Linn Millwork wanted to keep its customemphasis while improving its production efficiency
The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, company specializesin designing, manufacturing and installing commercial millwork. Customers are smallto large size commercial contractors.
“We pride ourselves on being a customrather than production millwork shop,” Linn Millwork’s Kasia Robinson said. “Weare members of AWMAC (Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association ofCanada) and have invested in technology that allows us to provide superiorquality products with maximum efficiency. We also provide installation serviceswhich many other commercial cabinet shops aren’t able to offer.”
Robinson said that a job starts at the estimatinglevel at the company. “Once the tender is accepted, it is turned over to ourengineering department where we use Planit’s CabinetVision program to create aproject and produce machining codes,” she said.
“From there, the project goes to theshop floor where it gets cut up with our Schelling fh4 beam saw, edgebandedwith our IMA Advantage 70 edgebander, drilled with our Biesse Rover A 1332 five-axisCNC machine and then assembled by our cabinetmakers. If there is finishinginvolved, we also have a custom spray booth.”
Linn optimizes their materials and sendsthe machining code from the engineering office directly to the Schelling fh4 beamsaw. This saw is capable of multiple sheet cuts with little physical effort.
“The saw will handle plywood, solidlumber, plastic and odd angle cuts,” said Linn’s Jason Ewen. “Blade changes arequick and the component pieces of the fh4 are made for continuous daily use.”
The IMA Advantage 70 edgebander canattach anything between a 0.5 mm PVC edge tape up to 19 mm thick solid wood. Mostedges, material types and thicknesses are adjusted and controlled by CNCtechnology. Edges can be preheated with infrared beams and cut edges are pre-machinedfor virtually invisible glue edges.
Previously, Linn Millwork used two smallersliding table saws and manual cut lists. “Because of its ease of use, theSchelling saw has been one of the only machines we have purchased where we sawan immediate return on our investment,” Ewen said. “Our production levelsincreased dramatically, labor costs decreased and the cutting accuracy wasalways consistent.”
The shop in Saskatoon is approximately12,000 square feet. Linn Millwork currently has three office staff, nine shopemployees and two installers.
The company has also worked to improveits own processes. “We have made many changes from fine tuning our officeprocedures and the way a job is organized and handled before it even hits theshop floor,” Ewen said. “As our machines advanced, the computer became thedriver of all cutting and processing operations. Every product piece now has acomputer generated barcode which is read and milled by the appropriate machine.This technology has allowed time tracking of each station, each employee andeach piece of product from design to jobsite delivery. Keeping track of our jobcosting has allowed us to pinpoint any bottlenecks and take action incorrecting them.”
For the future, the company is lookinginto manufacturing outdoor cabinetry using King Starboard plastic panels. Theyhave manufactured some built-in barbeque units already and are fine tuning theprocess and machining required for using plastic with their machinery andassembly stages.
Linn Millwork also finished the finaldesign of their new website, www.linnmillwork.com.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.