The extra outlay was quickly returned as it enabled one staff member to handle both the edgebander and the CNC
With twenty nine years experience manufacturing kitchens Millbrook Kitchens owner Andrew Silcock knows the value of smooth running trouble free machinery. He explains that having found the brand he likes in Italian machinery manufacturer Biesse he is unlikely to look elsewhere when considering replacements and upgrades.
Millbrook Kitchens in Rangiora are currently very busy. Their local housing company clients who make up a big portion of their business are busy, and in fact apart from the covid lockdown period, this year is one of the busiest in their three decade history. At the heart of their business and manufacturing process are a Biesse Skill 1224 FT CNC and a Biesse Akron 1440 edgebander with Airforce technology and a TM10 PUR system.
“We have used Biesse machinery for a long time,” says Andrew. “In fact the Skill is now 12 years old and still operating a solid 10 hours a day, a great machine that has given us trouble free running. It has cost nothing to run, in 12 years we might have replaced one bearing. Our last three edgebanders have also all been Biesse and have served us well, service and maintenance is very easy and we have had hardly any breakdowns, it is a very easy brand to use.
“We purchased the second of those edgebanders ﬁ ve years ago when we were among the ﬁ rst in NZ to purchase the Akron with Airforce technology - it was pretty revolutionary with its dual edging systems and quick change over from a PUR system to the Airforce system allowing us to broaden our options for clients and produced a zero glue line, in fact the PUR system is virtually invisible itself.
“We would probably still be using that edgebander but when we went to the opening of Biesse’s new showroom in Sydney a couple of years ago the latest model on display, the Akron 1440, had signiﬁ cant advances which caught our eye, Biesse gave us an excellent deal and we decided to upgrade.
“The Airforce technology had been updated and improved considerably but the PUR unit was completely diﬀerent and as big users of PUR its advances had real appeal to us. It now has a sealed glue unit which we have found great. The glue doesn’t go oﬀ in the pot and is usable for much longer, we clean it out once a week - that’s all it takes.
“We mostly use the PUR option, probably 80% of its use. It is simple to use and gives a great finish in both clear and white glue. I look around and see very few ﬁ nishes as good as ours. I am also 100% sure every piece will stick and be waterproof and the additional heat resistance of PUR provides extra assurance especially if the cabinetry is by a heat source.
“It is great to have the Airforce option though, we are able to use it if speciﬁed or with particular colours, for example black gloss, where an invisible glue line is traditionally harder to achieve.
“We also went for the return system on the latest model it cost an extra 20k but it is the best 20k we have ever spent. The extra outlay was very quickly returned as it enables one staﬀ member to handle both the edgebander and the CNC which essentially service the whole factory. “The Skill is next on our upgrade list, we were intending to upgrade it at AWISA. It was originally only running around 4 hours a day when we ﬁ rst purchased it, now it’s more like 10 hours a day so after 12 years we are probably pushing it to its limits especially as the factory relies on its dependability. We are likely to buy the latest equivalent of our current Skill, it is one of Biesse smaller CNC’s and suits our factory size. We have limited space, but it is the perfect site for us and we don’t want to move.
“There is no way we would change brands, or at least there would have to be drastic technological improvements in another brand, in speed for example, for us even to consider it. We get on well with Biesse, Warrick Small locally in Christchurch and Dylan Staples and his team here in NZ in general, are great to deal with and running one brand across the shop makes it easier for servicing and maintenance schedules as well as retaining staﬀ familiarity - we ﬁnd Biesse to be our ideal machinery partners.