Since the company’s incorporation in April 1974, Hazlin of Ludlow has devoted itself to becoming the best manufacturer of bespoke architecturally veneered doors, panels, frames and other related joinery items. Operating from its 40,000ft2 premises in Ludlow the company has a turnover in excess of £7.5m.
“Over the years, we’ve developed specialist expertise in everything from door design and fire resistance to veneer matching issues and acoustic ratings,” explains Hazlin of Ludlow’s managing director, Chris Jones. He continues: “In the 45 years we’ve been in business, the market has changed beyond recognition and so have the manufacturing processes.
“Our goal has always been to ensure that the business has the capability to keep pace with the changing needs of the market. It is for this very reason that we have recently invested close on £1m pounds to improve our manufacturing efficiencies.
“A major part of this investment has gone into new machinery from Homag UK. Hazlin has been dealing with Homag for more than 20 years now and in that time we’ve come to appreciate the quality and technical advantages their equipment brings to the table.”
Homag Storeteq S-500 linked to a Sawteq B-400 beam saw at Hazlin of Ludlow
A bottleneck in storage and retrieval
“Increasingly, we were experiencing downtime on the saw because of issues in retrieving stock. We have the capability to use a wide variety of cores in our door production and this brought its own challenges when it came to storage and retrieval.
“The less popular door cores had a habit of ending up at the bottom of a pile of stock, so it tended to take a long time to find the relevant core, de-stack it, deliver it to the saw and then go back and re-stack the door cores we’d moved to access it.
“Homag’s ‘saw & store’ system has changed all that. Our set-up uses the Storeteq S-500 linked to the Sawteq B-400 beam saw. It has revolutionised the efficiency of the saw and given us ultimate traceability of our stock. That’s really important for us; it’s so much better and more accurate than the old paper system.
“Now we can prove exactly what product has been used in each job which, when you make fire doors, is extremely important for third party accreditation. In terms of efficiency, the results are even more impressive, with our throughput having increased dramatically.
“Currently a cut list is being completed within around six days of being issued and we plan to get that down to three days as we maximise the system’s potential. Historically, with the manual storage and retrieval system, it took two to three weeks to complete each cutting list, so the efficiency gains are massive.
“Also, we can now operate the saw with one person, not two which means we can deploy the second member of the team to carry out important tasks elsewhere in the facility.”
Homag Edgeteq S-800 with Loopteq return system for increased production efficiencies
Homag Edgeteq S-800 with Loopteq return system
“The second area where we were looking to gain improvements in efficiencies was edgebanding. Our existing machine was nearly 20 years old and required five people to operate it when we were running at full capacity.
“We sat down with Jon Lawman, our contact at Homag, and briefed him on what we wanted the edgebander to deliver. He came back with a very thorough proposal for the specification at a competitive price and so we went ahead and ordered the Edgeteq S-800 with a bespoke return system that would handle the various door sizes we produce.
“The new S-800 runs at 18m/min compared with the old machine which could only produce 10m/min. What’s more, we are able to achieve this with just two operators, giving us further labour efficiencies.
“The new machine has the potential to edge doors up to 76mm thick with solid wood lipping. This is very important for us as many of our doors are over 60mm thick. For our purposes, we specified the PUR glue system which gives us a good visual appearance with a very strong bond.”
The next generation CNC
“Rounding off our investment with Homag, we have a new Centateq P-300 CNC on order which is due for delivery in the second quarter 2019. We already have two Homag CNCs which have consistently performed reliably and delivered excellent results. As a consequence, when it came to ordering a new machine, Homag was our first choice.
“The Centateq P-300, with its five-axis spindle, will be a great addition to our CNC portfolio. It will easily handle lock case routing, step drilling for drill-in hinges and precise mitre cuts. As with the other new machinery, this CNC will further improve our efficiency.”
A professional company with first class machinery
“When you invest in Homag machinery you know what you are going to get. The kit is reliable and well engineered, as you’d expect from a German company. Not only that, but because Homag is the global market leader, you also know that the machines are at the cutting edge of technology.
“The Homag UK team are always willing to support us. For example, the purchase package Homag Finance put together through Deutsche Bank for the purchase of the new machines was simple to arrange and tailored to our needs.
“As a company, they always seem to be looking for ways to improve their products and service levels. It’s an approach which sets them apart from many of their competitors,” concludes Chris Jones.
For a demonstration or more information about the Homag saw and store system, edgebanding or CNC solutions, contact Adele Hunt at Homag UK on 01332 856424.