Basic Mechanics

Stephen Greenall, technical engineer (machinery) for Schüco UK & IRE, explains what you need to know when you’re considering installing machinery in your fabrication workshop for the first time.

The decision to install machinery is usually prompted by a desire to speed up production and improve quality. It can be a daunting step to take. Is it worth the investment? Which machine to get? Will automation mean I have to lose some of my workforce? These are the type of questions you will be asking yourself.



I work closely with fabricators to install new machinery and I train and support machine operators. It is rewarding being able to help businesses take their first steps on this journey and to watch as they flourish and grow.

When I first speak to business owners about introducing CNC machines, a common worry is that automation will mean job losses amongst their staff, yet I have not found that to be the case.

In fact, the reverse is often true. With repetitive tasks automated, the fabrication process becomes quicker which in turn means that production output can be increased. This can mean that more workers are required as the business grows.


Improving quality

With machine tooling, holes can be drilled and profiles cut much more quickly and with more precision than by doing it manually. Delegating these types of repetitive tasks to a machine leaves less room for human error, cutting down on production delays.

Another important benefit of automation is that it can lead to increased job satisfaction for employees, which can in turn lead to increased staff retention. Freeing fabricators from the repetitive tasks that can be done by machine enables them to focus on applying their skills to the actual assembly of the product, which is where they can add the most value.

The result is often a higher quality finished product due to the accuracy of the machining and tooling and the additional time fabricators have to assemble each item. This also reduces the risk of problems with the product further down the line after installation.


Health & safety

Safety conditions in the factory can be improved by the addition of machines and automated tools too as they come with built-in safety features such as enclosures for blades, thereby minimising the risk of accidents.


We do machines

At Schüco we’re better known for our door, window and façade systems than for our fabrication machinery. Our machines are highly versatile and can be programmed to process any supplier’s systems, not just ours, be they aluminium or steel. They will also interface with third party estimating and manufacturing software.



We have found that key to integrating machines successfully is making sure all machine operators are well trained. That is why we take the time to train customers to use our machines correctly and safely. All machines are also supplied with access to a free 24/7 support hotline.

Training is not only something to consider when new machines are installed either but also when new staff are hired. The temptation is for existing staff to show the new team member how to use the machine, however, businesses have a responsibility to ensure that anyone operating a machine has had the correct training. This ensures that standards remain high, the machine is maintained properly and health and safety procedures are adhered to.


Designing high end products

Schüco CNC machines come with SchüCam software which can be downloaded onto any laptop or PC as well as being accessible on the machine itself. This simplifies the entire manufacturing process right from the design stage. It also means drawings can be worked on away from the factory floor if required.

When fabricating Schüco systems, SchüCal, the company’s configuration software, is also available.


Reaching potential

Schüco has long been proponents of automation. We believe that using machines where appropriate helps our partners to fabricate our products to the highest standard. This not only supports our reputation for supplying high quality systems but for our partners, helps them to realise the potential of their businesses.


Picture: Introducing aluminium processing machinery.

Article written by Cathryn Ellis
18th January 2023


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