Hazlin of Ludlow is an expanding British manufacturer of high quality, bespoke architectural veneered doors, frames, panels, screens, furniture and other joinery items.
Since the business was formed in April 1974, Hazlin has devoted itself to becoming the best in the market. As part of its strategy to achieve this goal, the business has always invested in the best machinery it could afford.
“We have built our name from manufacturing quality veneered doors and panels,” explains Chris Jones managing director at Hazlin. He continues: “To get the best quality we have always believed in employing first class people and investing in precision machinery that we can rely on.”
One of life’s happy accidents
“We first started dealing with Bütfering almost 20 years ago and it happened almost by accident. My father and I were out in Germany testing a new veneer guillotine and when we finished there we were due to go to Heesemann to look at its sanders. However, my father asked the price difference between a Heesemann and Bütfering machine. I informed him that the Bütfering was about £20k cheaper, so he said let’s go there first.
“We turned up unannounced at Bütfering at three o’clock in the afternoon, a day earlier than planned. The factory had finished for the day, but Bütfering couldn’t have been more helpful. They bent over backwards, changing our hotel bookings and opening up the factory to give us a quick tour.
“We then took all the parts we wanted to sand to the demonstration room where they had five or six models that were in production at the time. This gave us the opportunity to test the machines using our own samples to see which model was best for us.”
A hard act to follow
“They were so helpful, especially Paul Mosley. Twenty years on, Paul is still there and continues to give us excellent advice, especially when we are specifying a new machine. The Bütfering SWT 955 is the fifth sander we have bought from Paul so, when we were considering investing in a new finishing sander, it was a no-brainer.
“Naturally, we did our due diligence on options, but with its track record, value for money and Paul’s honest approach, Bütfering is a very hard act to follow, let alone beat.”
Responding to market demands
“The reason we bought the SWT 955 was to respond to an architectural ‘fashion’ that has significantly increased the demand for horizontal veneers on doors – a horizontal veneer being when the grain runs across the width of the door rather than the traditional vertical veneer which runs top to bottom.
“Our previous Bütfering sander, the SWO 313, which is still a good machine, has a cross belt and two longitudinal belts. So when sanding veneers that were laid horizontal, we had to put the parts through the machine twice using the cross belt on the last pass to remove all sanding scratches in the veneers.
“With our new SWT 955, we have a longitudinal belt followed by two cross belts so we can sand in one pass. This not only saves time, but also gives us an improved finish as each cross belt goes the opposite way to one another.
“Over the years, lacquer sanding has been a bigger part of our work. We can sand with up to 1200 grit belts over five heads, so the finish is first class.
“The new pad technology on the SWT 955 is significantly better. The pads respond much faster and more accurately which has all but eliminated any ‘sand-throughs’. What’s more, the latest software that controls it is more versatile; you can feather the pressure in so, as the part enters the machine, you can slow it down then build pressure up as the part travels through. It is just a very, very good piece of kit.”
Three big advantages
“The new sander has delivered three big advantages to our business. Perhaps the most important to us is the accuracy of sand because when you’re sanding various different types of veneer that is very important.
“Secondly the ability to take veneer tape off is a great benefit because to get skilled labour to remove veneer tape effectively isn’t easy. Getting the gum residue out of the veneer is tricky but with the SWT 955 we can do it quickly and easily.
“Finally, being a veneer company, we just needed to be able to sand to a much higher standard in one pass rather than two. The new finishing sander gives us this productivity gain with a very high standard of finish.”
Confidence, trust and quality
“Believe it or not, we didn’t even see the SWT 955 in action before we bought it, such is our trust in Bütfering’s products and our confidence in Paul to recommend the right machine for the tasks we specified.
“From an operating point, the great thing is that it is very similar to our previous Bütfering, so it didn’t take long to master the touch-screen controls which are simple to use.”
Substantial gains in productivity
“All in all, the sanding on the SWT 955 is significantly better. The lacquer sanding is particularly brilliant because the part is very clean when it comes out; it’s ready for further spraying, the base is so much better. When we de-nib there is virtually no dust left behind which saves us a lot of time; the belt cleaning, dust extraction and part cleaning is so good, we don’t get much dust at all. It’s a great bit of engineering.
“From a productivity point of view the new sander is saving us a couple of minutes a door, so if you’re doing a hundred doors it doesn’t take long to add up to substantial time savings. This time saving has allowed us to move labour to other areas in the production process.”
Well built, easy to use with brilliant results
“If you’re looking for a wide-belt sander that is well built, easy to use and gives you brilliant results I would recommend taking a look at Bütfering. The company has served us well for nearly 20 years and as our business has grown it has always given us excellent advice and support,” concludes Chris Jones.
For more information or a demonstration of Bütfering products contact Adele Dixon at Homag UK on 01332 856424.