Thermwood Restructures eCabinet Systems Program

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Wed, Apr 08, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, eCabinet Systems, software, CNC Routers, Woodworking, Announcements, Shopbot, cabinets, cooperative, panel saws, tigerstop

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 that it has restructured the eCabinet Systems program to broaden its appeal and make the software easier to learn.

In addition to continuing to offer the design software free to manufacturers and professional cabinet builders, a major new feature of the restructuring is free access to a collection of cabinet, furniture, closet and carving libraries. " These libraries mean that most users can just download and build without having to first learn the software and create their own libraries", says Thermwood's Vice President of Marketing Jason Susnjara. "We also offer a program to modify these libraries or create all new libraries for individual customers if they want".

For those that want an in-depth understanding of the software Thermwood has developed an extensive web based training program modeled after its successful week long software class. Access to the program is on a subscription basis and Thermwood plans a continuous program of additions and enhancements.

Another major departure from the past is the ability to output code to machines other than Thermwood. Two interface modules have been announced; one to ShopBot CNC routers and one that sends rectangular parts from a job to an optimized panel saw and sends cut-to-length parts to a TigerStop. Thermwood believes these two additions will expand the program by allowing smaller shops to begin using low cost CNC routers and supporting higher volume, panel saw production for larger shops. Thermwood has established an all new eCabinet Systems web site, http://www.ecabinetsystems.com/ to support the restructured program.

 

 

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

 

 

 

New CNC technology handbook Understanding CNC Routers

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Tue, Mar 17, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, software, CNC Routers, tooling, vacuum, manufacturing, Forintek, handbook

Find out how to increase your throughput and improve your bottom line using the latest tools in manufacturing automation.

A taste of CNC technology will change your manufacturing experience forever!

Forintek's new handbook Understanding CNC Routers provides you with an insight on the history of CNC technology as well as with all the information you need about tooling, software, vacuum pumps and the myriad of accessories available to the wood manufacturing industry.

You can order the easy to read 100-page handbook for $20 at publications@fpinnovations.ca or contact the author,
Alain Albert directly at 604-222-5613.

 

 

Thermwood's new "CNC Routers by Application" section

Posted by Jason Susnjara on Mon, Mar 16, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, Composites, plastics, aluminum, Nested Base, 3 Axis, 5 Axis, aerospace, edgebander, trimming, solid surface, wood carving, molds

Thermwood has added a "CNC Routers by Application" section on their home page.  By selecting the different applications, you can view examples, videos and the machines related to each application.  We will continue to add more pictures and videos to each application.

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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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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Our New Cabinetmaking Advertisement

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Feb 20, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, eCabinet Systems, CNC, Advertisement, Woodworking, 3 Axis, Cabinet

Check it out:

Modern Custom Cabinetmaking

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Free Pass to Mid-Atlantic Expo

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Feb 13, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, Woodworking, Trade Shows, Free

Please click the link below to download your free pass to the Mid-Atlantic Expo held in York, PA on April 2nd & 3rd

Mid-Atlantic Pass

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Our New Composites Advertisement

Posted by Duane Marrett on Thu, Feb 12, 2009

Tags: Thermwood, CNC, Composites, Advertisement, 5 Axis

Check it out:

CNC Compositie Machining

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