Improving quality and simplyfing design

DFS is the leading retailer of upholstered furniture in the United Kingdom. They design, manufacture, sell and deliver to their customers an extensive range of upholstered furniture products.

The business operates a retail network of upholstered furniture stores across the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, together with an online channel. These have been established and developed gradually over more than 40 years of operating history. They attract customers to their stores and website through their substantial and continued investment in nationwide marketing activities as well as their reputation for high quality products and service.
“We had a traditional product manufactured from board and timber using traditional methods such as band saws and pillar drills” explains Eddie McDermott, Wood Mill Manager at DFS. “Our purchase of the Skill nesting cell reduced our costs from £48 to £22 per unit and increased production to 150 per week, saving us £3,900 per week on this process alone. The purchase of the machine was justified on this one item but we obviously use it to produce many more products now. “Biesse went the extra mile and did a lot of work with us in the initial stages on nesting patterns and timings. We sent two packs of material to Biesse in Italy and went over to witness the machine trials and worked closely with their engineers to deliver the performance we required.”

Biesse enabled us to improve the quality of our furniture as well as helped to simplify our design.

Eddie McDermott, Wood Mill Manager

The acquisition of Biesse’s Skill nesting cell has delivered even more benefits to DFS. “Having the CNC has given us the capability to manufacture many more parts so it’s been a fantastic investment. It’s enabled us to change the design of other products to increase efficiency, make us more competitive and hopefully gain us a greater share of the market. The improvements over traditional methods in terms of time, material waste and man hours have been massive. The machine is running 24 hours a day, six days a week and we process between seven and eight boards an hour”.
Other tangible benefits which Eddie mentioned were that it gave DFS greater flexibility and the capability to manufacture intricate components more easily. “It’s also enabled us to improve the quality of our furniture as well as helped to simplify our design”. Space was also at a premium and the smaller machine footprint was ideal for DFS. “If we had the space, we’d buy at least another two Skill’s AG FTs” enthused Eddie, “however, our main reason for choosing the Skill was the cutting speed. We run the machine at 40M/Min to obtain maximum efficiency, so with that and our high production output, reliability is also a key factor”.
Would Eddie recommend Biesse? “I absolutely will and already have”.


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