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 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

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

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.

DXF Buddy is Now Available from CNC Automation

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Mon, Apr 27, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, software, control nesting, CNC Routers, Gen2, CNC Automation, Special, Cad, Layered DXF, super controller, DXF Buddy

 

 Are you working with Layered DXF files and Control Nesting? Do you run into issues with any of the following?

  • OUTLINE layer depths not matching material thicknesses at the machine...
  • Parts to be machined in "grained" material being drawn in the wrong orientation...
  • You need a left-hand AND right-hand gable but only have the left-hand DXF...
  • The DADO layer is not being recognized because if was incorrectly labeled "DAOD"...
  • You need to flip the back operations to the front and then front operations to the back...
  • No CAD system or CAD operator out at the machine...


DXF Buddy

is here! This small and easy utility will run at the machine and help you rectify all of the issues listed above and then some.

DXF Buddy
is available in two versions - Standard and Pro. The Standard version incorporates a DXF Part Viewer and the ability to manipulate many aspects of the Layered DXF file without the need of accessing a CAD system. The Pro version has all the capabilities of the Standard module and also provide a DXF List Management module that allows you to create a list of DXF parts, set quantities, easily assign materials, mirror/rotate or "pair" individual parts and annotate each entry with a JOB/ASSEMBLY and CAB/SUB-ASSEMBLY designation. The lists DXF Buddy Pro "builds" can then be loaded into Control Nesting in one easy step.

Both versions of DXF Buddy 1.0 have an introductory price of less than $100 CAD!

NOTES:

  • Each license can be installed and run on only one (1) computer. (Software registers to the computer.)
  • All support is done via a email (dxf.buddy@cncautomation.com) or on the special forum on the
B2B-Online-Community. No phone support is provided.


Visit the SOFTWARE section of the CNC Automation web store - http://store.cncautomation.com/



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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NEW Thermwood Online Store

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Mon, Apr 13, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, Composites, plastics, aluminum, CNC Routers, tooling, vacuum, online store, wood

The NEW Thermwood Online Store now sells collets/covernuts, grease, filters and other accessories for CNC Routers and vacuum pumps.  The Thermwood Store also carries a wide variety of tooling for different industries such as wood, fiberglass, plastics, and composites from different vendors like Vortex, Southeast Tool, CMT and more.  Please visit the Thermwood Online Store to purchase your CNC Router accessories and tooling needs. 

 

Thermwood Links eCabinet Systems to ShopBot

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Wed, Apr 08, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, eCabinet Systems, software, New, CNC Routers, Woodworking, Announcements, Cabinet, Shopbot, cooperative, optimize

Dale, IN April 7, 2009: -- Thermwood Corporation, a leading supplier of CNC routers and founder of eCabinet Systems, the world's largest cooperative of custom cabinet shops, announced the availability of a ShopBot Link that will allow CNC output from its eCabinet Systems software to operate ShopBot CNC routers. The ShopBot Link software program, available from Thermwood, accepts a .twd output file from eCabinet Systems, nests the parts and creates properly formatted files for the ShopBot control.

The new program is the result of a joint effort between Thermwood and ShopBot to expand the use of CNC in the cabinet and custom furniture business. The availability of highly capable but free design software that can output to entry level CNC routers should speed the acceptance of this technology in the marketplace and should ultimately expand the market for everyone.

Thermwood has recently restructured the eCabinet Systems program and added free access to a large collection of cabinet, furniture, closet and carving libraries. These designs, including the carvings, can now be machined on ShopBot CNC routers. For additional information see http://www.ecabinetsystems.com/.