Based in Waltham Abbey, Lucabella Manufacturing is a division of New River Holdings Ltd. Lucabella was set up to manufacture quality bathroom furniture and trades under the Lucabella Furniture brand name.

“Previously the sister company, Robert Lee Ltd, had always bought finished bathroom furniture products from Europe and the Far East,” explains Will Burn, Lucabella’s managing director. He continues, “The last few years, however, have seen significant pressures on the supply chain, particularly regarding the cost of transporting finished furniture items to the UK. Brexit, the pandemic and now the energy crisis have meant transportation costs have gone through the roof.

“Given these difficulties, we started to look at the viability of manufacturing the furniture here in the UK. At the same time, the ‘Made in Britain’ campaign was providing considerable encouragement for companies to produce in this country. As a consequence, we did preliminary ball-park calculations and concluded that we could manufacture competitively here provided we had the right machinery.”

Finding the best machinery supplier

“In a prior position, I had purchased equipment from HOMAG UK and so they were the first company we considered. As part of our due diligence, however, we included a couple of Italian machinery suppliers on our shortlist.

“From the outset, one point we were clear on was that whichever brand we chose, we would purchase all of the machines from them; we wouldn’t have a mix of machinery suppliers. There are several reasons for this: first, we wanted to keep things straightforward so dealing with just one supplier made sense; secondly, we wanted to have software that was common to each machine to simplify the learning process for our operators and thirdly, we felt we would get a better deal overall.


“One of the advantages of HOMAG was the ease with which we could collect all the qualitative and quantitative information for each machine. This was particularly important for us as we needed everything including the minimum and maximum speeds of the machine, the recycle times between operations and also to a lesser degree, the kW (kilowatt) output data. This information enabled us to accurately calculate the production cost, capabilities and the throughputs of each machine.

“After careful consideration the decision was made to partner with HOMAG UK. Ian Woodall, the area sales manager for HOMAG, was a key factor in this decision. From the outset he demonstrated his knowledge and understanding of our business and what we were looking to achieve with the setup of the new furniture workshop.

“Whilst we were clear we wanted a beam saw, edge bander and vertical drilling CNC, Ian was able to suggest specific options, such as the airTec system on the EDGETEQ S-240 edge bander. In fact, all his recommendations proved to be exactly what we needed. The machines we ordered, a SAWTEQ B-130 beam saw, a DRILLTEQ V-200 vertical CNC and the EDGETEQ S-240 edge bander, have made a real difference to our manufacturing capabilities and capacity.”


A true partnership for the long term

“The relationship with HOMAG has grown stronger as time passes. Both companies have learnt from the partnership. HOMAG has an excellent checklist for the installation process of new machinery. As a completely new operation, however, we were able to add additional items that have strengthened that checklist.

“Because of the importance of ensuring we would be producing the furniture in the most cost effective way, we allocated a six week period to comprehensively test each machine. We tried different combinations of tooling and drill sets, different panels and edging; everything was done to make certain that when we started production there would be no surprises and no glitches.

“This foundation work has paid dividends. We are now fully operational with each machine running efficiently and quickly. The accuracy of the processing means we are able to construct high quality furniture at competitive rates. Long term, this will enable us to attract a lot more business from the UK market which is definitely one of the key goals we want to achieve,” concludes Burn.

For a demonstration or further information, contact Adele Hunt at HOMAG UK on 01332 856424 or email: