Specialist Joinery Group is a leading manufacturer of bespoke joinery and fitted furniture throughout the UK and Ireland with a turnover in excess of £10m.
Established in 1988, it has built an unrivalled reputation for meeting and exceeding customer demands with innovative, premium joinery products for projects in high end residential, office/commercial and public sector markets.
Over the last couple of years, the company has invested more than £3m into its Northern Ireland headquarters, making it one of the most modern, well-equipped manufacturing facilities in the industry.
“Our business is built upon reliability and service,” says Specialist Joinery’s director, Ciaran O’Hagan. He continues: “The investment in the new Homag BMGs is an important element of our growth plans. We firmly believe that Homag machinery is the Rolls Royce of woodworking production equipment. It is totally reliable and consistently delivers quality second to none.
“We do a lot of cutting-edge work in the resurgent London market. The Homag BMG 511 and 512 are the jewels in our crown, enabling us to respond to the exacting needs of this sector, which was demanded for increasingly bespoke and intricate joinery items. The Homag machines have helped us deliver projects such as Rolls Royce offices, Buckingham Gate, the 2014 RIBA Stirling prize winner – Everyman Theatre, Guildhall School of Music and Google’s European headquarters in Dublin.
A strategic investment
“These new five-axis CNC models were purchased for two key reasons. Firstly, we wanted to replace an older machine with one offering the latest technology to handle complex projects and, secondly, we required additional capacity to increase the throughput of our production facility.
“After carrying out due diligence, we selected Homag because the machines offered the optimum lifespan, total reliability and compatibility with the other Homag equipment in our facility. In addition, in the rare event of machine issues, the response time of Homag’s service engineers means we minimise downtime which is absolutely essential in our business.
Installation – the model of German efficiency
“It was important for us that the installation of the BMG 511 and 512 machines was planned and executed with the minimum of disruption to our manufacturing schedules. As you would expect from a global market leader, Homag planned the installation programme down to the last detail.
“The new machines were installed over a three week period, with the first machine fitted in week one, the second in week two and the operator training completed in week three.
“It couldn’t have gone any smoother. The machines were up and running on schedule and providing the increased manufacturing capacity we were looking for. The investment has allowed us to respond to customer demand and accelerate our manufacturing programmes.
Compatible control systems
“The Homag BMGs are controlled using the woodWOP software, one of the most popular software systems in the world and one our operators are very familiar with. It is easy to use and the inter-operability with other Homag equipment gives us real flexibility to deploy our staff as needed across the shop floor.
“We had one of the BMGs fitted with a hot melt edgebanding unit which enables us to do efficient edging on shaped components. The versatility of these CNC machines is amazing and they enable us to make much more efficient use of materials and time.
“At the end of the day, it’s people that build relationships and together with Homag, we deliver award-winning projects. The staff at Homag UK are very much part of our team. They are friendly and easy to deal with. Everyone from the sales team through to the service engineers has an excellent knowledge base and they always give us the best, unbiased advice.
“In terms of manufacturing excellence, the BMG 511 and 512 have added a new dimension to our production capabilities. Quality is always at the very top of our agenda and the BMGs give us supreme confidence to deliver the premium projects that we’ve become renowned for over the last few years.
“To complement this and raise the skill levels of our craftsmen, we have implemented a bespoke NVQ level 2 across all joinery production staff. This was achieved in December 2014 and was an important element of our investment plan,” concludes Ciaran O’Hagan.