Thermwood Cut Center Featured on 21st Century Television

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Jun 20, 2014

Tags: Announcements, Cut Ready, Cut Center, Video, Ken Susnjara, Trump

Thermwood's amazing new Cut Ready Cut Center is being featured on 21st Century Television with an interview between Thermwood's Chairman and CEO, Ken Susnjara and host Donald Trump Jr.  The cut center is a new type of machine for making cabinets, closets and furniture that requires no programming and can be run by about anyone.

The first broadcast airing of this program will be on Blooomberg Television (US) on July 27th at 6:30PM EST.

There will be multiple broadcasts in the US, Europe and Asia this summer and fall.  Exact network and broadcast times will be available by July 10th, but you can watch the program segment right now by clicking below:

More info

We at Thermwood are excited about this new product and direction.  We hope it brings the benefits of modern automation to a new segment of the woodworking industry, who (for a variety of reasons), are uncomfortable with or can't work with current methods.  You can learn more about this incredible new technology at cutready.com

An interview with Thermwood CEO Ken Susnjara

Posted by Duane Marrett on Thu, Nov 07, 2013

Tags: Thermwood, CNC Router, Ken Susnjara, Interview, History

Ken Susnjara of Thermwood

Interview by  of CNCKingdom.com

Thermwood Corporation has an impressive range of industrial CNC routers but more importantly, Ken started the company back when NC was transitioning into CNC nearly half a century ago! This makes Thermwood the oldest CNC router company in the world.

I approached Ken to see if I could interview him and he was very keen… watch their corporate video for a quick review of the company...Read the rest of this interview at CNCKingdom.com


Click to Calculate your CNC Router Investment

Thermwood CEO Explains YouBuild™ Concept

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Sep 28, 2012

Tags: Thermwood, Furniture, YouBuild, Ken Susnjara, IWF

 YouBuild

YouBuild Seminar at IWF 2012Ken Susnjara, the founder, chairman and CEO of Thermwood, conducted a series of seminars at the IWF show in Atlanta describing the fundamental basis of YouBuild. He explained “YouBuild allows cabinet shops, using the proper equipment and current skills, to address the approximately $45 Billion furniture market, a market which is ten times larger than cabinets.

He explained the differences between cabinets and furniture and how YouBuild makes this possible. “A typical sale for a cabinet shop is for an entire kitchen, perhaps $10-, $15-, $20,000 or more. You can afford to design and sell the job, work out production problems and still make money. A typical furniture sale might be $500 - $1,500 dollars. You can’t afford to design, sell or work out production problems. If you want to make money all you can do is cut the parts and cash the check. YouBuild does the things you can’t afford to do making furniture. Let’s start with selling.”

“As part of YouBuild, shops, called “YouBuild Cut Centers”, can designate others to sell for them. There’s two ways to do this. Some folks, like Interior Designers, professional handymen, and even certain types of retail stores can operate as Design Centers. They help customers select and order YouBuild products and receive a sales commission for these sales. Others like closet installation companies, home contractors and even larger retail stores will likely operate as Retail Dealers, receiving a discount on YouBuild products and then reselling them at a higher price, perhaps with added value such as assembly or installation.”

“The nice thing about this approach is that, once set up, there is virtually no effort required. All commissions and discounts are tracked and handled automatically by YouBuild. A Cut Center can set up 50, 100 or more sales outlets without having to worry about the clerical effort needed to maintain and service the network. Once established, this sales network can generate a continuous flow of business without much day to day effort from the Cut Center.”

“Now let’s look at production. When an order is placed, it is queued online where it can be accessed by the Cut Center. They simply assign the order to their CNC router right online and the order shows up on the machine control. Just execute the program and the machine guides you through every step. Edge band designated parts and they’re ready. All the hardware, screws, fasteners, hinges, pulls…everything else needed for the order, even the assembly instructions, arrive in a package a few days after the order is placed. The Cut Center doesn’t have to deal with any of these details. Just give the package and parts to the customer and the order is complete.”

Furniture from the EZ Pro ManCave Library“There are over a thousand product designs that have all been optimized and tested. Every piece has been produced, sometimes multiple times, until both the design and instructions work smoothly and easily both through production as well as for the customer. We have even hired inexperienced day workers to assemble YouBuild products using our instructions and then, by observing them, refined both the product and the assembly techniques until the average person can easily do it.”

“We believe we have all the bases covered with YouBuild so that properly equipped cabinet shops can enthusiastically address the huge furniture market in a bold new way that works for them and can make them a lot of money.”


You can find more information in the YouBuild section of the eCabinet Systems web site and at youbuild.com.

Thermwood Corporation: CNC Innovator

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Wed, Jan 06, 2010

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, CNC Routers, 3 Axis, 5 Axis, Technology, aerospace, Wind Energy, Ken Susnjara, energy digital, cnc innovator, 3-D volumetric compensation, GSA

This article is also available to view here

 

Thermwood Corporation, always on the cutting edge of technology, is now taking its CNC expertise to new markets

Written by Militza Richard & Produced by Shaheen Mohammadipour

The Thermwood Corporation has never been intimidated by technology. Founded in 1969 as a plastic molder for wood-grained parts for the furniture industry, the company developed their own CNC tool in the mid 1970s.

"We ended up building the first CNC control system ever offered commercially," says company founder and CEO Ken Susnjara. The company developed its own operating systems and evolved their CNC routers into a very powerful and capable system.

Used to cut, trim and shape a wide variety of materials including wood, plastic, composites, foam, honeycomb core and non-ferrous metals into either flat or three-dimensional shaped products, CNC routers have changed the face of the machine industry. Thermwood is the oldest CNC router company in the world and the only CNC manufacturer in the country with a GSA certification.

With customers ranging from NASA to Broadway, Thermwood offers a wide variety of systems, in both three and five axis configurations in a wide range of sizes. The company has also become a major international player with operations across the globe.

NEW MARKETS

For many years, Thermwood Corporation has been extremely successful focusing on three key markets: woodworking, plastics and aerospace. However, the company has recently begun expanding into new markets, such as the growing wind sector.

"We've made a huge number of changes in the downturn," says Susnjara. "We've revamped marketing, targeted the wind energy market, and created some new machines. We didn't pull into our shells. You have to go out there and get the business."

With Ken's son Jason Susnjara heading up the marketing department, Thermwood Corporation has embraced online marketing and begun attending new tradeshows, opening doors into new business sectors.

"We had a traditional marketing plan that had worked well for us, but over the past few years we have begun embracing electronics and becoming internet savvy. It's worked rather nicely. By spreading out our marketing we have been able to pick up business in new sectors," says Ken Susnjara.

Entering these new markets has been essential as the economy continues to struggle. "The biggest trends are our competitors going out of business," says Susnjara. "We are in a dozen markets in 35 countries, and we would have never believed they would all dip at the same time."

But the company has taken the down time to revamp and is now excited about the future. "As the economy recovers we will be much stronger," states Susnjara. He believes the economy is turning around and is excited that more and more companies are beginning to adopt CNC technology.

IMPROVED MACHINES

As Thermwood enters new market places, the company has also developed larger, more accurate machines. However, one problem with large machines is the head alignment. Ensuring accuracy comes with a high cost.

To solve this problem, Thermwood has employed 3-D laser systems to measure the exact position of the head everywhere in the working envelope. They then developed technology that allows their CNC control to take this data and compensate for any machine error.

This system cuts down on the cost, making it practical to build larger machines. "We have sold 60ft machines and with the new system we can run the Z axis into the 10-12ft range," explains Susnjara.

As Thermwood continues to improve its systems, its technology continues to become more accurate and easier to use. For example, mounting a fixture used to be a task that could take hours of painstaking work, but Thermwood's new technology can transform the program to match the fixture instead of the other way around, cutting out hours of work.

"Things that used to take a lot of time and skill are now being handled in the control," says Susnjara. "Once we discover the needs of a client, we can generally come up with a way to meet those needs better than our competitors. We can offer the machines for 1/3 less money with specs that are better."

Thermwood hopes to apply this technological savvy to the growing wind sector. Susnjara says the company has programs in place with leaders in the industry and is excited about the "unique technologies they will be able to bring to the industry."

STRONG RELATIONSHIPS

Thermwood is able to offer flexible technological solutions to its clients thanks to the hard work and skill of its employees. "We get pretty good folks. This area has a strong work ethic and skilled people," says Susnjara.

In fact, he says many of the people who were with the company in the beginning are still there today. Their very first employee just retired last year, and many employees are second generation. And while there have been layoffs and pay cuts due to the economy, Susnjara says that in a normal year a turnover rate of 1 or 1.5 percent is bad.

Thermwood also cultivates long-term relationships with its vendors and distributors. Having been in the same business for so long, they have maintained great relationships with all of their vendors. "We have a philosophy that everyone needs to make money. We don't squeeze our vendors. It's better to create relationships where you support each other," says Susnjara.

Similarly, the company has worked with many of its distributors for 20 or 30 years. Many are now second generation.

FACTS AT A GLANCE:

Company Name: Thermwood Corporation

CEO: Ken Susnjara

Operations: Thermwood is the oldest CNC router company in the world and the only CNC manufacturer in the country with a GSA certification

Established: 1969

http://www.thermwood.com

 

 

Thermwood Introduces Low Cost, High-Performance CabinetShop 43

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Sep 02, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, New, 3 Axis, Announcements, CabinetShop, Model 43, Technology, Cabinet, High Performance, Cost, cabinets, QCore, nested based, QuickCut, closets, 43, Low Cost, manufacturing, Ken Susnjara

We are pleased to introduce a revolutionary new CNC Router System, called the CabinetShop 43, for nested based applications. This new high performance CNC router is built in the US, at Thermwood's Southern Indiana factory and utilizes a whole new, highly efficient manufacturing approach which results in a superior structure coupled with enhanced use of materials, all at a dramatically lower price.

 

CabinetShop 43

The new machine features a 61 by 121 inch fixed table, a 10 HP HSD spindle and an eleven position automatic tool changer. It offers high acceleration, high performance motions in both positioning and cutting. This new system includes quality features seldom, if ever, found at this price point including full stress relieved weldments, high-end Siemens drives throughout, THK rails and three-dimensional volumetric position compensation.

The system also includes Thermwood's QCore SuperControl which sharply distinguishes it from every other machine in this class offering features such as:

"QuickCut" is the fastest, simplest, easiest way to make cabinets and closets ever. Just select and resize a cabinet from the library and cut it, all right at the machine control.

"Job Level Interface" means you communicate with every major cabinet design software package using a single job file instead of dozens or hundreds of individual programs. Nesting and program development happen automatically at the machine; an approach that offers dramatically simpler operation and higher productivity.

The QCore SuperControl also executes standard G-Code programs developed elsewhere.

The QCore SuperControl also has an impressive list of operating features all with one purpose, make the machine as foolproof as possible to reduce errors, minimizing the time you fiddle with the machine. It runs more with less effort.

- Automatic Tool Management helps you manage tooling and tracks tool life

- Maintenance Tracking tracks machine use and guides you through routine maintenance

- Graphic Error Reporting shows you exactly where a problem is and suggests solutions

- Complete User Manual in the control

- Dynamic CAD drawings of the entire machine on the control screen

- Maintenance Videos on the control guide you through mechanical adjustments

- Virtual Service provides direct link from the control to Thermwood service

Never before has this level of technical sophistication, quality and performance been available at this price. The CabinetShop 43 is ushering in a new era of productivity, ease of use and profit for custom cabinet operations.

Thermwood and 20-20 Technologies Offer Comprehensive New Cabinet Manufacturing Solution

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Jul 08, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, New, CNC Routers, Productivity, Nested Base, 3 Axis, Trade Shows, Technology, Cabinet, cabinets, manufacturing, Ken Susnjara, Cad

Thermwood and 20-20 Join Forces! 

20-20 Technologies and Thermwood Corporation have joined together to offer a smoothly integrated, highly productive manufacturing system for cabinet manufacturers.

"We are very excited about this new partnership," said Ken Susnjara, CEO of Thermwood.  "This represents a truly comprehensive approach from design and retail all the way through manufacturing, all working together smoothly and seamlessly.  It combines the best technology of both Companies to create an industry-leading offering."

The data process starts with the design.  Over 50,000 dealers use 20-20 Design or ShopWare CAD to layout and sell projects.  To machine a job, an output file from 20-20 software is sent directly to a Thermwood CNC router and the advanced CNC control on the Thermwood system automatically performs all required CAD functions, nests the parts, prints nest diagrams and labels and runs the job directly from full sheets of material.  For even higher production volume, rectangular panels without additional machining are sent to an optimized panel saw, and only parts that require CNC machining are sent to the router.  This not only increases overall production capacity, but represents an increase in productivity as well.

"The advantages to using nested based techniques for machining instead of cutting all panels on a saw and then processing machined parts one at a time on a machining center are significant," said Craig Yamauchi, Executive Vice-President of Manufacturing & Residential Solutions of 20-20 Technologies.  "Labor requirements are less and productivity is higher, sometimes substantially higher."

20-20 welcomes the opportunity to demonstrate the ease of use and high functionality delivered by this partnership for shops seeking best practices and robust integration at this year's AWFS show in July.  20-20 representatives will be on site to show how you can go from the showroom to the shipping dock with greater sales tools, lower costs, fewer errors and increased ROI.

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Thermwood CEO Publishes Book for Entrepreneurs and Business Owners

Posted by Duane Marrett on Mon, Jul 06, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, Announcements, Ken Susnjara, Skills, Entrepreneurial

Ken Susnjara, Thermwood's founder and CEO has taken forty years of experience as head of several companies in a number of highly competitive markets and distilled it into a 400 plus page book, "Entrepreneurial Skills"

This work tackles all the difficult aspects of running a company in a competitive environment from a fresh, unique and decidedly non-theoretical basis. The author pulls no punches in telling you what works, what doesn't and why. During the last forty years, Ken took his company and others through several industries, with several totally unrelated products. He dealt with thousands of both small and large customers, with the government, with foreign customers and foreign investors and with virtually every kind of financing option available. He lost and made millions using almost every financing vehicle available, including public stock and bond issues. During this time he went through several major crises where the survival of a company rested on the turn of a card, so to speak. And all this time he learned.

Now he has taken that knowledge and that experience and put it a book to try to help other entrepreneurs. He offers a fresh view of corporate structures, product positioning and pricing, competing and selling, how markets work, advertising, trade shows, internet marketing and relations with your employees. He clearly and boldly tells you exactly what he thinks works and what doesn't in today's business world.

The over 400 page book has been initially published on Scribed at

http://www.scribd.com/doc/17062116/Entrepreneurial-Skills

Samples of the work are available at that site for free viewing so potential buyers can determine if these ideas and insights might just work for them.

Entrepreneurial Skills

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 [email protected]

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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