International Sign Expo 2010 - Thermwood Pics

Posted by Duane Marrett on Thu, Apr 08, 2010

Tags: Thermwood, Trade Shows, Technology, i-cut, substrates, signs, sign industry, SR43, SignRouter 43, Orlando, Sign, Point of Purchase, International Sign Expo

Today is the first day of the International Sign Expo in Orlando, FL.  The Expo runs through Saturday April 10th, and Thermwood is exhibiting our SignRouter 43 with i-cut on hand, machining sign materials ranging from acrylic to a wide variety of substrates, as well as a few surprises!

Plan to stop by Booth #2680 to see us in action and pick up a souvenier for yourself.

Here is a pic of the action at our booth. 

Please check our Twitter Account for ongoing uploads from the show.

 Thermwood Booth at the International Sign Expo 2010

Thermwood at the International Sign Expo 2010

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Mar 31, 2010

Tags: Thermwood, Trade Shows, Technology, i-cut, substrates, signs, sign industry, SR43, SignRouter 43, Orlando, Sign, Point of Purchase, International Sign Expo

Thermwood will be exhibiting at the International Sign Expo 2010, held April 8th-10th in Orlando, Florida. 

Thermwood at the International Sign Expo 2010

International Sign Expo 2010
April 8th-10th
Booth #2680
Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, FL

We will have a SignRouter 43 with i-cut on hand, machining sign materials ranging from acrylic to a wide variety of substrates, as well as a few surprises!

Plan to stop by Booth #2680 to see us in action and pick up a souvenier for yourself.

SignRouter 43 Information: 

The SR43 is capable of machining flat and three-dimensional signs using wood, aluminum, composites, chip core, rigid foam, plastics, acrylic, non-ferrous metals and other various types of materials as well as operating as a traditional sign-making machine using optional i-cut Vision camera and software (these highly capable systems accurately trim printed signs, automatically compensating for distortion or rotation in the printed image).

Thermwood SignRouter 43 at the International Sign Expo 2010

 

Thermwood Impact-Resistant Head and Continuous C-Axis Rotation Video Demonstrations

Posted by Duane Marrett on Mon, Mar 29, 2010

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, New, CNC Routers, 5 Axis, Technology, Model 67, Product Information, Continuous C-Axis Rotation, Impact Resistant Head

Impact Resistant Head - A positive locating joint between the axis 5 arm and the rest of the machine.  Decreases the amount of force applied to the head in the event of a collision, diminishes the need for realignment and reduces fixture and spindle damage.


Thermwood Continuous C-Axis Rotation with Impact Resistant Head on Model 67 - Video Demonstration

For the first time offered together, the Thermwood Continuous C-Axis Rotation and Impact Resistant Head. The Continuous C-Axis allows the machine to perform complex motions that require multiple rotations of the C-Axis, and then quickly return to home. With the Impact Resistant Head, the machine stays in tram even after a crash of the head.

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 CabinetShop 45 CNC Pen Project

Posted by Duane Marrett on Thu, Dec 03, 2009

Tags: CNC, CNC Routers, 3 Axis, CabinetShop, Technology, Model 45, smart, Customer, education, ball state, drawing

The members of projectione recently utilized the 3 Axis CabinetShop 45 CNC Router at Associated Fabrication in New York to create several cool projects.

The first is a combination of CNC Router and a set of drafting and art pens to draw abstracted versions of character sketches.  For more information on this process, please click here:

CNC Pen Project on CS45 by projectione

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

New Compact Series Edgebander from Fravol

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Fri, Aug 07, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC Routers, Woodworking, Announcements, edgebanding, Technology, Product Information, edgebander, pvc

   

Thermwood Corporation is proud to announce a new compact series of automatic edgebanders from Fravol.  The B Series from Fravol is constructed using a steel frame and designed to be compact but versatile and easy to use.  The BEE can process banding up to 3mm thick PVC and comes equipped with a 1kg (2.2 lbs.) Teflon lined glue pot, 3 pressure rollers, end-trimming unit, top/bottom trimming unit and a glue scraper.  Fravol has been in business since 1963 producing heavy-duty, versatile, and easy to use edge processing machines for the woodworking industry. 

For additional information, please contact Thermwood Corporation

Phone: (800) 533-6901  E-mail: [email protected]  Web: www.thermwood.com

Thermwood CNC Routers optimize cooling tower builds

Posted by Duane Marrett on Mon, Jul 20, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, Composites, CNC Routers, Productivity, 3 Axis, Technology, Customer, manufacturing

Here is a reprint from an informative article published in Composites Technology about Bedford Reinforced Plastics and their application of Thermwood CNC Routers in cooling tower fabrication:Thermwood CNC Routers used in the fabrication of cooling towers 

Operators of chemical refineries, mining operations and power plants use cooling towers to reduce the temperature of process water that often contains corrosive chemicals. These large square or rectangular structures house equipment in which heated water trickles downward through filtration media while large fans draw air up through the wet media to transfer the heat to the atmosphere. Although cooling towers traditionally have been made with wood and concrete, composite materials are gaining acceptance due to their corrosion and rot resistance, light weight and ease of installation. "Redwood was used in the past because of its innate ability to resist rot. But, as good redwood became scarce, treated Douglas fir was substituted, and in addition to the negatives associated with the chemicals used to treat the wood, fir just couldn't hold up in the cooling tower environment," says Eric Kidd, cooling tower market manager at Bedford Reinforced Plastics (Bedford, Pa.).

Bedford has pultruded square tubes, angles, channels and deck board for cooling tower alternatives since the mid-1990s, says Kidd, including one of the world's largest - a 46-ft tall, 54-ft wide, 1,080-ft long (14.2m by 16.6m by 332m) structure at Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc. in Carlin, Nev. Bedford supplied more than 600,000 lb (272 metric tonnes) of pultruded components made with Owens Corning Material Solutions' (Toledo, Ohio) continuous filament mat and E-glass roving, Ashland Inc.'s (Columbus, Ohio) fire retardant polyester and vinyl ester resins and polyester surfacing veil. Drilling the thousands of fastener holes and cutouts that enable assembly and fastening of the tower's skeletal structure is a huge challenge. For that task, Bedford employs five 3-axis, CNC-controlled routers from Thermwood Corp. (Dale, Ind.). Configured with overhead moving gantries, the machines have bed sizes that range from 5 ft by 10 ft (1.5m by 3m) to 5 ft by 40 ft (1.5m by 12.2m). According to VP of marketing Jason Susnjara, Thermwood is the only CNC router manufacturer that supplies its own controller programs with the machines, enabling customers to seamlessly integrate CAD/CAM designs with the controller and postprocessor.

Thermwood CNC Routers used in the fabrication of cooling towers

Bedford considers automated drilling and cutting to be essential to optimizing finished-part production rates, hole consistency and location accuracy. The former, says Bedford, reduces product lead time, permitting the company to meet tight customer deadlines. The latter ensures that tower structures assemble correctly on site, without delays for part rework. 

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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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.