Timber Products’ Spectrum Division has invested in a new CNC router to help give its distributors even more options for supporting their cabinetry shop customers.
The division’s third CNC router is dramatically streamlining the end panel production process. In the past, these panels have been processed along a line through which a single shape is cut from the laminate material. That shape then traveled to a CNC machine for drilling or notching, and then moved to an edge bander before it was ready to ship.
The new 11-tool HOMAG Vantech Series CNC is a nested base machine, which means it can process multiple steps without operator handling. In this case, the machine optimizes the laminate sheet to cut multiple end panels, then performs all of the vertical machining that needs to be done to those parts. The panels that need edge banding can then be pushed to the adjacent edge bander in a simple additional step.
This type of power isn’t just transforming operations at the White City, Oregon-based facility, however. Patrick Cowan, Plant Manager for the Spectrum Division, explains that this new level of productivity will help the company better serve its customers, particularly medium- and small-sized cabinet shops.
“Those shops may have all the equipment they need to do this but they’re lacking the human resources,” Cowan explains. “Maybe their order file is so big that they need to operate two shifts a day, but they don’t want to go out and hire three more people to run their saw and router and edge bander.” Now, these organizations can purchase prefabricated left and right cabinet panels straight from their distributor.
“This allows our distributors to sell their end-users more business, and let those people ramp up their growth without making the investment in people and equipment,” Cowan adds.
Today, one machine operator runs the CNC throughout the week, although Cowan notes that operators who have experience on the company’s other CNC machines can easily translate that experience to the new machine. The operator simply loads up the customer’s CAD file, translates it into a preferred language and programs the drawing in the machine.
The end result is a cabinet end panel pre-drilled for shelf supports and drawer slides, with dados as needed.
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