Office Furniture Manufacturer, Verco, mobilized its fleet of Biesse wood processing machines to manufacture 5,500 Covid secure workstations for the British government within four months.
When office furniture designer and manufacturer Verco got one of his most important orders in its history – a special office project for the UK government – he knew he could only deliver on time if he could. rely on sound performance Biesse Machines.
Biesse rose to the challenge by providing responsive technical support and rapid online troubleshooting to meet Verco’s ambitious uptime targets. By fulfilling the strict conditions of the contract and delighting the customer, 5,500 MFC office workstations with Covid protection MFC / Perspex and a glass screen were delivered at the end of March.
Selco SK4 de Biesse in situ at Verco
A seat in the capital
Verco has a rich heritage in furniture making stretching back over a century, when High Wycombe was known as the chair-making capital of the world. In the 1960s, the company turned to office furniture, mainly seating, and recent history has seen Verco invest in Biesse CNC machines to expand its panel furniture business.
Verco’s first purchases from Biesse were two used machines: a Protec (built in 1999) for processing large panels and a smaller Rover 380 (built in 1992). Both are still used by Verco today, a testament to the longevity and build quality of Biesse machines.
Positive first impressions
“This was our first introduction to Biesse, so when we next looked to buy new machines, we called them up to chat. Compared to other brands, Biesse machines were more competitive from a technical and price point of view, ”says Peter Mitchell, production manager at Verco.
These early models have since been joined by several other Biesse machines, including a VIET sander, Selco panel saws, Rover A Edge edge banding CNCs and its latest purchase – a Rover A FT flatbed router.
Installed in Verco’s 40,000 square foot carpentry plant, this battery of furniture manufacturing equipment, combined with a highly skilled and dedicated workforce, has made Verco a leader in office and home products. high quality commercial table.
Verco’s latest purchase – a Rover A FT flatbed router
Colossal contract opportunity
In the summer of 2020, Verco was approached to design and manufacture 5,500 workstations, integrating more than 25,000 MFC panels and 13,000 Perspex panels, in order to create a safe working environment against Covid.
One of the biggest contracts ever in 109 years of Verco history, there was a lot to be done on this project. Even before the contract was awarded, Verco had to secure its supply chains, commit to materials and make logistical arrangements to pack 1,000 tonnes of counters in special distilleries and deliver them to a central distribution warehouse.
The size of the order meant that Verco had to make every effort to ensure on-time delivery to the office. This would involve operating an extended shift and moving to a six day week for the duration of the contract, and even then any machine downtime would jeopardize Verco’s ability to complete on time. .
“We were very aware of the scale of this project and the fact that we had very little time to manufacture all the components,” explains Peter. “This challenge has been compounded by the complexity of these components. Some of them required secondary machining in terms of sizing, flanging, shaping, routing, and form flanging, which are difficult but essential to achieve absolute precision at all times. We knew we were going to depend heavily on the repeatability and reliability of our machines because we just wouldn’t have enough time to get the job done with downtime.
He continues: “Two machines that were absolutely crucial to the success of the project were the Rover A Edge machines, as we could not perform shaped edgebanding with the same precision, repeatability and quality on other machines, in particular. in the obligatory quantities. Therefore, ensuring the availability of these machines was paramount.
With this in mind, before signing the contract, Verco asked Biesse for assurances that it would react quickly in the event of an equipment problem.
“We wanted to make sure they could guarantee support on our site when we needed it and remotely when we needed it,” says Peter.
The customer being delighted with the prototypes designed by Verco, all the systems left from mid-November. From that point on, with just a few breaks in between for Christmas, six 45-foot Arctic left Verco every week for the next 11 weeks.
All hands on the deck
“Staff have been seconded from all areas of the company to work on this project. Everyone made a commitment that this had to be done. They were all fully employed at the time, which they were delighted with, and the factory workers were working long hours – 6 am-6pm – and doing a lot of overtime, ”says Peter.
During this period, several Biesse machines were operating at full capacity, including some of the oldest.
“Even the big old Protec had his part to play,” recalls Peter. “Some of the panels we were handling were 1800 x 2100mm, so the Protec was ideal for the precise edge sawing process. We were able to do some of the shaping and edging on the Rovers and then switch to Protec for the saw cut which was a more efficient way of working.
Opera 7 broadband finishing center delivers exceptional finishing quality for Verco
During this project, Biesse’s remote troubleshooting capabilities played a critical role in minimizing downtime.
“The advantage for an engineer to identify a problem on a remote machine and correct that problem remotely is speed. If the problems can be solved without a site visit, it’s better for everyone, ”says Peter.
The latest machine purchased by Verco integrates the SOPHIA – Biesse IoT platform. This gives Biesse a “window” into each machine installed via a continuous connection to the platform. Users can request help through an app, and Biesse engineers will diagnose and resolve issues remotely.
“SOPHIA makes a big difference in being able to identify where there are issues,” notes Peter.
During the project, any issues that could not be resolved remotely were effectively addressed on site by Biesse engineers, according to Peter, who called Biesse’s response “positive” and the engineers’ presence as ” punctual and efficient ”.
By the end of March, all four phases of the ambitious program had been delivered on time, with the product passing strict government procedures.
“The customer was extremely satisfied with our performance which was a tremendous boost to our staff who had gone all out for what was one of the largest single orders in Verco’s history. Biesse’s support has been essential in keeping production on track and on schedule and their engineers are to be applauded, ”says Peter.
“The advantage for an engineer to identify a problem on a remote machine and correct that problem remotely is speed. If the issues can be resolved without a site visit, it’s better for everyone ‘