Timber mill upgrade for Beesley & Fildes

Timber mill upgrade for Beesley & Fildes

Beesley & Fildes has invested £1.2 million in its timber milling facility in Widnes in response to increased demand for timber stock items across the company’s branch network as well as bespoke orders.

The timber mill, acquired by the family-owned independent builders’ merchant in 2004, produces the skirting, architraves, flooring, planed timber, door casings and certified fire door casing kits sold across the company’s 11-branch network and online. It also fulfils bespoke orders from both the branches and customers, including matching legacy timber features and providing like-for-like timber details for heritage projects.

The £1.2 million investment programme is designed to increase efficiency and throughput, enabling Beesley & Fildes to offer “reliable and cost-effective supply with full accountability, traceability and quality assurance.”

The investment includes two new Weinig planing and profiling lines, which will replace the mill’s existing planing equipment, enabling increased throughput, fast set-up and “a consistently excellent finish”. The machines can be pre-programmed and will store settings for repeat jobs, enhancing efficiency and enabling faster operation with a single operative for each machine.

Paul Causer, Beesley & Fildes’ Timber Mill Manager, said: “The new Weinig P3000 planing and profiling line will allow us to process up to 120 linear metres of timber per minute – a 600% increase on our existing equipment. With lightweight tooling, digital programming, programme storing and pre-set capabilities, it will also be much easier and quieter to run, helping us to optimise resources at the mill and provide an improved work environment for our team, while maintaining high standards of quality and service.”

Also included in the investment programme is a new, British-made, fully-automated Stenner re-saw that will convert timber for the production of skirting boards, fence panels and feather-edged boarding. Requiring just a single operator, the new re-saw provides the merchant with “industry-leading re-saw technology, increased capacity and broader in-house processing capabilities” to boost supply chain reliability for customers.

The business has also acquired a small saw from Stenner to replace another legacy machine, providing additional capacity for angle fillets and feather edged timber.

In addition, it has bought an automated Stromab cross-cutting machine that will enhance the range of door casing and certified fire door casing sets the company can offer across its branch network. The machine will be used to produce 12 door casing variants – six different casing widths, with two alternative aperture sizes – along with certified fire door casings that will have a pre-profiled recess for intumescent material.

Investment in all five machines has been coordinated with an upgrade to the mill’s extraction system and tool room, ensuring the facility provides a “safe, comfortable and digital-enabled work environment that will futureproof Beesley & Fildes’ timber milling capabilities”. The upgrade means that the company’s experienced timber engineering and processing team will be able to load CAD drawings straight to the new machines and all machines will operate on an integrated digital system that will ensure high levels of accuracy, real-time management information and prioritised workflows.

Commercial Director James Beelsey added: “The timber mill at our Widnes branch is an important part of our offer, both in enabling us to stock all our branches and in our ability to produce bespoke items for customers – if it can be made from timber, we can make it!

“This investment programme is all about enhancing our capabilities to prepare for continuing growth and ensure we deliver consistently efficient and accurate timber processing. In addition to the new equipment, we are also recruiting a timber machinist apprentice, investing in the future of our business and our community with an opportunity for a young person to develop skills in the sector.”

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