Cadgrange Joinery Speed Up Door Set Production with Centauro ALFA CNC

Liverpool based Cadgrange have recently invested in a new Centauro Alfa NC Machining Centre to help with the increase in demand for their door kits which has doubled in the last year. Their client portfolio includes Downing Construction, Willmott Dixon and University of Liverpool Construction Co to name just three.

The company who already have an extensive machine workshop including CNC routers were experiencing issues with the production of the linings which were proving too costly and time consuming to produce on the routers, which needed to be working full time on the door blanks. To try and keep pace linings were also being machined by hand routers and jigs on benches, which obviously was not a long term solution. Therefore Cadgrange started to investigate what CNC machining solutions where available to help them alleviate this production bottleneck. To start with they looked at conventional vacuum pod / matrix bed CNC machining centres. While not only ‘overkill’ for the task in hand, through experience they new that keeping the lining totally flat to ensure repeat depth machining accuracy of the hinge recesses could sometimes be a challenge on this type of machine. However after contacting JJ Smith Cadgrange felt they had finally found the ‘right piece of kit’ for their application. They were invited by Paul Parker of JJ Smith to visit the company’s showroom for a demonstration on a Centauro ALFA NC milling / slotting machine, bringing some of their own linings and frames to test.

Cadgrange Director Brian Halliwell picks up the story “As soon as we saw the Alfa in operation we could see this was exactly what we were looking for. It was clearly designed for the machining of linings, frames and door parts and what we particularly liked was the positive clamping of the parts on to a flat solid table, the ease of loading and also the very simple method of programming through the graphic colour touch screen controller”. As result of the successful demonstration, an order was placed for a machine complete with the pneumatic quick change tool system and also an extended Y axis stroke. In addition to maximise production output, a wider working table was specified which meant two jambs could be loaded and machined together. As standard the ALFA has a programmable electro spindle which can work in either vertical or horizontal. It is also equipped with a sensing probe that automatically checks the thickness of the component prior to machining to help ensure repeat depth of cut accuracy along the full 2.4m working length. Options include a turntable device if there is a requirement to machine both sides of a door blank for lock slots, 3 point locking systems and hinge recesses. Brian concludes “The machine was delivered on schedule and was up and running in a day. It is proving to be an extremely important machine for us and is doing exactly what we wanted, working day in day out. Constant investment in the latest woodworking machinery ensures we stay competitive and have complete control over the manufacturing process”.