Willow Joinery installs SCM 5-axis CNC   You are here: Home » News Detail

23rd January 2015

Mike Pateman of Willow Joinery removing a machined component from SCM Tech Z5 CNC machining centre.

Willow Joinery are a small but expanding joinery and furniture manufacturer located in Daventry, Northants, specialising in the production of all types of joinery, including stairs, doors, windows and bespoke kitchen and bedroom furniture and studies.

Owner, Mike Pateman, started Willow Joinery 11 years ago, and has 20 years experience in carpentry and joinery. Finding and keeping experienced staff has always been a problem, and although he already has a well equipped workshop with traditional woodworking machinery, after visiting several machinery exhibitions, Mike decided earlier this year to start looking at CNC Machining Centres, to increase production levels, quality and profit margins and improve on times producing components, especially complex ones.

Having looked at several manufacturer's machines and after visiting another joinery manufacturer nearby who has an SCM 3-axis CNC machine, Mike Pateman contacted SCM UK's Area Manager, Roger Gabb, who visited Willow Joinery with Rod Tudhope and Graeme Hughes of local dealer Aztec Machinery.

Mike Pateman comments "I knew I had to purchase a CNC to expand my business. As well as joinery products, I want to manufacture more bespoke kitchens and bedrooms as I have already supplied furniture to various schools and businesses through architects who I have previously supplied with joinery, especially one-off stairs. I calculated a CNC would improve production times, increase profit margins and enable me to manufacture more elaborate parts for stairs, kitchens and bedrooms now increasingly demanded by customers."

Mike Pateman was already well versed in CAD design to assist in producing drawings to accompany quotations, so a CNC and programming the machine held no fears, so much so, Mike decided to purchase a 5-axis machine rather than a conventional 3-axis one. Visiting SCM's showroom for a demonstration, Mike was keen to proceed, so purchased the demonstration machine on the spot, an SCM model Tech Z5-31. Rod Tudhope and an SCM engineer installed the CNC at the beginning of August this year.

The Tech Z5 machine table has 6 movable bars and pods with a machining area of 3050 x 1550mm, but with SCM's unique cantilever structure, it allows the loading of components and panels along the 'Y' axis far wider than the working capacity of the table. The powerful 15HP 'Prisma 5' routing head can run up to 20,000rpm and is capable of heavy duty machining of all types of timber and panels by utilising cutters, saws, drills and aggregate heads for angled routing, sawing, grooving and drilling. The compact 5-axis routing head is capable of working in reduced spaces without the risk of collisions, and with this SCM patented solution, allows the keeping of the overall dimensions in each direction of travel to a minimum, resulting in operator convenience and maximum flexibility.

A separate F18 drilling unit with 12 vertical and 6 horizontal spindles enables the drilling of all types of work. Tooling, including roughing and finishing cutters, cutters for nosing on stair components, saws and rebating and hogging heads are stored in either the Rapid 12 automatic tool changer, with 12 stations, or in the TR10 rack tool changer with 10 positions, to provide maximum flexibility. The table's vacuum pods have a powerful mechanical grip on the movable bars to enable heavy duty machining.

SCM supplied Willow Joinery with their own 'Xilog Maestro' CAD/CAM software and programming package, which is very easy and simple to learn and use, with 3D graphic display and worktable set-up. Various options include modules such as Maestro Cabinet for cabinet and furniture production and Maestro Nesting for panel components nested from a full-size sheet with reduced production times and tool paths.

Mike Pateman states "I am already very impressed with the SCM Tech machine after only 5 weeks since installation. The first job I did was the machining of a heavy duty fire door, followed by a complex tray for the delivery of pistons. Then I made some bedroom doors with mortise and tenon joints. The vacuum to the pods is powerful as I recently machined two 60mm wide wooden rails, side by side, on 120mm wide pods and they held firm throughout the machining process."

Training was carried out by SCM and will continue on an on-going basis. Aztec's Rob Tudhope and Graeme Hughes are local and always on hand to assist Mike Pateman as and when necessary, plus SCM's own service division.

Mike Pateman concludes "As I have only had the CNC running for a few weeks, I am already very pleased with my purchase, as when I press the start button, the machine does exactly what I've programmed it to do. All the components are "Spot-on", very accurate compared to traditional machining methods, so everything fits together first time without any remedial work necessary. This saves a lot of time, and time is money. The machine will soon pay for itself."

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