Clearview North October 2013 - Issue 143 - Page 62

MACHINERY AUTOMATIC SAWING AND MACHINING In December 1999, Stuga sold six Flowline automatic sawing and machining centres following demonstrations of the prototype at its factory in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. The prototype was installed in January 2000 and ten Flowlines in total were installed during that year. The early success can mainly be put down to the fact that there were no economically viable alternatives at the time. One of the big problems for German machines was that they were not particularly good for the UK’s complex internally glazed casement windows and the fixed head tooling systems often struggled to cope with the many variations thrown up. Stuga’s rotary tooling system overcame the complexity issues of British windows. This a specialist field pioneered by Stuga and considerable resources have been invested into the technology over many years. Stuga also put the profile into the machine on the wide face instead of the narrow face. This meant that no tooling was required, such as contour blocks, throughout the machine. This is one of the key factors making Stuga machines less expensive than its competitors. Having created a successful new machine, Stuga built many automatic sawing and machining centres until the ‘credit crunch’ destroyed the market in 2008. After two bleak years the market started to return, for both new machines and refurbished ones. With machines becoming available due to companies downsizing or going out of business Stuga purchased a number of Flowlines that were refurbished to the latest ZX3 specification and sold back into the market. About half went to new customers and the rest to Stuga customers that recognised their machines needed refurbishing or replacing. With an estimated design life of around ten years some Flowlines are clearly past their replacement date but many fabricators cannot afford to replace them. These old machines have been targeted in the last two years when replacements have been available and quite a few have taken the chance to trade-in their old machine and purchase a refurbished one. The big problem is that many others either cannot raise the money or cannot justify the finance repayments. This means that these very old machines are costing more to keep going. The key point being not only the servicing costs but the considerable costs of lost production when a major breakdown occurs. On top of this the ‘donor’ machines are now rarely available for Stuga to purchase and refurb ?6??6?'W???r?Wp??2?gFV?F?R????FW&?F?fR??v?F???&RF??SWF??F?26v??p??B?6?????r6V?G&W2??F?R?&?WBv???p?&6??fW"B?V'2F?W&R6??V?B&R????7@?6??7F?B7G&V??b&W?6V?V?B'W6??W72'W@???7Vff?6?V?B6??6??FF?????F?R??GW7G'???V?2F?B?&v??2??&?GV6??rv??F?w2&P?F?v?B?BF?R???W?FW7W&FV??VVFVBf? ?&W?6V?V?B?2?gFV???BF?W&R?7GVv?2f?V?@??G2&?vvW7B6V???r?6???R&V6V?F??2F?R??B??v??6?6?&?GV6R?F??v??F?w2W ?vVV??F?W6R&R????F?R6????W2F?B6??ff?&BF???fW7B7W'&V?F?2F?W?&Wf??W6????fW7FVBv?6V??B?WBWF?V?"??fW7F?V?@?7G&FVw?F?&?Vv??WBF?RF?v?GW&??F?R?F?W ?&?r6V??W"?2F?RWF?f??r?"2?B?26???W"?@??2?V6???vW"&?6R?????7BWfW'?7GVv7W7F??W"?27F?VBv?F??F?R6?????fW"???rF??R?BF?R????&V6??f?"F?B?2F?B&?f?G2&R&V??fW7FV@?&6???F?v?f??rF?6?726W'f?6R2vV??0?FWfV????rF?R?6???W2?BF?R&?vR??WF??F?26v??r?B?6?????r?2?'??G0??GW&R?BF?Rg&??B?bF?R&?GV7F?????R?@??VVG2F?6?72&6??WF?V?7W&R?B?2?v?0?v?&???r?F??26????&R&?W&?6??WfVB'??W&6?6??rg&??7W?W"v??6?7W?F??0?f?F?&6??W?B???6???B??7GVv?ffW'26W'f?6R?B&6??WF?B6???@?&R&VFV??v?F?6??V?v??VW'2??F?R&?B??FV6???6??6??WFV?B6??&F??F?"?v?2BF?P?V?B?bF?R???R?B????W6R6?gGv&R????`?F??2?2f??&?R??F?RT??B?v?F???'G2f? ?7GVv?6???W2&V??r&W6?W&6VB?W&R?7W7F??W'0?&R??BW??6VBF?F?Rfv&?W2?b??FW&?F?????7&?72&?&FW"G&?7?'B?BF?ffW&V?BF??R???W2??7GVv?2'&?F?6???Vf7GW&W"?v?VB'?7FWfP????W2?Bv&WF?w&VV??2?v?W'2F?W?&P?&6VB??F?RT???B&R??&???f??&?P?F?F?F???Rv?V?F?R6??2&RF?v????@?6WfW&???W'2v?????F?W"6?V?G'???f?"F?6?726v??r?B?6?????r6V?G&W0?6??F7B7GVv?6???W'???????C?2sC#3C??"f?6?Bwwr?7GVv?6??V??c ???5B#0??F?&VB??&R?f?6?Bwwr?6?V'f?Wr?V??6????