Product design driveseverything else at Modern Store Equipment. “(We do) great design of our client’s projects, our products and our manufacturingprocess,” said David Dunigan, president of Modern Store Equipment. “I thinkSteve Jobs had it right.  Everythingfollows good design.”

The Burlington, New Jersey, companysupplies retail displays and wine and spirit stores nationwide.
“Ninety percent of theproduct we manufacture is wood and probably 90 percent of that is melamineboard,” Dunigan said. “But we manufacture only about one-third of the productwe sell. We are also distributors for a wide variety of other products neededto build a wine and spirits store.”
Modern Store has dramaticallyimproved its manufacturing process and become more efficient. “Six years ago wehad zero automation,” Dunigan said. “Every board was cut on a table saw and wehad one small edgebander that we were quickly running into the ground.
“We wanted to automate butjust could not figure out how. Then one day Ron and Ryan Coe fromPanelwood, our local Stiles distributor, walked in the door because we hadcalled about replacing our 30-year-old table saw. Everything changed.
“They suggested we get a CNC panelsaw, which we did, and it changed our world. We went from two people taking allday to cut up a skid of material to one person (doing the same) in less than anhour.
“Great time savings but what wedid not expect (was that) our cuts were close to perfect, our product qualitywent up and assembly time dropped drastically.  We were hooked.

“In order to take advantageof the technology we had to rethink how we made every product. Technology helpsyou do it your way a little, redesigning to take advantage of the technology.

“(It was) a revolution.Without fail every time we add a new machine it helps us in ways that we didnot anticipate.”
Shipping efficiency
“As fuel and thereforeshipping cost have skyrocketed we can't afford to ship airspace,” Dunigansaid.”Manufacturing product KDF (shipped flat) is critical.”
Modern Store uses the LamelloClamex to allow shipment of flat materials and then on-site assembly. (Thecompany recently purchased some 10,000 Lamello connectors, according toColonial Saw.)

“The Clamex allows us to greatlyreduce the use of screws in the manufacturing process, as installing it justrequires sliding it into the groove,” Dunigan said. “When we arrive at our jobsites across the country assembly is fast and easy.”

Modern Store is also usingthe Tenso fitting in places similar to the Clamex but where strength is not ascritical. The company also installed a Weeke Venture 230L with aggregates toallow them to make wider use of the Clamex fasteners.
TheLamello Clamex P biscuit shaped connector system from Colonial Saw allows usersto create ready-to-assemble connections. Made from fiberglass reinforcedplastic, with a metal cam lever, Clamex P can join any miter angle without theuse of glue or screws. The fastening system provides a strong interlockingconnection for more frequent installations and disassemblies.
Clamex connectors are used in ModernStore Equipment’s wine display racks and Tenso connectors are used for all thedisplay toe kicks.
According to Colonial Saw, one ofthe key benefits is that the user can flat pack and ship everything made withthe Clamex P system. Then it's easy to install once delivered to the liquorstores.
Because of the change over toLamello P System connectors on their displays in conjunction with their CNC setup they have greatly improved the labor time in the plant and in on-siteinstallation.
As far as equipment isconcerned, Dunigan is a believer in working with a single source. Everything iscut on a Holzma HPP-350. High volume machining is handled on the Weeke Venture.Low volume machining is done on a Weeke BHX-550, and edgebanding is performed ona Brandt KDN 660. The next purchase will probably be one of the new air edgebanders.
Dunigan said one of thecompany’s best equipment purchases was solar panels, which reduced electricitycost in the plant to zero.
The company does no finishingin Burlington. “We eliminated our spray room a number of years ago and havenever looked back,” Dunigan said. There are so many great options out there inprefinished board and edgbanding.”

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