The Striebig Control vertical panel saw.

The CMC Group is the new South African distributor of the Swiss woodworking machinery manufacturer, Striebig’s specialist range of space-saving vertical panel saws.

CMC has its head office in Durban and branches in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Gqeberha (PE). “We are excited about the partnership and look forward to supporting current users of Striebig machines and introducing new customers to the advantages of a vertical panel saw,” says Leon Fourie, CMC’s Johannesburg manager.

He and the Cape Town branch manager, Gary Miles, have many years of hands-on experience with Striebig’s products. Fourie believes CMC’s 30 years of excellent customer service and in-house expertise contributed to Striebig’s decision to appoint the company as its local agent.



“I can confidently say that Striebig is the global market leader in vertical panel saws. Yes, cheaper saws are available, but they cannot compete when it comes to what matters most – reliable production with few unplanned stoppages. It is simply the best,” asserts Fourie.

“Every saw is made with Swiss precision. Striebig manufactures almost 95% of the components at its production plant in Lucerne, and only the electronics are outsourced. When we install and commission a Striebig, we have peace of mind knowing the customer has invested in a machine that will last for at least 20 years.”



Space saving

All cut and edge service providers, shopfitters, furniture and kitchen manufacturers need a panel saw and experienced operators to accurately cut engineered fibre and solid panels into components with minimum waste.

Businesses that mass produce components from MDF, chipboard or melamine-faced boards usually opt for a beam saw because it can cut packets of boards at a time. However, most companies rely on one or more horizontal sliding-table saws to do the job.

Fourie says the local manufacturing market has changed significantly over the last five years. Producers are struggling with rising input and overhead costs and looking for ways to increase efficiencies. Many are moving into smaller factories with less space for machines and storage.

The fact that vertical panel saws take up less space than sliding panel saws is often a deciding factor for businesses looking to invest in a new machine. Even with full sheets (2800 x 2070mm), a vertical panel saw requires just seven square metres of working space, which is a third of the space needed for a similar sliding panel saw.


Less handling, one operator

The blade remains stationary on a sliding table saw, and the board is manually positioned and fed through the blade. Cutting a full sheet requires two people to operate the machine due to the size and weight of the sheet and a large workspace on either side of the blade to handle the material safely.

Instead of a sliding table, the Striebig has a moving saw head. It offers several benefits, including fewer operators and materials handling.

“Even when performing multiple cuts, a single operator only handles the full sheet to load it onto the machine. Due to its vertical design, the board’s edge is put directly onto the datum before the cutting process begins. This removes the risk of incorrectly positioning the board and speeds up the cutting cycle,” explains Fourie.


Consistently accurate cuts

Both saw types require good quality, vibration-free saw blades and the right blade and feed speeds.

“Regardless of a sliding table saw’s build quality or price point, the feed speed is manually controlled by the operator. The accuracy of each cut depends on the operator positioning the board correctly against the fence and keeping it in position during the cutting process.

“The table saw operator must be skilled, understand the properties of the raw materials, and be able to concentrate to prevent inconsistent cuts and wastage. A manual sliding table operator can cut up to 50 full boards daily, while a vertical saw operator can process close to 80 panels.”

Several Striebig saw models offer an automated cut cycle with accurately controlled feed speeds. Fourie says this significantly reduces operator error and guarantees accuracy within 0.1mm on every cut.

“Only operator error will cause the machine to go out of square. It also lessens the skills required to use the saw effectively. On top of this, the finish of the cut means the board can be put straight through an edgebander without further machining or hand-finishing,” says Fourie.


Operator safety

Operator safety is always paramount. The blade is always exposed on a sliding table saw, whereas it is wholly contained within its housing during operation and run-down on a vertical panel saw. It is also much easier to move the saw head on a Striebig than manually feeding large sheets through a table saw.

“We look forward to working with Striebig and our customers to help South Africa’s furniture, shopfitting and kitchen manufacturers to increase their efficiencies,” Fourie concludes.


The touch-screen interface makes it easy to operate the Striebig vertical panel saw.