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Ian Firth Install Fourth Centauro ALFA CNC Door Machine

Ian Firth Hardware have been supplying the housing market with door and ironmongery products for over 35 years during which time they have grown and evolved to suit changes in demands and technologies. Over the last decade there has been a shift in the construction methods house builders use for doors / frames which has seen them move from the traditional way of ordering individual components to now buying complete fully machined door sets which are ready to quickly and easily fit on site. Due to an increase in demand for these door kits, Ian Firth have recently invested in two additional Centauro ALFA NC milling machines from JJ Smith to work alongside the two already installed in their Dewsbury factory.

The ALFA is an easy to program, quick to set up automatic machine that can be used for the production of doors and door components including the machining of the door linings for hinges / lock keeps, handle holes and key slots, lock slots, 3 point locking systems, door closers etc. Thanks to the CNC controlled router head that works both in the vertical and horizontal the machine is very versatile and gives repeat machining accuracy. Standard X axis capacity is 2800mm while the Y axis capacity is 150mm with the option to increase this to 600mm. Programming is via the Power 1000 colour graphic touch screen controller with pre-installed electronic macro templates which makes programming extremely simple and usually operators can be fully trained within one day. Options include a turntable for doors, additional router head for drilling or squaring of corners for square hinges and table extensions.


When it became apparent that they needed to increase production output, operations manager Nigel Robinson did not hesitate to contact JJ Smith’s Paul Parker who he had originally dealt with when purchasing the first two machines. Nigel comments “Initially we had started to think along the lines of investing in another large bed, fully equipped CNC router. However when we looked at what we wanted to actually do on the machine everything pointed to going with another two ALFA’s. The first machines had worked extremely well since day one, the operators were very comfortable operating and programming them, the foot print is relatively small and also the cost compared very favourably against the larger CNC machines we had first considered”. An order was confirmed and both machines were installed and working on schedule in just 10 weeks. The fact that Nigel knew the order and installation would as usual be conducted in a very professional manner was another reason he had “total confidence” in placing the business with JJ Smith. The machines supplied were complete with the quick change ISO30 tool system and also with optional wider table and horizontal clamping system which allows for two frame or door jambs to be machined together, thus maximising production output.

Robin Firth, Commercial Director for Ian Firth added “We supply some of the UK’s biggest house builders and since the upturn in the housing market the increased demand for our doors / door kits has risen by around 50%. As a result we have made some significant investments in new machinery and personnel to make sure we can keep pace with demand and provide our customers with the service they have come to expect from Ian Firth.

Exclusive UK distributor JJ Smith now regard the 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. To arrange a demonstration please contact JJ Smith on 0151 548 9000