Combining the traditions of old-fashioned service with the latest technology is easier said than done, but these two factors have been central to the success of the Murdock Builders Merchants Group – as highlighted with a recent raft of investment in the company’s three timber plants.
Complementing the strength of Murdock Builder’s Merchants, which has 13 branches in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, there are four specialist divisions – Civils, Machined Timber, Carcassing Timber and Roof Trusses/Space Joists. Alongside last year’s successful launch of Murdock Civils, the company has made significant investment in state-of- the-art equipment and an expansion in the plants in Newry and Warrenpoint. This investment is combined with decades of industry knowledge delivered by an experienced team and is aimed at delivering a more efficient service.
Based on a vast site at Greenbank Industrial Estate in Newry, the plants for Carcassing and Trusses/ Space Joists have been extended significantly, with an additional 5 acres bringing the total size to 9.5 acres! The increase in size was prompted by an investment in a new automated Truss Table and Stacking System which is believed to be the biggest in Ireland and one of the biggest in the UK. Located in a former creamery building, this state-of-the-art equipment delivers new levels of accuracy and precision. The company’s expert design team is also able to download drawings directly into the system, with production starting in a matter of minutes.
A £2million investment in two new planeing lines and associated handling gear has also enhanced the service at Newry.
Offering speeds of 120m a minute and 80m a minute, these fully automated systems are based around the requirement to quickly and accurately plane and cut timber as well as bale them in required batches.
This investment matches the services already available across the timber division that include on-site timber treatments and a full design service. Paul Sheppard, Roof Truss and Carcassing Manager, explained, “We already had state-of-the-art plant and design software in place, but we are always looking at ways to improve and enhance our product offering and service.
“Central to the most recent investment was reducing the amount of manual handling of timber on site and speeding up the entire production service by designing out any flaws in the system. The fully automated technology of both the new Truss Table and Stacking system and the two new planeing lines enhance our accuracy and quality levels. But by designing a more streamlined production process where a new roof truss, for example, can quickly go through production and then onto a lorry for delivery has reduced our lead times and given us more capacity.” However, the use of technology has not diminished the involvement in experienced personnel.
“From the factory floor to the design team, we have a very experienced team in place who are all committed to meeting customer requirements. We have seven designers who work closely with customers across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to create solutions for a more economical build while our production team turn these designs into a reality. It is a team effort and our customers benefit from our in- house expertise.”
This combination of experienced personnel and innovative technology adds up to an impressive product offering that ranges from all timber used in domestic and commercial structural applications, including roof battens, floor joists and studwork for partitioned walls, as well as roof trusses, Spacejoists and metal web flooring.