Devon-based Partridge Kitchens manufactures bespoke handmade kitchen, bedroom and fitted bathroom furniture. Each project is made to order and tailored to fit each room precisely. To help achieve the high standards necessary for this calibre of work, the company has invested in the requisite technology and systems to ensure accuracy and efficiency throughout the process.

Assessing the company’s manufacturing set-up, managing director Kevin Partridge outlines the company’s progress in recent years: “Following the purchase of a CNC machine a few years ago, and a recent upgrade of our edgebander, our carcass production increased with added precision – but it became clear that we needed a way to increase speed and accuracy of our panel drilling.

“We purchased a Blum MINIPRESS back in 2010 to process the fascia’s for hinges and drawer runners. The interchangeable drilling heads was a huge step up for us from using a customised pillar drill. The MINIPRESS has been brilliant for doing standard or repeatable units, however when it came to bespoke pieces the drilling set up has to be adjusted manually which was inefficient. We needed something that would allow us to match the precision of our fascia drilling with the precision of our CNC-manufactured carcasses – without the need for manual adjustments.  

“When I was informed by my Blum contact, Ray House, that the company’s EASYSTICK upgrade was compatible with our current machine, I wanted to see it in action. Fortunately it was launched at the KBB show in March, and having seen it working, I could see the benefits of this upgrade – so an order was placed through our Blum distributer, Daro.”

Blum’s EASYSTICK is a recently introduced automatic stop system that makes it easy to set up drilling and insertion machines. It optimises the entire assembly process, giving fast and simple machine set-up and perfect results. Drilling positions are calculated digitally, stops move automatically to the right position and you are shown the correct fixing positions step by step.

“The EASYSTICK installation was to be delayed due to Covid-19, being installed in August 2020. Despite having to maintain social distance, the installation process and training was carried out by Blum technicians very efficiently and smoothly.”

The EASYSTICK has three software programs within it, the first is manual adjustment, the second is for quickly drilling fronts and the last you can design a whole cabinet in it.

“Obviously, with any new machine there is a learning curve, especially with data input. However we have already increased what we use this machine for, and it has also allowed us to dispense with all the templates and jigs that we previously had to use.”

MINIPRESS helps users install Blum fittings quickly and efficiently and EASYSTICK adds a completely new dimension to installation and assembly: drilling positions are calculated digitally, and stops move automatically to the right position. Drilling is precise and there is no need for subsequent adjustments.

“The addition of Blum’s EASYSTICK has turned a 10-year old machine into a machine that is future-proof and that complements the CNC, at a fraction of the price of buying a new machine. I would heartily recommend this to anyone who is looking for more precision with frontal drilling.”