Cabinet Vision gives an innovative woodworking company the full capability to engineer and cut the products on its uniquely customised Anderson PTP router.
And Timberworks Wales says the Trueshape nesting function does all their layout thinking. It is vital in not only ensuring that every piece of board is cut to precision and optimises each sheet, but also plays a major role in working out an accurate price for quotes.
Having two distinct sides to the family-run business prompted owner Gerwyn Lloyd to customise his Anderson PTP-3013, meaning it can now be used as a matrix bed driven by
Cabinet Vision for panel cutting; with Alphacam, also from Vero Software, running beam and pod technology to cut components. Only having around 1000m2 across two floors in their workshop nestling in the hills above Port Talbot, they did not have room for two machines.
“But as we produce anything from staircases to kitchen units, bedrooms and board products – along with offering a subcontract CNC machining service to other joinery companies – we need the capability of both cutting techniques. Cabinet Vision is ideal for the sheet side of our business, producing all our fitted kitchen, bathroom and bedroom units,” says Gerwyn.
Gerwyn’s wife, Susan, works with the customers on material and design, then lays the room out for approval in Cabinet Vision. “As Cabinet Vision sends the data flatpack, I view the layout of the sheet on screen and can quickly identify any issues before they get to the machine.
“We use Trueshape Nesting which helps us work out accurate costings, and also shows us how many sheets we’re going to use. Even if it’s a large job of around 30 sheets, the barcode reader means that when the job gets to the shop floor it is easy for Gerwyn to see exactly what is required.”
Gerwyn also uses a bar code reader to select the right Cabinet Vision program for running the machine. And this is where Cabinet Vision’s powerful Screen To Machine module comes in, enabling designs to be sent straight to the CNC machinery with just a few mouse clicks. “Without it I’d have to nest the parts myself, while thinking about how Gerwyn is going to lay it out. Screen To Machine does all that thinking for me,” says Susanna.
Cabinet Vision is instrumental in Timberworks Wales completing every job within 14 days, irrespective of the number of components involved. Gerwyn Lloyd says: “We’ve had Cabinet Vision since 2010, and certainly couldn’t offer the service we provide now without it. It opened our eyes to doing things in a more efficient manner and producing our finished products much faster.”
Around 70% of the company’s work is for south and west Wales, along with London, the South coast, and now moving into the Midlands. The Lloyds’ son Ifan, daughter Mair, and a nephew, make up the total staff of five.
Gerwyn and Ifan adapted the Anderson themselves, and use Alphacam to cut staircase components, curved windows, and parts such as chair arms, or anything else requiring a lot of tooling. “Alphacam gives us a 100% total ability to change anything I need to at the machine, including tooling. If we’re working with a particularly hard timber I may need to slow the tool speed right down, and I can do it instantly with Alphacam.
“There are also occasions when combining both software brands on the same job can be beneficial. “We can easily draw curved items in Cabinet Vision, but if we wanted to put any machine detail into those, we export it into Alphacam, and if it requires nesting, we’ll nest that part in Alphacam, too.”
Working with MDF, MFC, plywood, Foamex, laminates and solid timber, the Anderson is in use seven days a week, cutting over 175 tonnes of material a year.
“Both Cabinet Vision and Alphacam have become an indispensable part of our design and manufacturing processes. I can’t imagine a day in the workplace without them,” concludes Gerwyn.