Accord Housing Group manages approximately 12,000 properties on behalf of the Walsall Council and has, in recent years, erected houses manufactured in Norway, Europe.

The decision was recently made to set up their own manufacturing facility under the name Local Homes.

Independent consultants were appointed to ensure tax payers got value for money, with a detailed evaluation of a number of wall panel production lines stemming from a variety of manufacturers.

Modular Building Automation (MBA) were able to highlight their solution as a complete package, ensuring a factory could be set up with minimal fuss and hassle for the parties involved.

Accord and their consultants stressed the proposal they were looking for was not simply a series of machines but a complete and comprehensive solution.

In order to manufacture closed panels, MBA supplied a variety of saws and general purpose machinery together with a dedicated production line incorporating one of their industry-leading MobiOne machines for the manufacture of frames and the automatic nailing of sheeting.

To complete the production line, a number of working tables and transfers, including a turnover table and panel storage systems, were also installed.

Managing director of JJ Smith, Martin Smith, oversaw the project and said he was very pleased to win the contract after such a thorough evaluation process.

“We felt that by offering a uniquely tailored solution to Accord we were able to maximise the production space available,” Martin explained.

“We have worked closely, both with the project team and the new production team, to ensure that the installation and commissioning phase went as smoothly as possible and the new staff were trained up on the equipment.

“We had to work to a demanding delivery schedule and were pleased to be able to complete the contract exactly on time,” he said.

Newly appointed factory manager Jason Powell said he was impressed with MBA’s approach and their ability to train his staff.

“The support team have also been able to deal efficiently with any minor post installation issues as they’ve arisen,” Jason stated.

The equipment that MBA has supplied includes their MobiOne combined framing and cladding machine, which has the capability to manufacture panels with walls up to 350 mm deep.

The machine has options for framing, sheeting, routing, papering and batten fixing and has been very popular across the European market.

“As the market moves to higher code levels, we see closed panel solutions for offsite construction becoming more prevalent,” Martin said.

“We are ideally placed to satisfy this market with the equipment we can supply,” he concluded.