One of the country’s leading shopfitting contractors, Alan Nuttall Ltd, based in Dudley, West Midlands, has significantly boosted its capacity and accelerated its growth into the joinery market, having recently installed a Rye CMS CNC router. Historically, Alan Nuttall has been known for its metal-based shelving and display systems for food and consumer goods retailers but has recently seen a marked increase in demand for timber components.

The Rye CMS QM 3015 CNC router was delivered in April last year and is used primarily for the machining of MDF panels and components, plus some work in ash and other hardwoods. According to joinery supervisor Steve Bundock, the company looked at several manufacturers’ products before deciding on the QM. Alan Nuttall had previously owned another brand of CNC router for several years, but this time wanted more speed, better workholding and a larger table, all within a small footprint.

‘We were looking for a larger bed with vacuum fixing,’ explained Steve Bundock. ‘But we also wanted a machine that was robust, built to last and capable of precision at high speeds.’

After several other visits, production manager Terry Batchelor and his project team visited Rye CMS in High Wycombe, taking with them components for trials. The Rye CMS vacuum holding system achieved all that they needed, and the decision to buy was made on the basis not only of quality and precision, but also on the excellent value for money offered by the QM.

The team also realised the time-saving potential of the new Rye CMS automatic toolsetting system (ATS), and ordered this for their QM. The Rye CMS ATS system allows all the tools in the tool-change carousel to be pre-set automatically in a fraction of the time necessary for conventional toolsetting. Mistakes resulting in scrap components and damaged tools are virtually eliminated.

Customers whose MDF and timber shopfitting components are being machined on the QM include Waitrose, Dixons, Currys, ASDA, Safeway, Somerfield and Budgen. The training the staff received at Rye and on the job in Dudley enables them to program the machine quickly and effectively to machine complex components, including curved frames for divider panels with grooves along the inner edges to hold perforated decorative metal sheet.

‘The 10x5ft table has been a major benefit by comparison with our older CNC machine,’ said Mr Bundock. ‘It enables us to use whole sheets of our raw materials without having to cut them first, and that saves a considerable amount of time because we can machine more components per operation.’

The QM range of fast, compact CNC work centres was designed to fill a niche in the market for top-quality compact CNC routers capable of cutting at up to 20m/min. Built using the highest quality components available, the QM range can be supplied with up to four individual heads or a 7-station toolchanging head plus a 16 spindle drill block. Table sizes extend up to 3×1.5m. With a fixed table and a moving gantry, the QM machines have extremely small footprints, so fit into small spaces in the factory. Equipped with the Osai 10/110 free-standing CNC control system, the new QM CNC routers also have full Ethernet capability, so can download software or data from remote sources.