South Tyrolean interior design company barth, which operates worldwide, puts the plans of renowned architects into practice. In terms of technologies and materials, this often involves breaking new ground. The Swiss sanding machine manufacturer Kündig was contacted for a solution in the edge area.
Barth, as many, started with the craft of cabinetmaking. But very soon, the international activities of the family business, founded in 1877 in Brixen (South Tyrol, IT), became very apparent: "Travellers from all over the world used the Brenner Pass as a transit route and resided in the traditional Hotel Elephant, where they saw our work. This is how my grandfather exported altars to the USA as early as the 19th turn of the century," says Ivo Barth, fourth generation managing director. "My father then moved more and more in the direction of modern interior design, and when I joined the company at the end of the eighties, we began to work across materials. My son and designated successor is already working in the company as well. Today, the 70-employee interior fitting specialist carries out projects worldwide in the high end interior design of boutiques and shops, museums, company headquarters, concert halls and private residences - in other words, everything commissioned by the architectural offices.
"We do interior work without limits. To give you an example: If the architect wants copper mesh, we make copper mesh," says Ivo Barth. The use of special materials and the development of new production technologies are characteristic of the South Tyrolean company: "Networking, travel, languages, marketing. These are all basic requirements for international activities. If you want to really set yourself apart, you have to achieve even more, constantly pushing yourself and your portfolio".
The exceptional work, which in some cases goes far beyond the teachings of the joinery trade, therefore requires a great deal of specialist knowledge. The employees, as the guardians of this know-how, so to speak, thus become the most important capital of barth Innenausbau: "We look very closely at our employees, that is my highest premise. Long-term employment relationships are standard - some of them have been in existence for more than 40 years". Ivo Barth also knows that the workshop is probably the best place to know what machine investments are needed: "...which is why such decisions are not made by me, but by our foremen."
Such a need for investment arose with the ever-increasing volume of brass elements - now one of barth's specialities: "We veneer MDF boards with brass sheet and then refine them, first by sanding, then they are burnished. However, the sanding process has its pitfalls: "With the old edge sanding machine, the heat build-up was too great, which caused the glue between the wood and brass edge to come loose", explains Production Manager Heini Winkler: "Sanding everything by hand would be unthinkable". Winkler, who closely follows market developments via trade magazines, says he has developed a specific idea over the years when it comes to edge processing: "I knew that Kündig was probably the only manufacturer who offered the machine we needed. After the visit to the Swiss precision sanding machine manufacturer, his expectations were confirmed and the company ordered a lacquer edge sander Kündig Flash.
barth is very satisfied with the top model, which complements the proven Uniq series: "We were looking for an all-round package with which we can process solid wood and panel material, lacquer and even brass. The Flash, which combines technologies that are otherwise only found in a wide-belt lacquer sanding machine, is therefore also ideally suited for sanding brass, says Winkler: "The very generous stock oscillation range of 90mm and the adjustable belt speed help to reduce heat development to a minimum. The result is perfectly sanded lacquer and brass edges". It is the versatility of the machine that Heini Winkler always talks about with enthusiasm: "The co-oscillating sanding bobbin attached to the drive roller works perfectly for rounded and curved parts and the inclination of the entire sanding unit by up to 45° allows us to process, for example, mitred parts or diagonally cut table legs". A large part of the Flash's many functions is accessed via the rotating touch screen: "The operating options are extensive, but still easy to understand. For example, the screen can be used to precisely adjust the insertion and removal of the pneumatic sanding shoe. "We are really very satisfied," concludes Winkler: "The Flash is taking us forward in all areas.