A speedy solution from TM Machinery

Martinspeed specialises in transporting artwork to museums, galleries and private collectors from around the world. The London-based company has invested in a new 40,000sq.ft purpose-built manufacturing unit and a new Striebig vertical panel saw from TM Machinery in order to make the switch from outsourcing to manufacturing its own protective shipping cases and frames. “Outsourcing is never without its problems and it means relying on third parties to get the job done,” begins John Perkins, Head of Case Packing at Martinspeed. “For us, not only was this proving more expensive than manufacturing our own frames and cases, we also had to work around other people’s production timescales. The lack of flexibility and the potential for delays was always a concern. As the company continued to grow, the logical step was for us to bring our manufacturing in house and gain full control over our manufacturing processes.”


In 2020, Martinspeed began work on a new manufacturing unit to sit alongside its existing storage, packing and shipping departments. “The unit was a blank canvas, with plans to incorporate a separate cutting and assemble area,” explains John. “We knew we needed a saw that was capable of cutting nine, 12 and 18mm plywood sheets for our made-to-measure carcass and 50mm polystyrene, polyethylene and other soft foams for the linings. We also needed it to cut multiple sheets measuring up to 4m long in one go and be suitable for single-person operation. Plus, it also needed to offer a compact footprint. A table saw simply wasn’t an option – especially when you consider the space it needs and the tricky handling. We knew only a vertical panel saw could offer us what we wanted.”

Striebig Compact 5220
The Compact 5220 recommended ticked every box. The machine offers a cutting range of 4,350 × 2,200mm but with a footprint of just 5,826 × 1,466mm. Having used Striebig vertical panel saws in previous roles for over 20 years and forging a b relationship with TM Machinery during this time, there was no doubt in John’s mind that the robust Striebig Compact, with its 3.9kW sawing unit, 60mm cutting depth and pre-scoring unit, would suit his requirements. “I didn’t need to be sold on the machine’s pin-point accuracy and Swiss build quality because I’d had first-hand experience of using Striebig panel saws and they’d never let me down. What I needed was guidance from TM Machinery on the right model for the job and how and where it would be best to house it in the new factory. Having someone look over the plans and talk me though the space and cutting area needed was a great help and it made for a quick and simple installation. In fact, it only took two engineers half a day to install the saw – with samples being run on the saw in a matter of hours – making it easy for our extraction company to fit the necessary ducting the following day.

“It’s been a gradual process, mainly due to COVID-19 restrictions, but the result is a purpose-built manufacturing facility that has the capacity to create several hundred bespoke shipping cases a week. On average, we’re currently putting 24 ply sheets through the saw a day – frequently cutting four sheets of 9mm plywood at a time before moving them to the new assembly area.

Workshop workhorse
“Since lockdown has ended, the Striebig has been the workhorse of our workshop and is often running all day. We are now shipping thousands of pieces of artwork a week. Not all of these items require our bespoke cases and frames, but we now have the potential to fulfil a larger number of orders much more quickly. We occasionally need to create shipping crates for same-day and next-day dispatch. We would have struggled to offer this service if we had still been outsourcing and it would have been extremely expensive but now we have the Striebig, we’re in a position to do this efficiently. We now have complete flexibility and control over our processes and because it is a manual machine, it’s quick and easy for the team to operate.”


John adds: “The speed and precision of this machine is its biggest plus point for me. It’s working at a faster rate than expected and it’s still not up to full capacity. The potential when using this machine is massive. I believe this is the go-to saw for manufacturers who are looking to speed up production and simplify their operation. It’s a fantastic addition to our business and the advice and service I’ve received from TM Machinery has been second to none.”

TM Machinery is the exclusive UK distributor of Striebig vertical panel saws. For more information, visit www.tmmachinery.co.uk or call 0116 271 7155. For the latest news, follow TM Machinery on Twitter or search for TM Machinery on LinkedIn.