Memories of Tim Robinson

Tim Robinson’s Legacy Lives On

It’s been three years since the sudden and unexpected passing of Tim Robinson, who founded Robinson Manufacturing in 1986. We’ve talked before about his work ethic, and how his ethos of giving people life might have left behind a chance to thrive was – and remains – central to the business going forwards.

In the Housebuilding sector, “Robinsons” is still synonymous with timber engineered trusses, joists and now timber frame panels, all backed by personal service. Within RML, the name Tim Robinson lives on in hearts and minds with some fantastic memories from staff from across the business – here’s just a few:

  • A phrase I used only this week “An hour in the yard is better than 4 on the road” in his approach to loading the trailers.  A bit more time spent loading to fit it all on saves the hours of driving for a second load.
  • He used to say to me a “good Boy Scout always carry’s a knife” which has stuck with me. He also took a punt on me when I started as someone had broken their foot at the time and I needed a job,15 years later I’m now a senior member of the team. I will always work hard for him.
  • A very caring employer who would engage regularly with his staff and look to help with any problems they had.
  • On a personal note I spent a very enjoyable long weekend in his company to play golf in Portugal in the early 90’s staying at a villa owned by our boss . Driving home late one night Tim the good driver he was just managed to stop the car before we plunged into a very large hole in the road which was not properly cordoned off – might never have been a “Robinson Manufacturing”!!
  • Tim loved nature and animals – even though he worked as a butcher in his teens – I remember Mat Harbour arriving at work one morning saying he had hit a bird on the way in. Tim investigated and peeled off this tiny goldfinch from the grille still perfectly formed although passed away – and then went into great detail of it’s anatomy to both Matt and myself spreading the tiny wings out and expressing his knowledge to us. This from a man who helped to raise pheasants for shooting – another pastime he enjoyed !
  • Loved his cigars but must never tell on him to Elisabeth!
  • A massive “Disney” lover introducing both his two girls to Orlando and then his grandchildren also.
  • In the early days of the business, when 90% of our eight or nine production staff routinely worked on a Saturday, he’d come in and work our original saw (where the Hundegger is now). He always had a cigar in his mouth, though of course he would never light it! More importantly, he always bought the bacon rolls!
  • Tim was such an approachable person. 
  • His door was always open for assistance, guidance, or just a friendly chat.  He would always ask about family and friends, taking great interest in how they were and what they were up to.
  • Tim always had a smile on his face and would give you all the time in the world.  He was willing to give everyone a chance and would take great pleasure in seeing them succeed.

For more information, call us on 01933 279597 or click below to request a quote any timber engineered products today.

Recruiting Differently

Recruiting Differently

You may have been watching RML’s considerable growth over the last 6 years and we’ve written much about how that expansion has been achieved.

Behind the scenes the pace of change in supporting functions required, like HR, to support the growth has been phenomenal. The HR team – which didn’t exist six and a half years ago – is now well established and runs RML’s people strategies. A fully functional HR system supports all staff and line management, while processes established since the MBO in 2015 are subject to continual review to make sure they’re efficient and effective.

Recruitment and onboarding are a case in point, and have just been reviewed by the HR team. As a much larger business, the volume of recruitment is higher, and even the onboarding process for new starters takes on a new level of importance.

Head of HR, Anna Kennedy, explains: “Recruitment authorisation processes change as business structures develop, and we have also focused on capturing all the information HR and Payroll need without duplication – not to mention needing to keep the amount of administration needed to the minimum.” She continued: “We have also looked at how we recruit from a candidate’s point of view to make sure we are keeping it as simple and informative as possible.”

Once the review is complete, including feedback and communication, new forms and processes will be made available on our intranet as well as on our HR System, YouManage.

For more information, call us on 01933 279597 or click below to request a quote any timber engineered products today.

Metal Web Joist Span Table

Metal Web Joist Span Table

Joists are most commonly used at 600mm centres, but can span further at 400mm centres – why not use our joist span table to help you calculate the possibilities?

  • 219mm deep joists can span up to 5.59m for domestic use at 400mm centres
  • 253mm deep joists can span up to 6.15m for domestic use at 400mm centres
  • 304mm deep joists can span up to 6.68m for domestic use at 400mm centres
  • 375mm deep joists can span up to 7.22m for domestic use at 400mm centres
  • 253mm deep joists can span up to 6.15m for apartments at 400mm centres
  • 304mm deep joists can span up to 6.68m for apartments at 400mm centres
  • 375mm deep joists can span up to 7.5m for apartments at 400mm centres

Joists can also be used for office floors, Metal web joist span table sheet attached. To talk to one of our expert design team about how to use our metal web joist span table to calculate your design, please call on 01933 279597.

For more information, call us on 01933 279597 or click below to request a quote any timber engineered products today.

STA Assure Gold for RML Timber Frame

STA Assure Gold for RML Timber Frame

Following the quality accreditations we recently announced, Robinson Manufacturing (RML) is very proud to have been awarded full Structural Timber Association (STA) membership status and achieved STA Assure Gold.

As new members to the STA, it is remarkable to have achieved STA Assure Gold on our first audit. This is tribute to the way our teams have developed the timber frame division over time; with systems and processes designed to exceed regulatory and statutory requirements. The independent audit carried out on behalf of the STA is fully comprehensive and extends through RML’s own systems and processes through to our supply chain.

RML’s Head of Timber Frame James Stanbridge has many people he would like to thank:

“This accreditation, along with ISO 9001:2015, PEFC and CATG’s Frame Mark, has been made possible by the hardwork and dedication of our teams – not just in our timber frame division, but also from the wider Robinson Manufacturing teams from the truss, joist and joinery operations. My thanks go to all.”

CEO Sam Gartside congratulated the team on this amazing achievement:

“Achieving STA Assure Gold at the point where we join the STA is a remarkable achievement.” She added: “The focus of our timber frame team, and the support from the wider RML leadership and operations teams, has allowed the business to achieve an excellent result first time. Congratulations to all who have been involved!”

You can see the standards RML has achieved in summary in this chart, or you can download the full STA customer guide here:

For more information, call us on 01933 279597 or click below to request a quote any timber engineered products today.

Introducing the Spindle Moulder

Introducing the Spindle Moulder

In the second of our series of articles about the equipment in our Joinery Factory in the East Midlands, this is one of RML’s spindle moulders. 

This is a Martin T26 Spindle Moulder, controlled both electronically and pneumatically via an eye level control panel.

The spindle moulder is a carefully engineered piece of machinery that can be put to a number of uses, including:

  • Cutting rebates
  • Cutting mouldings
  • Cutting grooves
  • Finger jointing
  • Cutting tenons

These functions are used in the production of a range of joinery output:

  • Skirting
  • Rebates used in window frames and sashes
  • Architrave
  • Doors and window components
  • Staircase components such as the bull nose on treads and other stair parts

Somewhat ironically, one of the things the machines can’t do is mould spindles! Head of Bespoke Timber Products Mat Harbour explains the mystery: “The spindle element refers to the cutting part of the machine which can be tilted to +/- 45 degrees.”

These images are some sections of Kiln Dried Oak that have been planed on the planer moulder and finger jointed ready to be glued and clamped to become an oak porch post for Redrow at Towcester.

If you’re interested in RML’s Joinery capabilities, just email us or call 01933 279597.

For more information, call us on 01933 279597 or click below to request a quote any timber engineered products today.