Lamello goes from strength to strength with Protrade
Protrade Co-Managing Directors meeting Lamello CEO Susanne Affolter
Originally founded by Hermann Steiner, Lamello has grown to become a major organisation – synonymous with high-quality joining solutions for cabinet makers and joiners around the world.
From humble beginnings as a cabinet makers shop in Liestal, an industrial town in Switzerland, Hermann was constantly searching for radical and new ideas in woodworking solutions. Like other cabinet makers, he had started to use particle boards and encountered difficulties in joining the panels. One cold night in December 1955, Hermann woke to visualise a practical solution to the problem. A cutter could be used to cut short opposing grooves into the panels – connecting them using small biscuit elements. An ingenious idea that would not weaken the board… and so the Lamello system was borne. Some fourteen years later, in 1969, Lamello AG was officially founded following the invention of the very first hand-operated biscuit jointing machine.
The biscuit joining concept evolved and in 2010, the ground-breaking Zeta P2 portable profile biscuit joiner was launched. Utilising the innovative P-System connectors – which could only previously be used in CNC applications – the Zeta P2 was a hand-held portable power tool, able to cut a groove as well as performing a vertical movement – creating a profile groove or T-slot. This allowed for all P-System fittings to be manually inserted and ‘anchor’ into place, to create a secure connection. Suitable for solid wood or man-made board materials, the P-System overcame many potential design issues, creating a very strong and almost totally concealed joint. Due to the ease of use and incredible end-results, it’s fair to say that one day in the near future – every joinery workshop will be using a Lamello Zeta P2 machine. More recently, Lamello created the Cabineo furniture connector – designed for use with CNC machines. Compared to a standard cam and dowel fitting, Cabineo offered more efficient production, faster installation and a much higher clamping force – without the need for wooden dowels.
Protrade have distributed Lamello products for over 30 years, via various wholesalers. In 2018, we were approached by Lamello AG directly to become an authorised UK distributor of the brand. The stockholding in our Distribution Centre was significantly increased to satisfy customers’ requirements, for next day delivery throughout the UK. The breadth and depth of stock continually grows as demand increases and core range items are also available at our network of Midland-based depots. As an authorised Lamello System partner, we can also offer official Lamello spare parts and our Service Centre has the expertise to repair tools, should they require attention. Lamello has grown to become a key brand for Protrade, with a shared company culture of quality, innovation and excellent functionality.
Shaye Chatfield, the UK Area Sales Manager for Lamello commented;
‘Protrade are a joy to work with; their professionalism and high levels of customer service make them an excellent partner for the Lamello brand’.
Lamello constantly look forward with new ideas and innovation… connecting not only through their products, but also with their distributors and end-users. To this day, Lamello remains a family-owned business, successfully headed-up by Susanne Affolter – a third generation family member after founder Hermann Steiner and second generation brothers – Karl and Alfred Steiner. Following Alfred’s death in 1981, Karl took sole control of the company – embarking on an expansion plan with the launch of numerous international subsidiaries in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Lamello currently has a presence in more than 50 countries worldwide. In 2016, Karl handed the reins to his daughter Susanne, who took over as CEO and principal shareholder. Last year, Lamello celebrated its 50th Anniversary – commemorated with the launch of their Jubilee Edition Zeta P2 jointing machine. The company motto ‘Pioneering wood joining’ will continue into the future, with the launch of new and exciting solutions, as the brand goes from strength to strength.
Craig Sanders – Joint Managing Director
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