Construction, furniture joinery firm Akaal relies on Cabinet Vision for all its work, whether small or large, saying it saves it hours of expensive labour.
“If you make kitchens and bedrooms, or anything else with cabinets and panels, you’re wasting your time if you’re not using Cabinet Vision, and probably losing thousands of pounds a week because of all the time it saves.”
Those are the words of Akaal manufacturing and construction manager Yashpal Singh Batchu. Whether it be full kitchens or individual cabinets, he says the time savings are enormous.
Akaal has recently diversified from its position purely as a fitting company buying in units, to manufacturing its own. While the fitting operation continues to be run from London, the factory has been established in Oldbury in the West Midlands, where industrial property prices are lower.
In addition to the 570 sq m workshop it also has a 360 sq m showroom which is attracting considerable interest from end-user consumers.
“Everything we produce goes through Cabinet Vision – from a small job through to a large one,” says Yashpal.
With around 40 different types of panels and cabinets stored in the library he says it takes around half an hour to create the full kitchen, and then he simply presses a button to send the NC code via Cabinet Vision’s Screen-To-Machine module to Akaal’s Felder Format4 Profit H500 five-axis router.
Before taking on his new design role when Akaal began manufacturing in late 2016, he supervised carpentry work on the construction sites, which did not involve computers.
A typical Akaal kitchen
“My computer skills were extremely limited, but Cabinet Vision is so simple to learn that I quickly reached the stage where I can easily design a kitchen from scratch. When I want to create a kitchen unit I just bring a cabinet in from the software library and it’s in place in five seconds. To draw it manually and get all the dimensions and holes right would probably take an hour,” he says.
When working on a new project in Cabinet Vision he sets the room size first, then places doors, windows, sink, cooker and other appliances, then selects the appropriate cabinetry and slots it in place. For example, if the units are 600mm he will bring it in from the library, and then drag and drop until they are all set up.
“Then, for the 1000mm units I’ll just press a button to convert it. It’s the same for any size. Cabinet Vision’s parametric capabilities ensure that when we adjust the height, for instance, it automatically adjusts the other dimensions and ensures the screw and dowel holes are moved to the right place for the resized cabinet,” continues Yashpal.
“And we have absolute confidence that whatever we design will be faithfully cut on the CNC router, thanks to the NC code produced in Screen-To-Machine.”
Those points are all echoed by Cabinet Vision’s Southern UK sales manager Danny Hargreaves. “There’s virtually no cabinet-based shape that can’t be designed quickly and accurately with the software. It’s extremely diverse and meets any client’s individual needs simply by dragging and dropping, and then parametrically reshaping and resizing. All hole positions are adjusted accordingly, and the cut lists produced.”
He is impressed at how much Yashpal Singh Batchu has achieved in such a short time with the software. “He’s now highly proficient in producing top end, quality kitchens, and is beginning to use it for making doors, too.”
Akaal Cabinet Vision render
As a qualified and experienced carpenter, Yashpal Singh Batchu says Cabinet Vision and Screen-To-Machine fully complement his traditional skills by saving time and making it simple to always achieve perfect results. “It literally saves hours by getting all the sizes and angles right. And as well as designing and cutting the panels it makes the dowel holes, pin holes and shelf holes. I input the shelf data, and it automatically positions the holes.”
He is now beginning to use the software to produce curved table tops. “A single right click accesses the Edit Shapes mode, and there are numerous built-in CAD tools for drawing arc lines, straight lines, full circles and squares, so we’re able to create any shape and send it straight to the Felder machine tool,” he says.
Cabinet Vision is also making it profitable for Akaal to take on small jobbing work, too. A customer required just one cabinet from Akaal – a corner unit. “It would take a carpenter a whole day to work on that manually, and it would never be 100% – it’s likely the angles would be a couple of mm out – but with Cabinet Vision it was absolutely spot on, and took just a few moments to complete the design, including all the dowel and screw holes,” comments Yashpal.
In conclusion, he says:
“We don’t really have to do anything – Cabinet Vision does it all for us. It’s absolutely vital for our business, saving us thousands of pounds every week.”