SH Somerscales is a diverse operation with its work based predominantly around its hi-tech sawmill. Over the years, many historic buildings in Britain have been restored using timber supplied by Somerscales – the company provided Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London with all the green oak for the restoration including a 20m long oak beam that was used to provide support for the roof.

In addition to supplying specialist timbers for renovation work, SH Somerscales also supplies material to the construction industry for timber frame housing, and general joinery.

Stuart’s son Dan has worked at the company for 29 years and is now general manager. Earlier this year, he recognised a need for a new crosscutting facility in the mill. He comments: “Due to a number of factors we have seen an increased demand across the board for a range of different types of timbers including European Oak for flooring which is being sold to the UK and American market, in part helped by the current favourable US export exchange rates. Therefore it became apparent we needed to increase our crosscutting capacity.

“I was aware that there are several different makes of crosscut saws available in the UK, but as we had installed a Cursal turnkey system complete with handling in 2012, which has worked extremely well from day one, we were of the mind to speak first off with their UK agent JJ Smith.”

A number of detailed conversations took place with JJ Smith’s crosscutting product manager, Kevin McGlone, who carefully evaluated all the production requirements Dan had outlined.

Kevin suggested that a fully integrated Cursal TRSI crosscutting saw with automatic in-feed loading and outfeed sorting would provide them with the best solution in terms of both speed and ease of material handling.

A visit to JJ Smith’s Liverpool showroom was set up for a demonstration on this model of machine along with a site visit to see two very similar Cursal crosscutting systems in full production. Dan was “very impressed” with what he saw and was “more than happy” with the recommendations Kevin had made. The result being a final specification was agreed and an order confirmed.

The machine specified was with a 6.2m in-feed loading capacity, with CALS cross chain loading and separating system along with full optimisation and defecting facilities. The pusher speed is up to 200m/min with a positioning accuracy of +/- 0.2mm. On the outfeed there was a 5m long x 400mm wide driven belt with two automatic ejectors.

The saw cutting is controlled by the machine CNC with adjustable cutting time from 0.3 to 2 seconds, the vertical movement of the saw blade is pneumatic with adjustable speed, and the Ø500mm saw blade is driven by a 7.5hp brake motor. In order to ensure a perfect square cut there is a pneumatic side alignment arm with adjustable pressure fitted before the blade and a pneumatic vertical press equipped with braking wheels with adjustable force and made from high resistance rubber fitted on the outfeed of the saw.

The machine was delivered about three months ago. Dan says: “The installation procedure went very smoothly and within a matter of days the operators were fully trained and it was up and running.

“Since then the Cursal saw has given us much greater flexibility, and it is especially suited for cutting the flooring which has to be optimised, defected, crosscut and then packaged to length. We are particularly pleased with the speed of the cutting cycle coupled with excellent quality and accuracy of cut.”

Kevin McGlone adds: “It has been a pleasure working with Somerscales on this project and I am delighted they are so pleased with the new Cursal saw. The fact that JJ Smith are able to provide bespoke cross cutting solutions tailored to suit individual customer requirements highlights why we are the UK’s number one machine provider for this important production sector.”