Mercia Garden Products Increase Production With New Comec Double End Tenoning Machine

Mercia Garden Products are a Nottinghamshire based garden building manufacturer, dealing in a range of quality timber sheds, summerhouses, green houses, award winning playhouses, log cabins, and fencing to suit every garden and every budget. All products are manufactured on a 12 acre site staffed by over 200 people. A combination of quality British manufacturing and excellent customer service support has established Mercia as the UK’s leading volume producer in this sector with the company processing around 100,000 orders every year!

To keep pace with increased sales Mercia have recently made some significant investments in new machinery, which includes a Comec Frontal Double Ended Tenoning Machine supplied by UK agent JJ Smith.

Early in 2017 company MD Terry Waldron and Technical manager Malcolm Marriott approached JJ Smith to discuss specific areas of their production that needed to be increased. One of the priorities was for window and door frame components for their sheds, summerhouses and log cabins. All of the components were being produced on fairly old, labour intensive, manual single end and double end tenoners and Mercia were looking at ways to reduce the labour element while also increasing productivity by at least 20%. With this brief JJ Smith were asked up to come up with a suitable solution. Sales Director Guy Stanley comments “It was clear from the outset what Terry and Malcolm wanted to achieve and they provided us with all the information we needed. From our side it was apparent from a fairly early stage that a machine from specialist Italian manufacturer Comec could meet all their requirements”. Comec produce the Frontal range of double sided, through feed machines that can be configured to suit customers individual requirements, be it for joinery or furniture. They incorporate automatic vertical hopper feed loading systems along with step by step feeding and machining, thus giving high production output. For Mercia the machine was to have a maximum working length of 2200mm and be equipped with 1+1 horizontal milling heads to produce the tenon and 1+1 vertical milling heads to produce a single or double haunch. It was also specified with an automatic return system were the finished tenoned parts are returned to the front of the machine, so meaning only one operator is required for both loading and unloading. To help prevent break-out special quick change anti-splinter devices where to be fitted. In terms of output this too ticked all the boxes with Comec estimating an impressive throughput of 8 to 10 pieces per minute. All the machine sequencing is controlled through a PLC and general adjustments are via screw with mechanical siko readouts for quick and precise set up. On request the Frontal can be fully CNC controlled.

Once the machine specification was finalised, all that was left was for the tooling to be specified which was also handled directly by JJ Smith. An order was confirmed and once the machine was completed Terry, Malcolm and Chris the factory supervisor, accompanied by Guy Stanley visited the Comec factory for final customer inspection testing. Terry Waldron comments “The testing went very smoothly and the production output was exactly as Comec had indicated. We were also impressed by the machines extremely robust build quality and could see it was designed for high volume production”. The machine was delivered and installed on schedule and Malcolm adds “We were up and running within 1 day and the results in terms of output, quality and accuracy have been excellent”.