Thermwood at the AWFS Show in Las Vegas

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Jul 15, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, CNC Routers, 3 Axis, Trade Shows, AWFS, Las Vegas

A couple of photos of our booth on the first day of the AWFS show in Las Vegas.  We are Booth #5200 - Great turn out so far!

 Thermwood Booth #5200 at AWFS Show in Las Vegas

Thermwood Booth #5200 at AWFS Show in Las Vegas

**Update**

More Pics!

Demonstrating our CNC Routers, I-Cut, Links from eCabinets to ShopBot & from 20-20 to a Thermwood

Demonstrating our CNC Routers, I-Cut, Links from eCabinets to ShopBot & from 20-20 to a Thermwood

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Nice sample of graphic produced with i-cut software on a Thermwood Model 45 CNC Router at AWFS Show in Las Vegas  

Nice sample of graphic produced with i-cut software on a Thermwood Model 45 CNC Router at AWFS Show in Las Vegas

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Our "Wall of Applications" possible on a Thermwood CNC Router

Thermwood's

Why should you purchase a Thermwood CNC Router?

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Jun 24, 2009

Tags: CNC, CNC Routers, Customer, Cost, Product Information, Straight Talk, Purchase, super controller

Why Purchase a Thermwood? 

Recently we asked ourselves a simple question - Why should someone purchase a Thermwood CNC Router over any of the other options on the market?  To us, this seemed like a no-brainer.  Of course they should purchase one of our machines, because they are superior to all the others, right?  Well, we think so, but that answer to such a simple question doesn't really explain anything about our advantages or help a potential customer understand the entire support system and huge range of unique tools and time-saving capabilities built into our control and machine.  We just take these powerful advantages for granted, and assume everyone knows about them....but how can they if we don't let them know?

Our next task was to come up with a concise listing of these features/advantages that could be easily understood without needing to go into complex detail just to explain everything to someone.  That proved to be easier said than done.  We stood back and started listing everything we have that gives our machines, control system, training and service and support programs a huge advantage over anything offered by our competition - it was a very long list! 

We spent the better part of a week refining this list into three main points (each also being broken down into further information).  The concise reasons we came up with are that someone should purchase a Thermwood CNC Router because we offer Better Machines with More Features and Better Support.  Anyone can say this, right?  But we can also prove it with facts.  To do this, we created a new area on our site that goes into further detail on this subject.  It breaks all of these areas down and explains everything in further detail. 

This exercise was a positive experience for us in helping to focus our message into a simple statement that includes everything a Thermwood customer receives as part of their machine purchase.  without sounding too "sales-like":

The bottom line is that Thermwood systems install fast, start up quick, are easier to use and maintain, produce more and last longer. 

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5 Axis CNC Router at John Cox's Creature Workshop

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Jun 10, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, CNC Routers, 5 Axis, Model 67, Customer, Video

The following two videos are provided by a customer of ours (John Cox's Creature Workshop - http://www.johncox.net/) in Queensland, Australia.  They show the creation of a character (Big Girl) on a Thermwood Model 67 CNC Router.  This character was used in a commercial for an Australian confectionary company.  The first video shows the making of the character and behind the scenes of the commercial shoot, and the second shows the final commercial.

 

 

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Panel Saw & CNC Router for High Volume Cabinet Production

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Tue, May 19, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, eCabinet Systems, CNC, software, control nesting, CNC Routers, Nested Base, Technology, Cabinet, manufacturing, panel saws

 

A CNC panel saw coupled with a machining center is the most common production arrangement for higher volume cabinet production. Nested based machining is more productive in lower volume shops but hasn't offered enough throughput for larger shops. Now there is a way to combine the best of both approaches to achieve even higher throughput and higher productivity.

The idea is simple but the technology to achieve it has been elusive until now. The basic approach is to use the panel saw to cut rectangular parts that do not require additional machining and use a CNC router to cut parts that require machining using a nested based approach. As simple as the idea sounds, it offers some significant benefits.

  1. You only need to cut parts on the panel saw that don't require additional machining. Less panel saw labor.
  2. You don't need to sort parts at the panel saw that need additional machining since they are not cut there. Even less labor.
  3. You don't need to transfer parts from the panel saw to the machining center.
  4. At the CNC router, you load full sheets of material instead of identifying, selecting programs, handling and setting up each part, one at a time. Much faster.
  5. During the machining cycle the operator has time to do other operations such as edge banding which is not possible if you are handling one part at a time.

The technology to do this now exists and in a very refined form. For example the system can easily do the following:

  1. Automatically separate rectangular parts and send them to the optimizer and send all machined parts to the CNC router.
  2. Automatically nest the job at the machine control accommodating whatever material is available.
  3. Print nest diagrams and part labels at the machine control.
  4. Trim and bar code scrap for later use.
  5. Easily re-cut a damaged part or add it to the next job right at the machine.

This approach offers more throughput, smoother operation with less labor and less chance for operator error and implementing it is rather easy. You will keep your panel saw, since our software will work with virtually any panel saw optimizer. Replace your machining center with a CNC router. We will program your product line into our manufacturing software which will work directly with your existing cabinet sales software. That's it, you are ready to run.

This approach is especially attractive if you need to replace your existing machining center. Our large table, nested based CNC systems are about the same price as traditional machining centers but, are a lot more productive and offer better throughput.

Thermwood Customer Family Video Updated

Posted by Duane Marrett on Thu, Apr 16, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, New, CNC Routers, Customer, Video, Family

When a customer purchases a Thermwood CNC Router, they become part of our large Thermwood Customer Family. We created this Thermwood Customer Family video to show our appreciation. This video has been updated to show our newest Thermwood Customer Family members with their Thermwood CNC machines in their facilities.

 

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Adding Value by producing MDF doors instead of traditional five piece doors

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Fri, Mar 20, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, CNC Routers, Nested Base, 3 Axis, Model 45, CNC Automation, MDF doors

This is an informational breakdown on the cost of a cnc router to produce mdf doors as opposed to traditional methods of producing traditional five piece doors.  This was put together by Bob Law, Regional Manager of CNC Automation (a Thermwood dealer).

Most people equate nested based manufacturing with cabinet box components and the labor savings, added precision and ease of assembly that goes along with automation of this process, but a big part of a quality system is the machining of peripheral items.  In my opinion and the opinion of large percentage of our users, the ability to produce "high end" paint grade MDF doors more than justifies their lease payment which in reality makes the cabinet advantages free. 

A large stigma attached to MDF doors is the customer's perception that MDF is cheap or a lesser quality in comparison to popular 5 piece doors (which if you think about it is clearly not the case). 

A large headache for a kitchen manufacturer is a call 6 months to a year after the install when the center panel has shrunk and the paint is cracked along the inside of their rails and styles, or the miters have opened leaving an unsightly gap in the corners of all of their doors. 

In most cases a customer will easily opt for a 1 piece MDF option if presented with the fact that their MDF door will stand the test of time and be guaranteed not to move and deteriorate the look of the dream kitchen that they have worked so hard for. 

Now all MDF door packages aren't created equally.  Most systems have the ability to do single pass doors that look like the prototypical MDF door with an outside profile as well as a simple inside profile.  Our software, which is called Panelmetrix, has the capability to create multipass 1 piece doors, as well as automatic mullion and glass cutout machining.  It can also create bead board machining, valance machining, 1 piece multipanel machining (which can be used for tall doors, wainscoting, range hoods etc...) and a number of other features that will turn door machining into an order entry system once a door style is developed.  Panelmetrix is available exclusively to Thermwood owners and is the ultimate companion to eCabinet Systems.

Sales techniques aside, the justification goes something like this:

MDF Doors

  • Average 5 piece paint grade door cost per kitchen = $3000.00
  • Material cost for MDF for the same = $300.00
  • Approximate machine time = 4 hours
  • Added Gross profit for one kitchen = $2700.00 which in most cases will cover a lease payment for a Thermwood nesting system.
  • Bead Board:
  • Sheet of Bead board = $80.00
  • Sheet of 1/4" MDF = $20.00
  • Approximate machining time = 7-8 minutes depending of the spacing
  • Savings per sheet of $60.00

In closing, the cheapest system on paper over a short period of time can be by far the most expensive.  MDF doors coupled with modeled curved moldings, preprogrammed carvings, dovetailed drawer box machining, can all be easily machined with our system and for small to midsized shops especially, can make the difference between profitability or the addition of just another one dimensional tool in your shop.

Please take the time to view a few typical examples of quality MDF door machining below.

MDF Door Video #1

MDF Door Video #2

 

 

 

Our New Composites Advertisement

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Mar 06, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, New, Composites, Advertisement, 5 Axis, Model 90

Featuring the Model 90 - Thermwood machines aren't just for woodworking.  They are also used in a variety of composite, aerospace, trimming, patterns and mold making applications as well as others.  We will be attending the JEC Composites Trade Show on March 24th-26th in Paris, France, and created the following advertisement for that industry:

Check it out:

CNC Composite Machining featuring the Model 90 

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Using FARO Laser Tracker to Perform Alignments and Volumetric Compensation

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Mar 06, 2009

Tags: CNC, 3 Axis, 5 Axis, Technology, Service, FARO

We have two FARO Laser Tracker units that are in use every day at Thermwood, performing both alignment and volumetric compensation on our new CNC Router builds.  We also offer this as a service to existing customers. 

FARO Laser in use at Thermwood

Since we've implemented this technology, the amount of time required for machine alignments has been cut to less than half. What once took up to eight hours to complete can now be accomplished in approximately three.

FARO has a nice write up about the entire process here, and you can download a printable version here

If you would like more information on how this technology benefits both existing machines and new builds, please contact us.

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Straight Talk about Nested Based Systems by Ken Susnjara

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Mar 04, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, Nested Base, 3 Axis, 5 Axis, Model 90, Model 67, Model 45, Cost, Service, Model 41, Ken Susnjara, Straight Talk

I am the founder and CEO of Thermwood. If you check our web site you will find a new area where we offer a comparison chart of the nested based systems available today and some "straight talk" about the systems and industry.

I'm the one that put this together because of several things that have been happening and I thought I might use our new blog area to tell you about it.

We are trying to sell nested based systems to cabinet shops and in today's world, these sales are really important. In analyzing what's going on, two things stood out. First, customers that bought our product continually tell us they are pleasantly surprised at all the things it does for them. This is good because happy customers are always good. It's bad however, because the fact that they were surprised means we did a lousy job of telling them the advantages of our offering or what they should expect before they bought.

The second thing had to do with our Model 41 and Model 67 machines. In the wood industry our dealers have been telling us we needed a lower cost machine so we developed the Model 41. In order to build a machine at a lower cost you have to take something away so we used a single side drive for the gantry and purchased, rather than built, the Z axis assembly. This meant two things as far as the customer is concerned.

First, table size was restricted to 4'x8'. This meant that when combined with our three-dimensional compensation we could get good performance and good accuracy which is difficult to do with a single gantry drive. A larger table with this arrangement wouldn't work very well. Also, the shorter stroke of the purchased Z axis meant that the rotary playback for making carved posts and legs couldn't be used with this machine. We didn't consider this a major drawback since not too many shops ordered the optional playback system anyway.

The Model 90 was a little different. We had a solid and good selling product in our five axis Model 67. It did a great job in trimming and model and mold making and was probably the market leader in those applications. Our engineers designed up a higher performance version of the Model 67 and we called it the Model 90. It was quite a bit more expensive but the extra money made it perform substantially faster and better. Our sales folks told us they didn't think it would sell because you could do the same jobs with the lower cost Model 67.

In actuality however, the Model 41 attracted a lot of customers but virtually all of them moved up to the Model 45 because of better performance and more capability. The same thing happened to the Model 90. Over half of the customers switched to the higher cost-higher performance Model 90.

These things were bothering me because of a lot of talk in the forums and blogs about the price of nested based systems. The talk and blogs and forums all acted like all these systems are the same. Just like our customers didn't know what we were offering, the industry doesn't seem to know or appreciate the difference between low cost systems and higher cost systems, both ours and some of our competitors. They don't seem to have a clue about what you get for what you pay.

This caused me to try to lay out the whole thing in a clear, accurate and honest way. Based on the two observations, perhaps if potential customers really understand everything our systems offer, they would be willing to step up to the higher price just like they did with the Model 41 and Model 90. If not, at least they would both understand and accept what they are buying for what they are spending.

I tried to be as accurate as possible with this comparison. If you find any area where the comparison is wrong, please let me know and I will change it. Also, if there is an area where you think we should add additional items for comparison also let me know. My email is ken.susnjara@thermwood.com

For comparison purposes, I do not want to include items open for interpretation. For example, I believe our service is second to none, but the quality of service is value judgment rather than a provable fact so I have left those things out. You should check out service pretty carefully before buying, however. It is very important.

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Thermwood at Carolinas Industrial Woodworking Expo 2009

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Feb 27, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, Woodworking, Nested Base, 3 Axis, Announcements, Trade Shows, Assembly Marks

Below is a photo of our booth before the Carolinas Industrial Woodworking Expo 2009 that was recently held in Greensboro, NC.  If you missed us here, you can see us at the Mid-Atlantic Industrial Woodworking Expo in York, PA on April 2nd and 3rd, 2009.  Hope to see you there!

Thermwood at Carolinas Industrial Woodworking Expo 2009

You can find out more information on our trade show schedule by visiting our trade show calendar.

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