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Centauro ALFA Proving A Hit With Door Manufacturers

Many door manufacturers have a requirement for a simple, easy to program, accurate automatic machine that can be used for the production of door components including the machining of the door linings for hinges / lock keeps, handle holes and keyslots, lock slots, 3 point locking systems, door closers etc. The Centauro ALFA NC slotting / milling machine can do all this - plus more! It is therefore no surprise that to date JJ Smith have installed over 20 ALFA machines in the UK, the majority of which are at companies producing doors and door sets, although due the versatility of the machine some customers are also using the ALFA for window vent slotting, stair string machining, louvre doors and also for the production of Garden Products. Customers who already have ALFA machines include Ian Firth Hardware, Allan Brothers, Howarth Windows & Doors, Benlowe Group, High-Tech Joinery, W.Howard, Joinerycraft and UK Fire Doors.

As standard the machine is equipped with a fully programmable router / milling head that operates in both the vertical and horizontal thus giving the machine a high level of flexibility. Programming is via the simple to use graphic 'POWER 1000' touch screen control unit using electronic macro templates that visualise many of the different machining applications the ALFA can do. The machine has the built in facility to produce left hand / right hand linings either through the program or by working from a left hand or right hand stop. Other important features include easy to position pneumatic front reference stops along with vertical clamping cylinders that hold the component securely on a solid bed. In addition a pneumatically activated 'tasting probe' can be used to detect the timber thickness before each individual machining operation. This is particularly important if for example when hinge recesses are being machined in to a door lining that may have some thickness discrepancies. Thanks to the 'tasting probe' the hinge recesses will always be machined accurately to the same depth. For maximum safety the machine is equipped with side / rear perimeter guards and a front safety light curtain. Operator training is carried out by JJ Smith's own technicians and this can usually be completed within 5 or 6 hours.

Popular options include the ISO30 pneumatic quick change tool system, extended Y axis stroke of 400mm and office editor software for remote programming on an office PC. Also the ALFA can be equipped with an additional programmable router head fitted with a very small dia of cutter of say 2.5/3mm dia. This can be used if there is requirement to square off hinge recess corners to enable square hinges to be fitted, also it can be used for spot / pilot drilling for hinge / lock screws. New options recently introduced include a turntable device for doors plus a wider table allowing for 2 jambs to be clamped and machined in one operation. Table extensions also mean that stair strings up to 4.2m can be machined on the ALFA.

Exclusive UK distributor JJ Smith now regard the competitively priced Centauro ALFA as a standard stock item and so usually have a machine set up and available for demonstration at their recently renovated Liverpool showrooms. The ALFA is just one of a range of programmable machines that JJ Smith supply dedicated for joinery production, others include the Centauro BETA CNC swing chisel mortiser, Duin PRO-SET single end tenoner and Saomad automatic window systems.