This is a detailed account of the production of our premium timber windows and doors from start to finished product.
1. Starting in the timber storage warehouse visitors will receive a full description and introduction to the timber used in the manufacture of Mumford & Wood’s Conservation™ products. Presently a combination of predominately Larch or Red Grandis together with Mahogany and modified timber is used, all of which is 100% FSC certified. The benefits of engineered timber is fully explained which underlines the inherent characteristics of strength and stability. It is here that a £60,000 investment has been made on a fully optimised Weinig Opticut DimterLine Crosscut machine. Lengths of timber are fed into the machine for scanning where it is marked to identify and remove defects, optimising the remainder of the high grade timber and effectively reducing waste. The information for the cutting list is fed directly from the Company’s bespoke ERP system to eliminate any possibility of error.
2. Also here is the new Weinig Powermat 1200 which has been installed at a cost of £180,000. This moulder planes the timber all round preparing two of the sides for the next operation and the other two sides for the final finishing operation. The machine is also fitted with the latest quick-change tooling to allow the Company to produce the extensive range of beads and bars which form part of the assembled product.
3. The prepared, engineered timber now leaves the warehouse and moves into the state-of-the art manufacturing zone. Here the individual components can follow two distinct manufacturing processes. The older of the two methods utilises the existing Weinig Unicontrol 10 Windowline which will automatically produce tenon joints as well as what will become the internal profile of the assembled part. From this machine the components travel to the cramping section where the individual components are assembled into a complete sash or frame. The assembled sash will then be moved to either the 4 or 5 axis CNC router so that the external profile, together with any ancillary machining such as that required for the ironmongery or trickle vents, can be undertaken.
4. The alternative process uses a new, fully automated Homag Profiline which has recently been installed at a cost of £700,000 + £300,000 of tooling. It features three machining heads each of which has its own tooling store from which the appropriate tool can be automatically selected depending on the component being manufactured. The Profiline, which relies on smart and efficient planning and software programming for total manufacturing efficiency, reduces manual handling as well as the number of operations required to bring it to the same finishing stages as the Unicontrol and CNC router combined. These reduced processes contribute heavily toward Lean Manufacturing Principles derived from the Japanese automotive industry and adopted by Mumford & Wood.
5. The Mumford & Wood range of internally glazed Conservation ™ windows and doors introduced in 2013 require the manufacture of an accurate ‘cassette’ of any bars required. The Stegherr scribing and notching machine, also newly installed at a cost of £50,000, enables the various components to be accurately cut from the pre-moulded bead which then allows the cassette assembly to be completed to a high degree of repeatability.
“The investment in the state-of-the-art computer controlled machinery has enabled Mumford & Wood to replace a great deal of the manual work on the more straightforward products, thus allowing our craftsmen and women to channel their efforts to more skilled work, including the production of specials, such as bay windows and curved heads, that require specialist hand finishing and which for them is more interesting and rewarding.”
6. Conservation™ windows and doors are spray finished and supplied with three coats of high quality micro-porous paint or stain. The paint shop in the manufacturing zone has been significantly increased in size to allow a continuous loop production line. This enables the whole process to be completed without the need for the operator to handle the products. In particular this removes the need to man-handle them and move to separate work benches in order to undertake localised finishing operations such as de-nibbing. This improves both the speed of operation as well as removing any potential damage caused in the handling procedure. Yet another contribution to Lean Manufacturing Principles.
7. All double glazed panels delivered to the Assembly and Glazing shop are first 100% checked for defects and rejected where necessary, even if inevitable delays are created to the production cycle. In most cases the supplier responds quickly enough so that this delay does not affect the promised delivery to the customer and helps the Company build and maintain an enviable reputation for ‘delivery on time in full’. Mumford & Wood use toughened glass as standard which means that all double glazed units carry the BSI Kitemark.
8. As products travel through the final stages of production they are quality checked and inspected by glaziers, finishers and wrappers meaning that every product goes through a triple inspection process. Effectively each department is the customer of the preceding manufacturing process and a defect of any kind could stop a job if considered questionable.
9. Technology has been introduced to the production floor allowing team leaders to update production planning quickly and efficiently. This allows immediate identification of the status of a project and is leading the way towards paperless administration.
10. New production offices have been constructed adjacent to the production floor where senior management can work more closely with production floor procedures to achieve a Total Quality Management philosophy together with company-wide processes that focus totally on customer needs.