Screen to Machine - Factory Automation
REBUILDING a City’s Kitchens
Misco Joinery, a family business run by Glenn Colenso and Mike Chernishoff has been operating from its semi-rural location in Marshlands, just out of Christchurch, since 1988 and currently design, manufacture and install around 20 kitchens a week, mostly new kitchens for builder clients.
They have considered themselves pretty lucky through both the recession and the quakes. Work did slow says Glenn but we have some very loyal building company clients that kept the wheels turning and now we are so busy that we are referring work to other joiners.
The company runs a CNC nesting set up with a Biesse router and edgebander. While satisfying their current requirements they are in the process of upgrading to the latest generation Biesse to accommodate future expansion.
“We will keep our existing machinery,” says Glenn, “both for back up and parts but we are purchasing a new Biesse Skill 1836 and a Biesse Roxyl edgebander with a view to increasing our productivity and capacity. The edgebander will have a return system and we will be able to run both machines with just the one operator which will effectively save a man while also improving our through put speed.
“We use Cabinet Vision software from design to manufacture and have done so for a long time. Phil Smith (from Joinery It who supply Cabinet Vision) has been very good to deal with. We recently just added Cabinet Vision’s Label IT to our system for better tracking of parts and process, I talked to Phil, he hooked it all up, and it was sorted - it’s like having a good mechanic.
“We also use them if we need to add hardware to our library, for instance if Hafele bring out a new carousel or flap stay or whatever, we simply ring Joinery It, they get the specs off the Hafele people, include it in our library and it’s ready to go.
“The rebuild is only really starting to happen now and I think will maybe peak in 3-4 years and carry on for some time after that. We intend to capitalise on that by positioning ourselves to be part of it. Which means having the machinery, software, staff and systems in place.
“Staff is likely to be an ongoing issue as everybody gets busier, we are currently looking to take on 4 new staff and are likely to need more in the future. We look to employ local first and primarily need good staff with the right attitude to fi t in with our system and ethic. It’s not rocket science, the machinery and software largely do it all for you - you just need to ensure you have the right colour and right amount of panel.
“The quakes have bought about a significant shift in the mind set of many of our clients.
Previously anyone looking to renovate or install a new kitchen wanted to do it and had planned for it, in the last couple of years people are installing kitchens because they have to. They have often undergone significant stress sorting out insurances, dealing with the earthquake commission and organising their rebuild, by the time they arrive at our designers desk they have often had enough of the whole process which means we have to be little more proactive with our advice and patient in letting them discover what they want.
“It is certainly an exciting time and a busy time for all of us - it’s not often you get to rebuild a city - it has obviously generated a lot of stress but has also shown the resilience of the people of Christchurch.”
As it turned out we visited Misco Joinery about a year early as they are currently in the process of building a new factory in Kaiapoi which they expect to move into complete with upgraded machinery next year. The move was planned prior to the quakes but would seem extra well timed now given what would seem to be a busy time ahead for the city’s kitchen manufacturers. We spoke to Glenn Colenso of Misco Joinery about their set up, the last couple of years and the coming rebuild.
80 Mairehau Rd
Ph 03 383 4384
JOINERS Magazine December 2013 page 30
The kitchen side of the business does around 30 kitchens a week and also manufactures office furniture, laundries and wardrobes. The restructure of the last few years has seen the company reduce staff to 27 down from 40 odd before the recession.
“By the time of the recession we had become a borderline corporate, a little too heavy in management with a too extensive product range. We had to downsize to survive so we reduced staff and consolidated our product range which resulted in us moving out of benchtop production, buying in our vinyl wrapped doors and contracting out the finishing part of our operation,” says Nathan Moore.
“We suffered no real damage in the earthquakes, but things just stopped - we knew the work would come back and knew we needed to keep our staff. Fortunately we had some very good office furniture work much of it under contract for government departments and this and our branch in Blenheim allowed us to juggle our work and retain staff.
Now the business is flourishing and Hagley Kitchens are looking to expand in the New Year into an adjoining factory. “It will double our factory space and along with the purchase of new machinery will increase our capacity without the need for a lot of new staff – which we believe will set us up for the years ahead.
Hagley’s currently run two Biesse CNC routers one about 4 years old and the other about 6, along with a 12 year old Homag edgebander which is still doing a great job but will probably be replaced following the shift.
“We are likely to get a new CNC as well” say Nathan, “and it is likely to again be a Biesse as the two we currently run have been good machines and we have a good relationship with the Biesse guys.”
In anticipation of the new machinery Hagley Kitchens have also upgraded their software.
“We recently purchased Cabinet Vision from Joinery It. Previously we were using a range of software, one for design, a package we had developed ourselves for pricing, another for project management and then a further one for production. Cabinet Vision brings everything together and does it all at once - design, price, management, manufacture - with virtually all the input done at the design stage. We have only had it for four weeks and are merging with the old system rather than an overnight change but it is progressing well and we expect it to significantly improve flow through the factory.
“Things are starting to move now but still not anywhere near full steam. I believe rather than a boom we will see a sustained growth period for a decade or more as the city rebuilds and redefines itself.
“A big change for us has been a shift from retail to trade work. Prior to the quakes the majority of our kitchen work was retail now we are 80% trade. The reason for this is that the majority of work is being dished out to the housing companies from the insurance companies, and we simply follow in line.
“At times it can be difficult to fit in with the building process as their schedules can change significantly for all sorts of reasons, you just have to be flexible and have the production and storage capacity to fit in with them.
“It has been a very difficult time for all business in Christchurch and has required us all to look closely at all aspects and make changes.
However for those that have got through the recession and quakes, business looks positive and I believe we are in for a good run over the next decade.”
Hagley Kitchens have been in business for 30 years, the business was divided a couple of years ago with the separation of the aluminium side into a different company, part of a move that has seen Hagley Kitchens focus on its strengths and ready itself for the coming decade in Christchurch’s development. JOINERS Magazine spoke to General Manager Nathan Moore.
6 Nazareth Ave, Christchurch
Phone 03 961 0966
JOINERS Magazine December 2013 page 31