terry.
In fact, in this particular case, Leitz’s saw blades ran for 10 days between sharpening, saving the company significant amounts of downtime and money.
“Leitz’s tooling technology is very good,” says Terry, “With four beam saws and three edgebanders, as well as other machines, and a thriving trade and online business, we can’t afford for poor tooling to spoil the product, affect our production schedule and end up costing us time and money. The tooling changes we’ve made with Leitz have saved us tens of thousands of pounds. That’s well worth a bit more for the tool in the first place.”
Brian Maddox, Leitz Tooling sales manager offers an example justification based on some of the tooling data shared by Mersey MDF, Plas & Ply. “Just looking at the average blade life, you can immediately see that the average Leitz saw blade is running five times longer than their previous make of saw blade. This means five times less sharpening costs, five times fewer tool changes, five times fewer lots of expensive downtime – the list goes on,” says Brian. “Yes, Leitz saw blades cost a little more, but they’re not five times more expensive.”
For a true comparison, it is important to factor in the cost and frequency of servicing the saw blades, the cost of downtime and running the business.
“The results are different for each business, but customers continue to prove to us that buying cheap tools is a huge drain on their businesses. With our tools and support, they can get the right finish on the material first time, and in many cases save extraordinary amounts of money,” says Brian.
“We know our Razor-Cut – finish cut – saw blades are among the best available, and a trial with our saw blades can make a huge difference in downtime and setting time, duration and quality,” continues Brian.
Every tool from Leitz is manufactured to BS EN847 1-3, which means every tool is tested to a high standard of accuracy and safety, helping prolong the life of the tool and, ultimately, the machines they are used with.
“Our tools give an excellent finish on most materials, which mean less sanding and rectification, less coating and ultimately, lower labour costs. Companies can become fixated on the purchase price of tools, but correct, quality tools can have a fantastic, positive impact on other costs. Quality service back up and monitoring is also crucial to reducing overall costs.”
Leitz Tooling is looking for manufacturers in all areas of wood processing, from panel products to solid wood and sawmilling to contact the company about production problems, and how its tooling can help.