Door Production Boost At Heron Fit Out

The Heron Group were founded in 1956 in Draperstown, Northern Ireland and now have offices in both Glasgow and London. They work on a national basis throughout the UK and Ireland, specialising in high quality joinery products for new build housing, refurbishment and the corporate sector. A subsidiary company within the group are Heron Fit Out who are an award - winning construction and property development company working in a wide variety of sectors including healthcare, education, leisure and stadia along with community and regeneration schemes. They provide a range of different products including bespoke fitted furniture, windows, skirting and architraving. One area that has seen significant rapid growth in recent years is doors and door kits.



As a result Michael Kearney, Commercial Manager and Terry Porter, Factory Manager at the 50,000 sq/ft manufacturing facility in Cookstown were tasked with the job of increasing production of internal doors. Having already used standard flat bed CNC machines for processing the door blanks they quickly realised this was not going to be the answer for the production output they required. Although they are flexible and can be used for a number of different machining applications, they are not necessarily the best solution for volume door production.

Michael Kearney takes up the story. "We knew that we needed something that would carry out all the required machining operations on the door, and came to a conclusion that, with the amount of doors we are outputting per week, we needed to move away from conventional standard 'door' routers which were taking up to 10 / 12 minutes to carry out all the required operations." Michael goes on to add "We contacted several different machine manufacturers to see what solutions they could offer, including Paul Parker from JJ Smith who was recommended to us by some mutual clients we had both previously worked with". So a meeting was set up with Michael, Terry and Paul to to discuss possible solutions. After carefully analysing all of Herons production requirements, a machine from specialist Italian manufacturer Essepigi was suggested. A visit was organised to the impressive Essepigi factory near Pesaro were Michael and Terry were shown a range of different types of machines for door production, from through feed lines to fully automated systems for frames - all QR Controlled.


Following further discussions, a detailed quotation was put together for an Essepigi CNC Doormatic Evolution throughfeed machine capable of carrying one size short batch or high volume production in quick succession, with little or no set up time between different size doors. Thanks to the double sided operation for machining the lock slots, handle holes and key slots on one side, while simultaneously machining the hinge recesses on the other, approximate machining time for a door is just one minute. Additionally the machine was offered with a dedicated vertical router head with 8 position rotary tool changer giving the machine additional machining capabilities including actual sizing of the blank, cutting apertures for vision panels, letter box opening or drilling for a spy hole etc. To carry out a full machining operation, including sizing the blank, machining for the drop seal and drilling for spy hole takes just 4 minutes! For the actual handling of the door the machine was specified with automatic loading and unloading conveyors.




In terms of programming this is simple and quick thanks to the resident 'Door Pro' software featuring macro templates, whilst automatic thickness and width sensors measure each door blank that enters the machine which then automatically sets itself to suit. Lastly a QR code reading system for batch production was also included.

A couple of weeks after the visit to Italy, Heron confirmed the order for the machine as per the specification that had been suggested. Following final customer inspection testing at the Essepigi factory, the machine was delivered on schedule and jointly installed by a JJ Smith and Essepigi technicians. Michael Kearney comments "The new door line has how been installed several months and it is performing exactly as we had hoped and has already given us a significant boost in production output. From the outset both JJ Smith and Essepigi were professional with their recommendations, plain speaking and offered exactly what we needed. I look forward to working with them again on future projects".



For further information please contact JJ Smith on 0151 548 9000/sales@jjsmith.co.uk