Over the last 10-15 years Gowercroft Joinery has steadily expanded and, in its trajectory, SCM UK solid wood technologies have been a pivotal point and constant reference.

Its growth, says Gowercroft, is founded on adoption of innovative technologies and solutions to meet market needs, combined with a commitment to a traditional aesthetic that suits the British built environment.

The company currently manufactures three core product ranges for different markets. Traditional Classic targets renovation and new build; award-winning Heritage was developed specifically for the building conservation market; and traditionally profiled Frontier offers high level energy efficiency for the future-build projects.

All ranges are characterised by use of energy efficient vacuum glazing, durable Accoya and Red Grandis timbers, and innovative paint coatings backed by 10-year maintenance-free guarantees.

As Gowercroft’s ranges target the top end of the market, it required a comprehensive technology solution for its next stage of development.

“We needed machinery that could deliver our products to a consistently high standard and in a highly efficient way,” explained managing director, Andrew Madge.

Since the installation of its first Dogma and CNC machines in 2018, Gowercroft’s turnover has grown by 150% and the company is now looking to double it again through a ‘continued adjustment’ business model.

Rather than working directly with the end customer, the company is transitioning to working through main contractors and a network of local dealerships to service the domestic market (see pp31-33). Since the launch of its partnership programme last year, Gowercroft has signed up 10 dealers. The plan is to have 30 throughout the UK.

Given the impact of its Dogma/Windor Nt1 and Morbidelli M100 CNC machines in achieving production numbers, a further investment of £350,000 (including extraction, electrics, and tooling) was the logical next step to facilitate Gowercroft’s expansion. This phase was completed at the beginning of 2023.

“We felt replicating our existing machine solution would mitigate risk of downtime, whilst giving us additional capacity for taking on critical short-term projects and delivering strong mid-term growth,” said Mr Madge. “The new machines, combined with our change in business model, has enabled us to maintain competitiveness and significantly improve gross margins.”

The Windor Nt1 angular machining centre is billed as the most practical and economic solution for window frame manufacturing.

“It’s designed to optimise production space and offers unrivalled performance for windows and doors processing,” said SCM. “It performs all the operations of end-cutting, tenoning, drilling-routing and profiling. The machined work pieces are ready for assembly and can be returned to the operator via a space saving conveyor. The enclosed machine structure reduces noise to a minimum and ensures maximum operator safety. Excellent precision is achieved thanks to the automatic tenoning cycle supported by an easy change over device, and there are no limits to profiles execution. In fact the machine can be fitted with two 50x320mm spindles and an optimal finish quality is obtained during the storm proofing operation.”

Gowercroft chose the Morbidelli m100 CNC machining centre to add flexibility in hinge and lock drilling, profiling and 3D routing. The machine is run by the Suite Maestro, which has specific modules for every production cycle.

“Unique on the market in having an unrivalled price-performance ratio, it can be configured according to customers’ needs and investment plan,” said SCM. “It offers 360° freedom in optimising space within the factory thanks to the Pro-Space solution and the absence of perimetral fences allows access to the work table from all sides of the machine.”

The JQX (Just Quality eXtreme) 5-axis direct-driven spindle head means zero vibrations, even with large material removal at high speed, and with high-performance drilling heads with RO.AX (Rotoaxial spindle technology) spindles, offers rotation speeds up to 8,000rpm.

The Morbidelli m100 offers a 60% time saving in drilling cycles thanks to the rapid machining/cycle time and devices that reduce idle times. The TV FLEXMATIC work table promises no downtime for set-up operations and less than 15” is required for switching tools thanks to the FAST14 tool changer.

“The Morbidelli m100 is perfect for joinery and furniture manufacturing,” said SCM. “It can manage every type of wood product, including panels, single elements, kitchen doors and windows. There’s a configured solution for all requirements and size of investment.”