Homag’s impressive CENTATEQ P-310 delivers accurate, versatile machining
Fineline Traditional Joinery operates out of purpose built premises in Petworth, West Sussex. A family run business with a turnover of £1.5 million, it has grown from two people in 1990 to a team of 14 craftsmen and women. The Fineline team produces bespoke items from fitted kitchens and bedroom furniture, to bookshelves, staircases, windows and doors. All the company’s joinery can be fully factory sprayed and is finished to the highest quality.
“Our business is all about producing the finest made-to-order joinery,” enthuses Fineline Traditional Joinery’s founder and managing director, Stephen Casebow. He continues, “Using our CAD design software we can create exactly what each customer is looking for, whether that’s a traditional garden room, a contemporary staircase or period windows and doors.
“To create this broad range of products we employ a mix of experienced traditional joiners working in tandem with the latest CNC woodworking machinery. This powerful combination gives us the flexibility to competitively produce a wide variety of first class joinery.
“It was back in 2004 when we invested in our first CNC from HOMAG, a WEEKE BMG four-axis model. At the time it transformed our business, however, time marches on and we felt we needed to upgrade to a modern five-axis CNC which would allow us to take advantage of the latest technologies and software.”
“Once we had done our homework on the different brands available, we approached three machinery manufacturers to provide us with a quote for a suitable CNC processing centre. Quote wise, there wasn’t a great deal in it, but we narrowed the choice down to HOMAG and one other.
“Our due diligence on the HOMAG machine included visiting a door manufacturer in Farnham who was already running a CENTATEQ five-axis CNC machine. The visit was interesting and useful, providing the opportunity to not only see first hand the CNC in action, but also talk to the operators to get their thoughts and opinions on the performance and ease of use of the machine.
“At the end of the day, the decision to purchase a HOMAG CENTATEQ P-310 came down to three key benefits – the excellent track record HOMAG has, the ability to easily transfer all the programmes from the old CNC to the new one and our operators knowledge and experience of working with HOMAG’s woodWOP control software.
“Underlying these advantages were the superb build quality of the P-310, its functionality and broad range of options such as the laser positioning aid for clamping workpieces.”
Fineline doors and windows produced on the HOMAG CENTATEQ P-310
Bringing versatility and accuracy to the business
”From the outset, the CENTATEQ P-310 has delivered accurate, versatile machining. Because we specialise in bespoke joinery, quite a lot of our work involves curved work pieces alongside windows and doors with very similar elements. This means we can create programmes that we can use on every window of a similar type or door of a similar type.
“We could do a lot with the four-axis machine, but this new CNC takes things to a whole new level. Our operators like working on the P-310; it’s much more user friendly, its just an easier machine to use in lots of ways. We send our CAD designs straight down from the office to the CNC and we can machine from that, something we couldn’t do with the old system.
“For the way that we work, which is low volume manufacture, The CENTATEQ P-310 is versatile and we can utilise lots of different applications. So we can go seamlessly from producing a staircase, to Gothic arches for a church, to intricate elements of an orangery.”
Installation and training
“When you consider the supply chain issues affecting manufacturers worldwide, the installation process went smoothly, with potential delays communicated clearly and in a timely manner. The installation engineers were professional and friendly; Alan Clayton who trained our team did an excellent job. We also sent our operators on a week’s course at HOMAG’s Castle Donington head office.
“All this meant that we were able to go live with the new CNC very quickly. It is much easier and quicker to set up than the previous machine; you can change the parameters which allows you to infinitely change any separate programmes. You can then just put in sub-programmes which enable less trained operators to run the machine.
“Overall, the new CENTATEQ P-310 is simply more versatile and faster than the original four-axis model. The first job we did on the P-310 was a curved set of architrave which would have taken us the best part of a day on the old CNC. With the new machine it was completed in a couple of hours. Consequently, my gut feeling is that the CENTATEQ P-310 CNC will pay for itself within a couple of years.
“Ultimately, I like dealing with HOMAG. Generally though, we only speak to them when we have a problem to solve. It’s reassuring to know, however, that they’re always at the end of a phone ready and eager to find a solution to an issue,” concludes Casebow.
For a demonstration or further information on HOMAG woodworking machinery or software, contact Adele Hunt at HOMAG UK on 01332 856424 or email: email@example.com/