10 years on!

Established in 2003, Bridgewater based have quickly grown to be one of the UK's leading manufacturers and supplier of made to measure, site specific Door Linings, Frames, Casings and Screens, producing tens of thousands per year for the UK construction industry.

Initial requirements in the early days were modest and regular, but now with the industry moving more towards door sets, the company found themselves in the situation where offsite machining for Ironmongery to both linings and doors had become a mainstay of their business and was likely to grow further.

In 2008, company MD Lee Morgan visited the W exhibition at the NEC where he was looking for a cost effective, simple
to use CNC machine for 'prepping' door linings. Although there was a big choice of conventional CNC routers and machining centres, most where overkill in terms of both price and specification. Luckily Lee then spotted a machine on the JJ Smith stand which looked to be exactly what he was looking for. The then recently launched Centauro ALFA was specifically designed for the machining of linings and doors, using a fully programmable router head that works in the vertical or horizontal, making it ideally suited for producing hinge recesses, lock slots, latch plate recesses, handle holes and key slots. Programming was kept extremely simple thanks to the Power 1000 graphic touch screen controller using pre-installed electronic macro templates. A firm order was placed after the show with the machine being installed early 2009.

Moving on 10 years, realised that to keep pace with demand they needed to increase their machining capabilities. Production Manager Martin Gollop takes up the story "We had been very pleased with the ALFA that worked day in day out since it was installed and so it was a fairly easy decision to go with the same again. As a result we contacted JJ Smiths 'Door Specialist' Paul Parker who visited us to talk through some of the new options that were available. At the same time we also mentioned that we had a requirement for another pod and rail CNC router, but something that would process a door more quickly. Luckily Paul showed us a video on the latest ALFA Twin model which is a through feed double sided machine that can work both sides of the door simultaneously". In order to satisfy the customer’s requirements to see it working on Fire Doors, a demonstration was set up at JJ Smith's Liverpool showroom, with results being very positive. It took only 2 minutes to machine 3 hinge recesses, spot drill for screw holes, produce the lock slot and drill for the handle hole, also including loading and discharge.

Both the new ALFA and ALFA Twin machines where installed 12 months ago, Martin comments "thankfully this investment allowed us to significantly improve our delivery times which was critical due to the large volume of work that was and continues to come in." Paul Parker adds "It is very satisfying that we have been able to assist with their continued growth and I am sure we will be able to continue this in the coming years. It is also very pleasing that recently we have been able to celebrate the 100th ALFA sale in UK and Ireland, which is becoming more or less standard issue now for door frame processing"

To view the full specification of the Alfa Twin, please visit here.