Since Hales Sawmills began in 1982, they have experienced rapid growth which has culminated in major investment in the development on a new mill, woodworking machinery, and training.
Bill Parton and his son, Julian, quickly set themselves apart from their competitors by becoming specialists in a vast range of quality timber products, producing panels, gates, and furniture, including bespoke projects and contract highway work. By 2015 the Shropshire based family business realised that they had outgrown their original site. A decision had to be made on whether to scale back or to expand, and so they started work to develop a new, larger mill in Market Drayton.
Hales approached Daltons Wadkin at the beginning of their journey, to discuss the expansion and what would be required. “We were fortunate enough to have already been supplying machinery to Hales for 20 years or so”, explains Daltons Wadkin Sales Director, Andy Walsh. After Andy’s initial visit their aim was clear – increase capacity, improve productivity and safety, and save labour. “This is what we call ‘machining smarter’”.
As development of the new mill neared completion, a tailored proposal saw Hales decide on two Stenner ST100 resaws, several Graule crosscuts, a Kuper planer moulder, and a Wadkin CST planer thicknesser.
Whilst most of these machines were additions to Hales impressive line-up of machinery, the Kuper planer
moulder would replace a 15-year-old Wadkin. Julian explained that what drew them specifically towards the Kuper was the addition of an infeed driven bed roller before the cutter block which suited the wet timber being processed and made it easier to plane.
The next step is moving from their old site, and thanks to Daltons Wadkin this was taken care of too. “We decanted the remaining machines from his old
premises to the new one, installed and re commissioned them”, says Andy Walsh. The commissioned machinery needed to be serviced to ensure safety across the board, Julian therefore asked Daltons to service all machinery as well, “to make sure they’re kept to a high standard”.
With a larger site and more machines comes an increase in operators too, and Hales saw their team grow. The new members of the team needed to be trained, and existing operators also needed training on the new machinery, “training from Daltons Wadkin has been very good. We want people to come here to work and be safe, so we get the professionals in to do that”, says Julian.
To date Hales have seen an overall production increase of 15%, meeting their first aims of expansion. This is a very positive statistic, especially as Julian explains not all machines are running 100% of the time, suggesting plenty of room for further production as the company continues to grow.
When asked if Julian would recommend Daltons Wadkin, his response was, “Would I recommend? I had a new machine delivered yesterday, so yes, I would definitely recommend. If I was looking for a new machine, I wouldn’t ring anyone else”. It will be exciting to continue to work with Hales as they progress into this new chapter.
See how you can machine smarter. To find out more about the range of products and services available contact Daltons Wadkin on 0115 986 5201, email [email protected] or visit www.daltonswadkin.com