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Maximising Profit Through Enhanced Productivity


Double your capacity with Weinig

How do you double your manufacturing capacity without increasing your overheads? This isn’t a trick question. This is a reality for London-based external joinery company, Stanbrook & Nicholson. Its recent investment in a Conturex Artis+ CNC single-component production system from Weinig has seen the ambitious company introduce new revenue streams and have the capability to complete orders five times larger than ever before.

“In 2010, our company changed direction to become a specialist in external joinery,” says Ben Stanbrook, Director of Stanbrook & Nicholson. “It was at this point we bought our first window line. Since then, the goal has been to own a single component machine that could produce our complete product portfolio – reducing production times and increasing capacity without upping labour costs. In 2022, we found ourselves running at maximum capacity. We knew it was time to put our plans into action.”

“We were maxed out with a turnover of £2-2.5m each year. Thanks to the introduction of the Conturex, we now have the capabilities to reach upwards of £5m per year without any additional staff, bigger premises or more machinery”

In need of a machine that could produce any window component and automatically switch to another in direct sequence while offering zero change-over time on all parts (including profiles and ancillary operations), Ben and his business partner, Simon Nicholson, started investigating Weinig’s offering.

“We’d heard about the Conturex, but we presumed it would be out of our financial reach,” says Ben. “Weinig are well known for installing multi-million-pound window and door lines into large-scale manufacturing facilities. We didn’t realise a machine like the Conturex would be attainable for a smaller manufacturer like us. When comparing the Conturex to other machines on the market, we knew we were looking at a completely different animal and incorporating this machine into our production would put us on a footing with the big guys.”

Before investing in the Conturex, Stanbrook & Nicolson would batch its machining. “We offer a wide range of products – from windows and doors to roof lanterns and by-fold doors – so our orders are often compiled of multiple parts. Batching items meant we’d be grouping different orders together and having to wait for other parts to be machined before we could complete an order. It made production planning more challenging, often leaving us paying overtime to get jobs done more quickly.

“We’d use a cross-cut saw to start with and move the pieces onto our window line to complete the inner profiles. Then we’d glue up and use a CNC to do the outer profiles. We’d also need to hand-finish each piece before painting it. It was a slow process that left room for error and material damages.”

With a three or four-axis 30kW main shaft, profiling on the Conturex can be carried out in a single step, eliminating the need for a CNC and a dedicated operator. “Now, pieces go from the cross-cut saw directly onto the Conturex Artix+ before being painted. We no longer need two people running each machine. One person can now oversee the machining and also have time to support the team in the assembly area. Overtime is a thing of the past, too.” Adaptive tooling has played a key part in the company’s production figures. Ben explains: “We worked closely with Oertli Tooling to create a tooling solution that would help us get the most out of the

Conturex, which included duplicating tooling to speed up production. This has made a huge impact on the time it takes to machine different profiles and the fast rpm on the Conturex offers a much cleaner cut, which means less finishing.” This has been reflected in the company’s order book: “Not only can we confidently work on orders five times bigger than we could before, but we can also incorporate smaller, one-off items into our production schedules thanks to the machine’s quick and easy set-up. We no longer have to wait for a large batch to be completed before we can start work on it or halt production while we manually set up the machine for a specific order. In fact, it’s so easy to work variations into our production that we now offer an Express Service to customers.” The benefits of virtually unlimited design options and quick, precise machining have


led to updates in the company’s portfolio. “We’ve changed from externally glazed to internally glazed designs and introduced new products, including the Heritage Slim Light – a traditional sliding sash window that features individual panes of glass. To do this the old way, it would have been painfully slow and unviable financially.” “It’s clear to us that the Conturex can double our capacity and we’re expecting to see a return on investment almost immediately,” says Ben. “We were maxed out with a turnover of £2-2.5m each year. Thanks to the introduction of the Conturex, we now have the capabilities to reach upwards of £5m per year without any additional staff, bigger premises or more machinery. “Our next job is to feed the beast and win larger contracts. Having this kit in our industry sets us at a new level and we’re already feeling the buzz around it. It’s a really exciting time for us and we’re looking forward to the next chapter in our story.”