Advancements in manufacturing software have grown to the point where really small or niche scale companies are gaining benefits that larger operators have enjoyed for some time.
Mackay Kitchens & Stairs is based in Christchurch, New Zealand, and with only nine staff is in the process of completely transforming its business platform from an old style, semi-manual base into a modern, streamlined, software driven environment.
This niche size company manufactures kitchens and stairs for the housing market in the Christchurch region.
It is fully aware that the new software platforms for its manufacturing can open doors to greater markets.
Managing Director of the company, Chris Moore, says the company upgraded from a long-standing software to the new generation Cabinet Vision supplied by Planit .
An interesting aspect of the company’s upgrade is that Cabinet Vision is allowing Mackay Kitchens to implement the software system before actually installing its new machinery.
“A lot of businesses prefer to get new machines before they change their software, but we wanted to sort out the front-end of our business before we deal with the back end," said Moore.
‘Everything is becoming computerised instead of hand drawn, so we saw it as far more viable to establish the platform in our design and engineering section as well as linking the accounts and administration to the back-end through the Cabinet Vision before we implement the new machines and integrate all the processes.
"Whereas before we worked from hand drawings and sketches and simple cutting lists, we are now evolving into a company that deals more directly with activity on the shop floor as all the important decisions can be quickly and accurately made on the Cabinet Vision software.”
Engineered wholly and solely for the woodworking industry, Cabinet Vision is a screen-to-machine software. For those workshops automating their businesses with CNC equipment, Cabinet Vision is fully integrated with the Planit CNC centre, therefore providing a complete screen-to-machine solution and confirms all parts and part operations before sending data to the factory.
Cabinet Vision is easy to set-up for the building of cabinets using favourite joinery techniques. Based on a simple wizard, it allows the creation of unlimited set-ups, mixes various settings per job and changes from one style to another instantly and allows saving of the construction methods for use over and over again.
An operator can customise cabinet sizes, shape, or any construction to suit the customer's needs. Colours and textures can be selected for the whole room or for individual cabinets and parts. Lighting and reflections can be controlled to bring these designs to life well before any manufacturing has begun.
Unlimited detailing includes the following:
- Users can configure openings and interior parts
- Placement of shelves, dividers, trays, and subassemblies
- Control of door reveals, styles, guides and other options per opening.
- Materials can be changed per job, per room, per cabinet, or per part for complete control
- Cabinet shapes can be edited in plan view, elevation view or side view
- Prints are made for colour or detailed line drawings
- Instant change is facilitated between various construction settings
- Parts in part operations change instantly
“Predominantly, we are using Cabinet Vision for the kitchen side of manufacturing,” said Moore.
“We are still in the process of changing at the moment. It is a bit of a stepping process for the company, but we see it as a gain that we can implement the software before the new machines arrive which will help streamline the overall integration between front-end and back-end”.
“We have been using Cabinet Vision to output the cutting lists which are going into the older machines, but we are about to change the production side of the business to operate on a nesting-based router.
“From this point on we will solely be using Cabinet Vision and we predict much better efficiencies with nested based manufacturing using modern day routers.
“Our old software was basically a spreadsheet-heavy manual process but the new system will output straight to the machine, and with nested-based manufacturing our efficiencies will rise.
“We don’t expect to have any problems at all as technical support has been very good here and we are looking forward to expanding our business.”