SANTA ANA, Cal. -- When Chris Corrales founded CNC Factory five years ago he didn’t have a crystal ball showing that woodshops would be forced to do more with less people in 2020. At the same time he has achieved his overarching goal for each CNC Factory machine he manufactures and sells to function with only one operator, and in many cases, to be driverless for long periods of time. “I have always wanted CNCs to be as commonplace as the table saw and today they are,” said Corrales. He cites the 2019 Cabinet Makers Association (CMA) Benchmark Survey that 85% percent of cabinet shops now operate with at least one CNC machine and 50 percent have five or fewer employees. “The Covid-19 pandemic didn’t set the course for woodworking shops to function tighter, with fewer employees, less square footage and more automation, but it did speed it up.” For more than 15 years Corrales was a cabinetmaker. “I know that when we talk about CNCs my customers are doing the math in determining how long a machine will take to pay for itself and make money. Simply put, that’s ROI, return on investment.”
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