An Irish kitchen and bedroom specialist has dramatically reduced its manufacturing time and enhanced customer service by combining its traditional cabinet making skills with CABINET VISION
software from Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division.
CABINET VISION software has enabled Stylecraft Kitchens & Bedrooms, which is based in Cork, to reduce the time it takes to manufacture all the cabinets and doors for a single installation from days to just a couple of hours.
As a result, CABINET VISION has become essential to Stylecraft Kitchens & Bedrooms, which supplies households and architects directly.
Paul Phillips, Director of Stylecraft Kitchens & Bedrooms says: “In the beginning [CABINET VISION] was just something that interested us, that we thought could be advantageous. It very quickly became absolutely essential. We’d be quite anxious now if the computer wouldn’t switch on in the morning.”
The benefits of CABINET VISION software include giving the company much more control over manufacturing processes and helping it reduce its reliance on suppliers. Prior to using CABINET VISION, door deliveries could take up to six weeks, with further delays if design changes were made. Now that the company has been able to move more production in-house it can react much more promptly to orders and design changes.
“It saves us so much time with manufacturing,” Paul Philips explains. “And it also means we can now make so much more ourselves, so we no longer have to buy components in. This saves considerable administration time as we don’t have to place orders with suppliers for those items.”
When the company started using the software with its CNC the benefits were instant. “For the first time it enabled us to visualise everything we were doing, including joints and construction methods. Even now, we’re using it more and more every week, doing new things. And we are currently working with the CABINET VISION support team on developing a range of new products, including new doors and cabinets.”
Now all of Stylecraft’s products – whether they are inframe oak, ash and tulip wood kitchens, or carcases for the company’s contemporary and classic ranges – are designed with the CABINET VISION Solid Ultimate module, and the NC code is then sent by Screen to Machine to the Cosmec CNC router which the company purchased in November 2017.
One of the early benefits was the peace of mind that came from no longer worrying about the time needed to complete a project. With CABINET VISION
, the machine runs constantly for the duration of a job, allowing the company to be highly flexible and reactive, while guaranteeing product quality every time.
“I can work on something in CABINET VISION a short period of time before I need it. Previously I’d have to think about something two or three days beforehand, but now I simply send the code out to the CNC router within minutes of starting a new cabinet or door.
“CABINET VISION can do so much more than I originally thought. It’s been a complete revelation to us, from previously cutting everything on the panel saw, to now producing precision parts that are 100% accurate every time in a shorter time frame. CABINET VISION ensures the lines that you see when the doors and cabinets are installed, are absolutely perfect: for example, a 2.5 mm margin will be exactly that all the way round.”
The software also prints labels that facilitate future machining tasks. Paul Phillips points to the example of reverse machining on doors, saying that when the front nest has been machined, labels are created and a portable bar code scanner reads them for the reverse machining. “Moving ahead, we look forward to the eagerly awaited software update with improved graphics that will mean we will be able to design, price and manufacture using CABINET VISION.”
The company could have used the time it has saved to increase volumes. But instead it is enhancing design and customer service.
“While we may have been making a number of kitchens a week using the panel saw, we could now produce many more. But we didn’t necessarily want to do that. So instead, we invest a lot of the time it saves us with our customers and on creating new designs. We now have extra time available to us to ensure that the positive customer experience is something to be remembered.”
Concluding, he says three other companies have invested in CABINET VISION on his recommendation. And another company is going to look at the latest release. “If he likes it…which I’m sure he will…he’s planning to buy his first CNC router. That is the impact CABINET VISION is having in the Irish woodworking business.”