Spacious and bright, the shop floor at C&C Woodworking is a hive of activity as some of the best in the business apply their craft to high-end projects big and small.
Based in Naples, Florida, C&C Woodworking is owned by woodworker and entrepreneur Alex Barceló who serves as the company’s vice-president. The custom cabinetry, millwork and moulding firm has 31 employees, including Eric Baker, chief designer and engineer with 40 years of experience, and Pablo Trullen, production supervisor.
It was in 2014 that the company made a concerted effort to implement CNC manufacturing software to improve the quality and consistency of its work. Today, C&C Woodworking operates under the 5S lean manufacturing philosophy: sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain.
“Our standards are the absolute highest,” Trullen said, surveying the day’s workload. “Our goal is to make everything the very best that it can be made, and that is what we strive for every day.”
Inside the 40,000-square-foot facility, much of the company’s standardization is achieved with the use of the Cabinet Vision design-to-manufacturing solution, by Vero Software. To begin a project, the dimensions of the room are fed into the software, followed by the dimensions of the actual project. Cabinet Vision is able to generate realistic, professional-looking project renderings that help staff and clients to visualize the end result. This has also helped the team at C&C Woodworking become more efficient in assessing and analyzing vital project details.
“Once I finish putting a project in the software, I can immediately know with one click how many feet of baseboard, how many sheets of material, and how much hardware I will need,” Trullen said.
Cabinet Vision’s ability to generate labels for each part is also important to C&C Woodworking, which relies on the labeling system to track parts as they come off the router and make their way through the shop’s departments.
“The parts are labeled after they’re cut and, once they’re assembled, they get a label product and go to fine-tuning and then finishing,” Trullen said. “The labels are one of the best things about the software because now everyone in the shop knows what they’re looking at. It saves on time and we make less mistakes.”
In the finishing department, the parts are sanded, primed, sanded again, and painted. To cut down on drying time — which took an average of five hours — the company installed a custom painting and drying line, complete with a conveyor system for hanging and floor-mounted parts. The system, which applies 130-degree heat to drying parts, travels 30 feet in the 10 minutes it takes the parts to completely dry.
The drying system is in step with C&C Woodworking’s philosophy regarding manufacturing technology. “If you want to grow, you need to produce more. But we also wanted to be able to become more efficient” Trullen said. “In order to grow without adding people, we added technology.”
To further increase efficiency, the company takes advantage of the software's nesting feature, which eliminates time-intensive manual nesting while maximizing materials. “We were making our own nests, but with Cabinet Vision it takes one hour instead of 10 hours,” Trullen said, adding that the program’s batching capability has helped the company further boost efficiency while reducing waste.
“We used to program one part at a time, so now the whole project is optimized and we’re saving days,” he continued. “With batching, you can combine two or three different jobs, and when it’s done you can separate them easily because the labels tell you where everything goes.”
C&C Woodworking specializes in creating custom residential and commercial woodworking pieces for exclusive areas in and around the Naples area. To ensure that the company’s staff understands how their hard work fits into the equation, employees are taken into the field to see the end results of their labor. “They’re proud of what they do,” Barceló said. “When they go to a job site, it helps to make them continue to do well. Everybody who comes here, we help them to grow, and the key to making a strong team is realizing the potential in the company.”
“Now that we’re more efficient, we’re also more competitive," Barceló added. "Because Cabinet Vision helps us to be more efficient, we aren’t jeopardizing quality.”
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