Pictured: Adam Blacow, office manager at Alban Cases
A satisfied client sings the praises of TM Machinery’s team and product portfolio following receipt of a third Striebig Compact ...
With 75 years of experience in building high-quality wooden cases, crates and cardboard boxes, Alban Cases Ltd has built-up an enviable client list, working with established names like McLaren Automotive, Aspreys, Aston Martin, News International and Red Bull. Already owners of two Striebig Compact vertical panel saws – which are currently shared with its sister company, Alban Shipping Ltd – the Luton-based manufacturer has invested in a third Striebig Compact, dedicated to the production of wood and panel-based cases and creates.
“If you’re looking to store, ship or protect an item, our team can manufacture a unique solution that meets the demands of any job,” begins Adam Blacow, office manager at Alban Cases. “Every case we make is bespoke and we don’t require a minimum order quantity. Depending on the weight and size of the item, we will use 9-18mm thick 8x4 plywood sheets or sustainable timber up to four metres long.
“The base is either formed of planks or reinforced with soft-wood batons. This lends itself to huge order variation and the need for flexible machining. This month alone has seen us complete an order consisting of over 90 cases. 80 of which were different sizes.”
In the last 12-months, demand for the company’s cases and crates has grown significantly, resulting in the company adapting its business model and focusing almost exclusively on the wood case and crate market.
“Our two original Striebig’s were running at full capacity,” explains Adam. “In order for us to keep up with growing demand, fulfil more orders and maintain our 7-10 day lead time, we needed to invest in another vertical panel saw to cut our material to size.
“It was always going to be a Striebig,” admits Adam. “We’ve been running them for over 15 years and they’ve been a great asset to our business. They are built to last, have remained consistently accurate and get the job done with zero fuss. They’re also a firm favourite with the team, who rarely use our table saw.”
When sourcing his third Striebig, Adam considered a more automated model with optimisation software, like the Standard S or Control, to simplify the cutting process even more, but it was TM Machinery that suggested a like-for-like Compact due to the amount of cuts they would be performing and their preferred sheet sizes.
“TM looked at our operation and what we wanted to achieve and a higher spec model was simply not required. The Compact offered us everything we needed: flexibility, simple set-up and pin-point accuracy. It was also a cheaper option, which shows the integrity of TM’s sales team. They gave us their honest opinion and it was the right call for us.”
The model was teamed with an AL-KO Mobil Jet 160, which offers quiet operation, effective dust extraction and a manual filter shaker. It’s the ideal solution for single-machine extraction and a fraction of the price a static dust extraction system would cost to design and install.
Since the new saw was installed six months ago, it’s certainly been put to good use. “It’s allowing us to be much more flexible,” says Adam. “We’ve been able to fulfil urgent jobs and cater for last minute order changes more easily. We’re now completing more than 30 crates a week and have the means to take on more orders without increasing our labour costs.
Alban Cases are now completing more than 30 crates a week and have the means to take on more orders without increasing labour costs thanks to the Striebig
“It’s also streamlined our production. Our crate-builders no longer need to wait to use a saw and thanks to TM Machinery’s engineers – who advised us on where the saw should go and what we needed to have in place in order to hit the ground running – we’ve been able to maximise the space we have. I expect to see a return on investment within 12-18 months.
“We have a great relationship with TM Machinery,’ Adam concludes. ‘Their engineers service our machines every year and if there is ever a problem or we need help or support, they’re always there for us. It’s like a mini Striebig showroom in our workshops now and I couldn’t recommend them more highly. It’s safe to say that thanks to our three Striebig vertical panel saws, nothing is too big, too small or too complicated for us to make.”