06 Feb 2019
February 6, 2019

Timber engineering machinery that goes on, and on…

February 6, 2019
AV Timber Engineering Table Press

Supplying timber products to the construction industry means working in all weathers, with fresh challenges and growing demands part of daily life. Firms like Sanderson’s Floor & Roof Truss Co Ltd of Rochdale keep going with great people and timber engineering machinery that’s built to last…

AV Birch supplies manufacturers of timber products across the UK and mainland Europe. We love to shout about new orders, latest technologies and the incredible bespoke machinery we design and fabricate for our customers.

Sometimes, we like to take a step back. Our equipment is built to last. We know this because we like to keep in touch with clients new and old. We maintain valued partnerships no matter when we last supplied equipment. Visits to production facilities mean we can see our kit in action.

Take Sanderson’s in Rochdale, Lancashire. They supply building firms across the country; from floor joists to trussed rafters and spandrel panels. They have a growing team of around twenty, using years of experience and a range of machinery to produce quality timber products for builders.

David Sanderson, Director, reveals more about how AV Birch products have been part of the firm’s evolution in recent years. “One of our first big-ticket purchases was a 35t table press from AV Birch in 2014. It helped take our output to new levels. Quicker, safer and more flexible than how we worked before. It meant we could target bigger orders from some of the larger North West builders.

It’s not all about new. For some machinery it’s about the servicing. Look after the core components and the timber engineering wheels keep turning.

“One of our best decisions was to purchase a single-sided beam press from another business,” added David. “It was done though AV Birch, as they make sure that older equipment always finds a home. It was twenty years old, but it does the job – again and again.

“For growing companies and start-ups it makes perfect sense. The machines have been excellent. Solid, trusted machinery that increases productivity and raises safety standards.”

Keeping employees safe

Gaining efficiencies and saving time are important, but the introduction of machinery has vital implications for health and safety, something David is keen to emphasise.

“Investing in timber machinery allows us to make better use of personnel. We can double production and eliminate potential safety issues. Making sure people are safe is a priority.

“Where there are risks, we are always looking to ways that can make working with heavy, moving materials as safe as possible.”

Linking automation, safety and productivity is becoming increasingly important for SMEs like Sanderson’s. Customers want more, and using existing techniques and personnel is putting pressure on all areas of the business.

David added: “It’s a challenging time, especially with Brexit uncertainties. We have to be properly equipped to meet the challenges posed by the building trade that needs to deliver hundreds of thousands of homes each year.

“Automation can answer a number of questions, but for small to medium sized firms there also needs to be confidence.

“We’re finding that builders want more assembled products to make installation on-site quicker, easier and cheaper. That shifts many of the build techniques back to us.

“Pre-assemblies can be complex and involve lifting heavy structures. We have to keep up with what the builders want, but we must also keep our working practices safe. Where possible, we want to take human error out of the equation. AV Birch machines have helped us to date, and we’re always looking to new solutions.”

An evolving timber industry

And the future? What does the next decade hold for companies like Sanderson’s?

“I can see more collaboration with other firms. We’re part of the Trussed Rafter Association (TRA) and we’ve listened to some of the building industry’s biggest players. They need more from companies like us.

“To supply bigger contracts, satisfy what the building firms want and need, we’ll have to create economies of scale – and that means working in partnership with other firms like us.

“That might sound strange, but we’re all looking to prosper. If it gets good products out there, and we have the people and automated machinery to do it, we’ll keep on doing what we’re good at.”

You can find out more about Sanderson’s timber building products HERE.