From the straight and narrow (to the long, large and laminated).
Hans Hundegger breathed life into his first machines for his family timber business in Germany in 1978, and shortly after started building what is now regarded as the world leader in joinery machines for the frame, truss and panel markets. But the range has extended far beyond those early days and likewise, the company has spread its wings around the world – with over 5000 installations in more than 40 countries.
Similarly to the company heritage in Germany, Hundegger Australasia Pty Ltd also began with a machine purchase to expand and improve a family timber engineering business. And today, nearly a decade later, there are more than 85 Hundegger machine installations across Australia and New Zealand.
The early days of Hundegger machines in Australia with the K2 then the very successful Speed-Cut machines (cutting and processing) operating in the region has been expanded with the high speed TURBO-Drive and super flexible ROBOT-Drive. These machines are at the very heart of the timber wall frame and truss manufacturing process with cutting, drilling, end profiling, slots and other forms of mortise and tenon profiles all being performed in one place, at one time performing multiple processes on a single work-piece. Many of the leading companies in the industry have now purchased their second, third and even their fourth or fifth Hundegger machine.
Charlie Hutchings, managing director and owner of Hundegger Australasia, takes great pride in delivering an experience to customers and staff alike that is very much in line with the corporate philosophy of the German company.
“Our employees and our customers are the pillars of our company, with a quality product, superior service and support and a long term partnership approach,” he says. “This work ethic is part of the local Hundegger operational culture.”
During 2017, Hundegger has undergone an expansion in Australia with a move to a significantly larger premises, increased technical support members and a new general manager. With the evolution of the residential building industry towards more and more prefabrication and the local building design code accepting taller buildings made from timber, as well as a global tall timber movement, Hundegger is well positioned to be a key element in the push for greener, more sustainable buildings – made of wood.
Apart from the machines already mentioned – the Speed-Cut, TURBO-Drive and K2i – Hundegger also has a range of larger machines that are ideally allied with the solid timber, engineered timber and composite panel processing. The Speed Panel Machine (SPM-2) and the PBA range set the industry standard for processing elements for SIPs, Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and pre-fabricated wall components of varying materials.
When it comes to CLT panels, there is another Hundegger machine in the product range -the ROBOT-Drive. There is a Hundegger ROBOT-Drive installed at Bella Vista, north west of Sydney at the StrongBuild site, and it has been processing the Binderholz BBS CLT panels for the Community Buildings division of StrongBuild for the past 18 months.
All these Hundegger machines are currently in operation in Australian and/or New Zealand sites and with the region rapidly catching up to markets like the UK – where pre-fabrication is the norm rather than the exception – expect to see more of this type of machine in the pre-built environment.
Donald Radunkovic, service manager for Hundegger Australasia, says that the ongoing training program Hundegger has developed for customers has been warmly welcomed and very well supported by the industry. The certificate-based training program is an industry first, offering value to the ownership of the machines over the long term, particularly when existing operators leave or move to new roles in a company and operational training is required for new staff.
“We offer an online self-assessment program to determine what level of training is required, then we can deliver our customised operational-, maintenance- or optimisation-based programs (or all three) to suit customer requirements,” Radunkovic says. “When this is completed, we have seen positive measurable results with overall machine efficiency, optimisation and operation.”
This training is currently available to all Hundegger customers on their own site and with their own machine.
While Hundegger Australasia has enjoyed solid growth, the company has retained dedicated key staff with years of Hundegger experience. The company has also attracted some younger graduates, keen to get a foothold in the high-tech world that is full 6-axis, 6-sided CNC processing of timber.
The new premises has created the opportunity to invest in a demonstration and training centre, which Hutchings has long desired to do.
“We finally have the space to establish a Customer Experience Centre, and we are developing plans to have a machine dedicated to a 12 month rotation, with customer access for workshops, training and demonstrations” he says.
From a stand-alone machining centre to a full production line with material handling and software solutions, Hundegger has the product range, engineering experience and personnel to deliver productive integrated solutions and the ability to support their product and their clients into the future.
For more information, go to hundegger.com.au