It assists with development and construction of timber frame houses, buildings and other construction projects, even down to the final timber roof truss or metal web floor joist. From its manufacturing facilities in Canterbury, Kent and Wicklow, Ireland, it is able to supply its products throughout the UK and Ireland.
Due to the company’s continued growth, and to help maintain high levels of quality and service, a recent major investment plan has taken place which has resulted in the phase one purchase of two new Stromab Fast 500 programmable cross cut saws from JJ Smith.
While both the Canterbury and Wicklow factories already had cross-cutting capabilities, it became clear to the management team headed up by managing director Garret Dempsey, that it needed to dramatically increase production of cut parts to keep up with demand.
As a result of visiting a UK trade show, production manager Martin Williams contacted JJ Smith to discuss Harmony’s production requirements. At this point, it was suggested that Martin and his team should visit JJ Smith’s Liverpool showroom to view the various different cross-cutting solutions it could offer.
Martin comments: “From our initial conversations to the visit to see the machines in operation, it was clear that JJ Smith had a full understanding of what we needed and their vast experience in the timber frame sector was a major contributing factor.”
Following various tests and demonstrations, it was decided that the correct machine would be a Stromab Fast 500 with a 6m loading capacity. This is one of the latest additions to the Stromab range incorporating an optimised clamping and cutting cycle, innovative variable geometry cutting system meaning production output can be 20% more than on standard saws.
Other key features include heavy duty rack and pinion drive of the pusher fence to give precise, repeat positioning accuracy, pneumatic side and top pressures, a cutting capacity of up to 390mm wide x 150mm high and the latest generation user-friendly 12in industrial high resolution, colour graphic touch-screen controller.
Options that were added include JJ Smith’s own Design2wood timber optimisation software that gives Harmony the facility to download drawings directly to the machine. In addition, it also provides information for an outfeed monitor which displays the cut length and actual part identification. An order was confirmed for two machines, one for each factory, and both were delivered and installed on schedule in just four weeks.
Martin Williams says: “From the point of order right through to delivery and installation everything was handled in a professional manner by JJ Smith. The machines are working extremely well and have significantly increased the production of our cut parts. Also the Design2wood software has provided us with the facility to pre-optimise our jobs and order our stock timber to minimise the waste.”
Phase two of the project is already well under way and involves the installation of an MBA Mobi One combined timber frame assembly station for walls, along with a Butterfly Table which have also been ordered from JJ Smith and will be installed in early June.
JJ Smith’s sales director, Ian Stanley, comments: “The UK housing market has not been delivering enough houses in the last few years, with commentators suggesting that we have an annual shortfall of around 100,000 units a year.
“This, combined with the challenges of a tight and ageing market for the construction trades, means that the benefits of off-site construction including increased productivity, reduced time on site and higher quality, are being sought out by more housing developers. This is benefiting established companies, such as Harmony Timber Frame, who we are delighted to be partnering on this project.”