A Striebig Evolution vertical panel saw is delivering improved accuracy together with increased productivity at one of Britain’s oldest joinery businesses.

J Seamer & Son was established in Derby in 1875 by John Seamer. The last member of the Seamer family involved in the business, also called John, retired in 2014 and the company is now owned by managing director Richard Latham, who started with the firm as an apprentice joiner in 1981.

With 141 years of experience and expertise under its belt, Seamer’s highly skilled joiners produce a wide range of hand-crafted bespoke joinery items for domestic and commercial customers nationwide, with a great deal of repeat business.

“As we operate at the very top end of our market it’s vitally important that we continue to strive to maintain and improve our product quality, which is why I believe in investing in the best and most up-to-date equipment,” says Richard Latham.

When Mr Latham took over the running of the business he set up a management group to look into ways of improving how the products were made, as well as how to boost productivity. The existing sawing capability, which consisted of an elderly flat bed saw that wasn’t all that accurate and needed three men to handle the cutting of large panels, was quickly identified as being in urgent need of improvement.

“I knew from my time in the business and from what contacts in associated companies had told me, that Striebig had a reputation of being the market leader in panel saws, which is why I didn’t bother looking at any other makes,” says Richard.

He did some research on Striebig and its UK dealer, TM Machinery, which was asked to come in to talk about what machines they could offer. He decided to go with an Evolution model as it came with a bed size that could handle all Seamer’s sheet material and he felt it suited exactly what was needed. 

The Striebig Evolution 5224 he selected, one of nine different sized models in the Evolution series, has a maximum cutting size of 4300 x 2240mm and a maximum depth of cut of 80mm. It features as standard Striebig’s user-friendly ‘touch and saw’ operating system which delivers easy and convenient machine control through a touch screen panel that operates all of the machine’s functions.

The Evolution represents the cutting edge in vertical panel saw technology. Technical features that are optional extras in other saws are included as standard. They include a digital measuring system, accurate to 0.1mm, and an adjustable precision display that can be set to an accuracy of 1.0, 0.5 or 0.1mm, according to the thickness of the panels being sized.

It has a fully automatic roller locking function, an auxiliary stop section with its own tape measure, three additional auxiliary stops for repeat cuts and small workpiece support, and automatic moving backing support. Striebig’s highly effective TRK extraction keeps users well ahead of all European legislation, with the panel support system offering support for the thinnest of panels. 

The saw is used to size all the sheet material used by Seamer’s joiners, mainly MDF and plywood, including veneered MDF sheets, as well as cutting the occasional piece of timber to length.

Richard Latham is extremely satisfied with the benefits the Evolution is delivering: “We now have 100% accuracy all the time with cut panels no longer out of square. This means we have eliminated scrappage as well as saving on sawing time, which will help to improve our profitability.”

Another plus is that the Striebig has reduced manual handling. It could take three men to size a large sheet on the flat bed saw, with two needed to feed the panel onto the bed and a third to pull it through. Now it’s usually a one-man job on the Striebig, or occasionally two to handle the biggest panels.

“In my book you get what you pay for and I wanted a saw that was reliable, accurate and long lasting,” says Richard Latham. “It was well worth buying the Striebig because of all the added benefits it’s giving us.”

TM Machinery’s sales director Matt Pearce says: “It’s satisfying to know that by supplying one of the latest Striebig saws to Seamers we are helping this long-established company move forward and take full advantage of the latest in sawing technology.”

The latest Striebig machines will be exhibited by TM Machinery on stand B610 at W16 at the NEC in October.

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