Frank Nemec made a telephone call recently.
Frank owns and runs Eden Joinery, named for its home town on the Sapphire Coast along southern New South Wales. With an instinct for working in wood and a passion for his business, over the years Frank turned humble beginnings into a thriving venture with many domestic clients. For many years he has supplied the local building industry with kitchens, wardrobes, vanities, staircases, anything related to wood.
Quality and precision, Frank says are hallmarks of his success, and that using Altendorf equipment has improved the efficient operation of his workshop.
Twenty years ago Frank made the time to attend an AWISA show in Sydney, something he had wanted to do for a long time to judge for himself claims about the latest innovations in the trade. Seeing machinery manufactured by the German company Altendorf at the show, reminded Frank of his time in Austria working as a joiner and carpenter making sets in the movie industry, and the reputation of quality and reliability of the brand. Frank believes that the best equipment in the world is manufactured in Germany, and tells his family that if you want something that will last to buy German products.
Although he did not intend buying any new equipment, and had a suitable saw in his workshop, Frank was intrigued by the capabilities of the Altendorf Elmo series of sliding table panel saw machines. He realised that the ease of operation and the machine’s precision would help run a more efficient and profitable business, making more and better quality product.
Vit Kafka, who at the time was just beginning his career with Altendorf, listened to Frank talk about his business, and his needs, and suggested the Elmo4, where both left and right sides are computerised. Frank decided on the Elmo3 where only one side is computerised. He thought it would be easier and more comfortable to operate, and appreciated that Vit was not pressing him to buy the Elmo4 which was higher in price. Frank was so impressed that when Vit completed his demonstration of the equipment, Frank bought the machine right off the showroom floor. On a later occasion, when the obvious question came up about how the machine was going, Frank admitted that while he was very happy with it, he now realised the Elmo4, with crosscut fence computerised, would have made an even bigger difference.
The Elmo became like a trustworthy worker in Frank’s workshop, and he describes the after sales service as exemplary with regular on-site services. The helpful representatives are always ready to help solve any questions that may arise. “Once you buy a machine from this company, you become part of the family. It’s a company that doesn’t rely on just selling. They have a relationship with the joinery business themselves,” says Frank. He appreciates how it is a well-run company, and that the people believe in their products and accept the responsibility to do the right thing by the customer, nurturing the relationship between the company and client, putting the needs and satisfaction of its clients first.
The call that Frank made recently was to Vit, who today is the Managing Director of Altendorf Asia Pacific.
After 20 years of using the Elmo3, Frank wanted to upscale to the Elmo4. As he is getting on in years entering his eighth decade, he wanted to update to a model that needs less manual work. The F45 Elmo4D is completely automated. Vit says, “He rang us and said he was finally going to get the machine he should have got 20 years ago with both sides computerised. Frank’s old model was sold on to a new owner for another twenty years lease of life.”
Speaking from his workshop, Frank reflects that the company didn’t just simply hand over the equipment. He is pleased with the installation and technical instruction he received. After some training he has become familiar with all aspects of the machine and the computer controls. Using the computer screen makes for easy operation. Frank quips that now he just keys in the numbers and the machine does the rest.
Building Quality with Quality - Aldo’s Kitchens and Joinery.
Established more than 30 years ago by Aldo Panozzo, Melbourne based Aldo’s Kitchens and Joinery’s long term philosophy of using only quality components and machinery has certainly served the business well throughout the years.
The primary workhorse at Aldo’s Kitchen and Joinery is their Altendorf Pro4U panel saw. One of the first of the new range of F45’s, the Pro4U features the PRO drive control unit to offer unprecedented ease of use, clarify and most of all, productivity. The control panel is capable of commanding up to four axes and puts all values and functions within the reach of the operator at a central location.
“The new Altendorf has made a big different to our work place,” Says Steve Panozzo, current owner of the successful business, “Productivity is increased and the cut quality is excellent, that’s value for our customers.”
Using only quality components and machinery, Aldo’s Kitchens and Joinery is a partnership between craftsmanship and proven machinery that will continue to carry the business into a successful future.
Building Quality with Quality - Precision Cabinetmaking.
Situated in the industrial estates of Dural, Precision Cabinetmaking is one of the many Altendorf users who utilises the benefits of quality machinery.
Currently on the factory floor are the Altendorf WA8 X panel saw and a Cehisa Compact S edgebander. When it comes to the saw, it is the combined efficiency and cut quality of the saw that have impressed business owner Chris the most.
“Love the feeling of knowing I am able to produce quality and quantity every time I turn my saw on.” Says Chris, “I do a lot of veneer and solid timber, so the quality of cut really speaks volumes when we try to deliver quality to our customers.”
Chris also runs one our Cehisa compact series of European edgebanders. Designed also to save time without compromising quality, the machine’s output requires minimal post work. “The quality of the edging is great!” Says Chris, “The pieces come off the machine with hardly any cleaning required.”
The right saw and edgebander is what makes the difference. For Chris, his machines certainly delivers efficiency and ultimately quality to his customers.
Altendorf is pleased to carry a range of european edgebanders. Cehisa is the name, with 50 years of experience making the finest edgebanders. Our lineup ranges from the smaller cost saving units to some of the larger systems which will make any edgebanding operation a breeze. For more information on these machines click the link below
To celebrate the release of Altendorf's new stock, we're offering incentives across the range and especially on package deals. Give our toll free number a call to find out more! 1800 558 258
Name: Ernie Brillantes
Position: Product Manager
Favourite aspect about job: The job is not a set routine, everyday is a different challenge. I'm happy that I can contribute and at the same time continue to learn about new technology and further improve my knowledge within the industry.
How did you get into the industry?
It's almost 30 years ago when I started in the wood working industry. I've learned most of my machine knowledge and automation with Laminex Industries (Size Cut) and D & R Henderson. I also learned a lot in the building game when I worked for Stegbar Wardrobes and Shower Screen. I've spend most of my entire career in manufacturing and building industries. I started in the shop floor and worked my way up to the management level. Of course I have to study along the way and I thank Laminex Industries for paying for my education. One day I was looking for a good Edge Bander for our new Plant in Queensland. I remember meeting Mark Luff and subsequently Rick Lee and Vit Kafka. Before I knew it I became employed by Altendorf and the rest is history. I am very happy that I can contribute my experience and knowledge to Altendorf and Altendorf customers.
Playing Guitar and Occasional Gig with my band.
People who claims victory in the expense of others.
If you had one wish what would it be?
I wish I have the same life as Hue Heffner (Playboy Magazine Owner).
Advice for Altlink members:
As they all say "Practice makes it Perfect". Altendorf is producing Panel Saw for more than 100 years. With the addition of software, edge banders and CNC, I'm sure we got the right solution for you.
Increase productivity with cut optimisation and an f45 elmo panel saw. The need for speed and efficiency has led to massive interest in Cut Optimisation with links to the saw and it is no accident that this technology has become a popular investment. Our clients are looking to improve productivity without changing the entire way they operate. At Altendorf Asia Pacific, we provide a range of solutions including Nested Based Machines. Many of clients however, want to move ahead without reinventing the entire workshop.
Once a prospective customer understands the pros and cons from both sides of the story, they are in a better position to choose a method that suits them. In every solution, there are big picture concerns that go far beyond the selection of machine and these are not always clear from the start. It is too easy to make a decision, and then find that you have only received part of the story. For example, a decision should take into account such things as material handling, software complexity and training and a good representative will help you understand all these points.
Cut Optimisation combined with the F45 Elmo panel saw has become so popular because clients can improve productivity instantly without having to tackle complex software and handling issues. The Elmo range can be installed complete with Ardis Optimisation Software, a solution that has been used extensively by our clients for well over twelve years. Of course, no matter what the solution, it is important to take the opportunity to re-evaluate the way you do things in the workshop.
It has been proven many times over, that great gains can be made without turning production upside down. Independent tests conducted as a project by the Department of Production and Business at the FH Lippe und Hoxter in Germany, showed conclusively that productivity could be increased by up to 51% using an Altendorf machine with Cut Optimisation and a link to the saw. Further more this equates to a 20% cost saving when compared to a standard Altendorf F45. The study was conducted in controlled conditions obtaining comparable data, such as the setup and operating times for common machining operations (crosscutting, ripping, mitre cutting and grooving).
With Ardis and the Altendorf’s F45 Elmo range, all cutting patterns and cutting instructions are transferred seamlessly to the saw from the office. The operator requests his job with the barcode scanner supplied. After that he just presses the start button to begin working, the saw automatically sets the fences and stops for the next cut.
The label printing option takes the machine to the next level. Labels are printed at the saw for each component, which can include bar code information for the next operation such as edgebanding or CNC machining. This integrated process incorporates state of the art edgebanders and CNC machining centres available from our product range. In its ultimate form, all machines in the process are linked together with software to provide an efficient working cell with maximum flexibility.
It is not necessary to jump in and install an entire workshop however. The beauty of this approach is that just one of the steps will produce massive improvements to your business. It is then possible to take further steps in the future when you feel comfortable.
The Parliament house, National Archives and the Australian War Memorial are typical hotspots you would find on a tourist map. However they are also some of the names you would find on an impressive Designcraft reference list. This not only reflects the calibre of work the organisation is engaged in but also the reputation accredited to the name.
Designcraft is a Canberra based manufacturer and retailer of quality residential, corporate,
system furniture and detailed joinery. The organisation is also widely regarded as an industry leader in the field of Museum, Gallery and Exhibition furniture and fit out.
Since the inception of the business in 1991, Designcraft has evolved to become one of Australia’s most highly sought after furniture and fit out companies after having successfully undertaken an enormous variety of challenging work in Australia and abroad.
Its trophy cabinet is a true testament to the reputation Designcraft has achieved over the years. In 2008 Designcraft won the Commercial and Retail Fit-out, Refurbishment $1m - $3m award presented by the Master Builders Association.
The focal project behind the award was the Post 45 Galleries Australian War Memorial.
The Post 45 Galleries is a significant tribute to our past, displaying powerful stories about Australia’s involvement in conflict and war over six decades. This includes the Vietnam War and Australian peacekeeping efforts since 1947.
Other than actual museum artefacts, everything in the galleries was produced at the Designcraft factory. What made this installation particularly challenging was assembling a complex array of showcases whilst overlapping existing patron traffic and public use of adjacent spaces.
Designcraft also fabricated and installed all of the showcases for the project, from the small custom medal showcases to the largest museum systems, numbering some 75 cases in total.
Despite the cumbersome nature of the task, all the showcases were assembled at the Designcraft factory. This impressive 4500 sq.m facility includes a 3300 sq.m workshop and was officially opened by the ACT Minister for Small Business Mr Ted Quinlan in December 2004.
Setting a new standard for industrial development nationally, the factory showroom incorporates numerous best practices in design and construction such as a 20,000L underground stormwater collection tank for water re-use, laminated Smart Glass and fully insulated factory walls and roof to reduce heating and cooling costs providing a more comfortable working environment for all workshop staff.
Machinery utilised by Designcraft is also reflective of the innovative values adopted throughout the organisation.
An integral pillar of the automated process at Designcraft is the Holz-Her Promaster 7123 Flatbed Matrix CNC centre from Altendorf Asia Pacific, a machine which also played a pivotal role in creating some of the works used in the Post 45 Galleries.
“The Promaster was utilised throughout the whole project. The job involved a lot of customised shaped work, curved components and templates and this is where the machine showed its powerful capabilities” explains Managing Director, Bob Fenderson.
The Promaster’s suitability for the task allowed it to be used on number of materials including timber, aluco bond, composite material, aluminium sheets and acrylic.
When asked about the Promaster’s performance and how it has affected the business, Bob had this to say:
“It has allowed us to make our workflow processes much more automated with a lot less repetitive work being done by hand. The machine is very accurate which is great for our fitted components and multiples which all come out identically. The Promaster also takes out the guesswork when it comes to challenging tasks”
Automated processes and machinery are a necessity for any growing business wanting to streamline their work flow. They bring benefits of improved accuracy, efficiency and labour saving on repetitive work and can impact profitability exponentially.
Bob Fenderson was happy to provide a few words of advice to businesses wanting to make this transition utilising CNC technology:
“Do your homework. Speak to the right people including suppliers and especially business owners who have the first-hand experience using the machinery. Take the time to make an informed decision that will pay your business dividends”.
Bob also owns a Holz-Her 1321 edgebander and two Altendorf panel saws.