How A&B Woodworking's CNC Kept It Afloat in Downturn

Posted by Bill Esler | Posted: 11/26/2012 10:05AM

 

A&B Woodcraft, Decatur, GAA&B Woodcraft, Decatur, GA   At the brink of the 2008 housing collapse, A&B Woodworking, established in 1996, invested in a Busellato Jet Optima RT Nested Based CNC Router, a move that kept him afloat during the down economy.

Before this investment A&B Woodcraft was like many manufacturers and manufactured his commercial casework with manual production machines.

Using a sliding table saw, line borer and edgebander, A&B Woodcraft was processing around 30 sheets a day of melamine and MDF, however the high labor costs were causing a decrease in profit so something had to change. 

“I had to ask myself: how can I be more competitive.” This was the question owner of A&B Woodcraft Inc., Adali Benitez asked himself in 2008. The answer changed his business forever.

 

Benitez called upon Marco Canducci and Busellato in his search for a CNC router solution. After researching four different CNC manufacturers Benitez decided to partner with Busellato as his CNC provider.

“The Busellato Genesis software was simple to learn and has many powerful features that make operating in a custom environment more efficient,” Benitez stated as one of the reasons he purchased the Busellato. The other reason: his dealer. Marco Canducci, of MCC Consulting in Douglasville, GA, and Benitez had formed a great relationship throughout the research process that made the decision much easier.

A&B Woodworking installed the Busellato Jet Optima in March 2008 and a few short months later, they saw the commercial casework sector collapse. A&B specializes in office and medical cabinetry and millwork primarily within a 100-mile radius of their Decatur, GA facility, and with fewer opportunities available to bid, A&B was glad they made the investment in the CNC when they did.

“The Busellato allowed us to be more competitive when bidding on projects and kept us going through out the down economy. We were able to reduce our waste with nesting, decrease our lead times, and were able to be more competitive with our bidding. We definitely won a few jobs because the Busellato helped us slash our labor costs,” stated Benitez .

A few years later in May 2012, the market became more stable, and business was steady. A&B was now processing around 50 sheets a day on the Busellato. Along with a powerful router spindle and large multi-spindle boring head, the panel evacuation device with dust collection improved production substantially.

“The unloading system is an essential complement to a nested based machine because it increases machine uptime nearly 100 percent over a machine without the system", says Bill Blackmon, Busellato Product Manager. Once the nesting cycle is complete, the machine pushes the cut parts to an offload table at the end of the machine while vacuuming the spoilboard. When the new sheet is loaded, the previously cut parts are sorted while the machine is running the next sheet. Clean up time is mostly eliminated and the operator now has time to run the edgebander or do other tasks like attaching hardware.

Since 2000, Busellato has been a leader in CNC material handing technology and in 2009 the Busellato Optima Series won a AWFS Sequoia New Product Award for their Linear Flow load-unload system that simultaneously loads a new sheet and unloads finished parts. This system can further decrease labor costs by freeing the operator of the task of loading the new sheet. He now sorts parts, monitors the supply of material on the scissor lift and runs other equipment in the cell.

Now that A&B was producing up to 50 sheets a day, their current edgebander became the bottleneck and needed to be updated. Once again, Benitez called Marco Canducci, the exclusive distributor for Casadei-Busellato in Georgia, to find the right solution. Benitez was looking for an affordable solution to run 3-4 hours a day, apply laminate and PVC, and wanted a machine that offered flexibility. Marco suggested the Casadei Flexa 37 series and it was a perfect fit for A&B Woodcraft.

“The touch screen controller makes the Casadei easy to use and reduces problems because I can program in different set-ups for my operator to use. The Edgebander has been problem-free and has allowed us to produce a quality edge with no hand work after banding.”

The pneumatic controls of the operating units allows for a quick change over from tape to 3mm PVC as well as simple control of first pass and second pass of the panel. This is all accomplished through the controller among other tasks such as alarm diagnostics, production data and maintenance schedules. These features of the Flexa 37 series decrease change over times and increase quality of the Edgebander because the operator does not have to open the hood for normal changeover tasks.

A&B Woodcraft Inc. sees a bright future ahead for the general market and their business as well. With the investments Benitez has made in technology, A&B Woodcraft can bid competitively while maintaining profitable margins which he intends to invest back into the company. His next thoughts on machinery will include a case clamp and bore, glue and dowel machine to improve his efficiency and reduce assembly times. A second CNC is under consideration.

“When I buy another CNC, I will purchase a Busellato. It has been reliable and has great technical support.”


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About the Author

Bill Esler, Woodworking Network, WMS

Bill Esler

Bill Esler, Editorial Director, Woodworking Network Bill is responsible for overall content at WoodworkingNetwork.com Woodworking Network magazine, and related newsletters. Bill also manages event programs for Woodworking Network Live conferences at the Woodworking Machinery & Supplies Expo in Toronto and Cabinets & Closets Expo. He developing audience engagement programs using custom digital printing, live lead-generating events, custom websites, and custom digital and print content. Read Bill Esler's woodworking blogs. He can be reached at besler@woodworkingnetwork.com or follow him on Google+.

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