Beds magazine meets a UK machinery supplier that is dedicated to the manufacture of beds and mattresses.
With the issue of skills entirely and deservedly prominent in the furniture industry at present, it’s important that we not forget the technology which plays a crucial role in the manufacturing process. There is a wealth of machines available, and a number of suppliers, so how does a manufacturer go about choosing the right one for their business? We spoke to Shaun Peel, technical director at new start-up dedicated entirely to the bed industry, Mattresstek, to find out.
“We saw an opportunity for a UK based Mattress machinery manufacturer that could wholly design and build mattress machinery,” explained Shaun.
“This allows full control over every aspect of the manufacturing process, from the machine design and development through to testing and PDI.
“We also wanted to utilise our combined experiences and own concepts to suit customer demand into our machines. Through our 30-year combined experience with working very closely with customers and operators, their feedback and expertise has been very influential in the designs of our machinery and our decision to set up MattressTek.”
Shaun and co-founder Michael Birtwistle are well placed to offer advice, with Shaun starting his career as an apprentice pattern and tool maker whilst studying mechanical design engineering at college. He went on to design machinery for the mattress industry in 2002 and during the following three years, completed a degree in integrated engineering technologies at Liverpool’s John Moores university, with first class honours. During his career from 2002 to early 2017 he completed 13 years within the mattress industry, he also had a few years drawing and designing machinery for the bandsaw cutting industry, as well as can production machinery and large industrial ovens.
Michael meanwhile started his career in 1996 as an apprentice electronic engineer building mattress machines while studying electronics part time for five years at college. He went on to installation and servicing of mattress machines around the world. His installations encompass everything from single machines through to factory automation and project management, working with some of the world’s leading mattress manufacturers. During his 20 years in the industry he has designed and maintained all models of mattress manufacturing machines, whilst also providing Global Online and telephone technical support to customers and technicians.
“Our way of thinking,” continued Shaun, “is by using past experiences and including new technology and thinking to design the most reliable machinery, with British manufacturing at its core.
“We are part of a group of companies, namely Tek-dry, which has specialised for more than 30 years in process drying equipment and Altham Fab TEK, which have state of the art laser cutting CNC, press break and punch machines, with a large team of on-site engineers and machine builders.
“We wanted to utilise our combined experiences and own concepts to suit customer demand into our machines”
“As a new company in the mattress machinery market, this gives us the credibility, the tools and the ability to grow through the support and expertise of the group of companies.
“As a group, we are strongly focused on Health and safety including fully CE marking all of our equipment, and are always trying to remove or reduce RSI (repetitive strain injuries).”
The business is at the beginning of its journey which, the owners believe, afford them the ability to listen and respond with the right designs for its customer base.
“We have already had very positive feedback from some of the leading mattress manufacturers in the country, who have visited our premises and tested the equipment, with their own operators and engineers,” said Shaun.
“Customers have also brought their own Products to test on the machine, the main feedback being that the machine has performed as advertised. The new TapeTek machine has particularly impressed operators who have commented that it is ‘the smoothest, quietest and most user friendly tape edge machine’ they have used.’
“Within the first week of launching MattressTek we had already received orders and have had a huge amount of interest from mattress manufacturers.
“We believe that the lack of UK machinery manufacturers limits the customer’s choice of local maintenance and technical support. There is also a lack of innovation and versatility of equipment and ergonomic design. With customer product ranges always evolving, they require machines that are already designed to handle changes in their ranges.”
When asked what his advice would be for UK manufacturers looking for machinery? “Support British manufacturing. The quality is far superior. We believe in a fast turn around and are building machines to stock. We are versatile enough to cover most of the customer production range to be future proof and we can offer bespoke machinery design from our in-house team of designers.”
The company offers solutions to the mattress industry covering the entire mattress manufacturing process, with all models made in house using U.K. manufacturing facilities near Manchester and the latest state of the art Amada production machinery.
Continued Shaun: “Our ‘in house’ CAD designers know how important it is to understand good design and build quality in the mattress making industry, using their experience. Our current mattress machinery products include tape edge machines, tufting machines and conveyors, and we’re developing a full portfolio of mattress making machinery, including border, panel cutting and slitting machines.
“The MattressTek brand represents innovation, quality and reliability. Our desire to improve and innovate is ingrained within the company ethos. It’s our aim to develop a reputation for developing and manufacturing leading edge technology to rival existing worldwide mattress industry specialists.”