Based in Carmarthenshire, South Wales, Willow Joinery designs and manufactures bespoke joinery tailored to the customers’ needs – the business prides itself on attention to detail no matter what size the job. But how could Willow Joinery react to growing demand without merely extending its lead times and potentially losing grip on its quality threshold?
Over the last couple of years, Soukup’s window production machinery has been selected by an increasing number of joinery firms across the UK. As one of the fastest-growing brands in the country, demand for Soukup’s range of solutions for window production is growing strongly – so much so, Soukup has invested in a new manufacturing plant near Prague to help cope with growing demand from here in the UK.
Dan Raymond is a director of Willow Joinery and he first became aware of Soukup at the W14 exhibition. There he met Jaroslav Soukup, the owner of Soukup Woodworking Machinery and Ian Brown, MD of Soukup’s exclusive UK dealer, IWM Ltd.
“Although we were very impressed by all the machines Jaroslav and Ian had on display, we thought such a machine wouldn’t be financially achievable for a small joinery firm,” explains Dan.
“In late summer of 2015 with growing demand for our windows and doors, we made the decision to invest in some modern machinery to speed up production. We searched all the well-known firms but couldn’t find a suitable machine for our budget.
“After reading that Soukup was releasing a new CNC tenoner – designed with the smaller workshop in mind – we got in touch with Ian who invited us to visit another joinery firm which had recently a Temac machine. After seeing the machine in action, and having a chat with Ian and Jaroslav, we realised that this was the right machine for us.”
Willow Joinery, as is typical for a small joinery firm, started out using only a range of classic and traditional equipment to create its windows and assorted joinery work. Of course, there is nothing essentially wrong with that, other than it is inherently time-consuming and it becomes a considerable challenge when a firm’s demand begins to increase.
Soukup’s Temac machine has been developed particularly for the small joinery workshop wishing to compete effectively and efficiently in today’s highly competitive market. A typical joinery workshop mainly uses manual spindle moulders to produce windows by making single operations. The Temac tenoning machine can, with the guidance from its WinCreator software, move production to a different level altogether.
“Before the Temac was installed we used a number of machines to produce our windows. These included a three-head tenoner, a mortise machine and a spindle moulder,” explains Dan. “Needless to say, this trio took considerable time to set up and pass the window components through. The company needed to find a solution.
“Once the tooling had been selected to suit the windows we wanted to produce, it took six weeks before the Temac was delivered – and both Jaroslav and Ian promptly made the journey for the installation. After day one, the Temac was up-and-running, ready for training.
“The WinCreator software is simple to use as is the Temac. After making a few sample windows we started on our first job list which consisted of eight oak flush casement windows which we completed in a matter of hours, cutting our production time greatly. I would highly recommend the Temac for any company with growing demand for their products – the service we received from Jaroslav and Ian is second to none and will be the first company we call for future purchases.”