EMMAUS, PA – A new high tech panel-retrieval system has gone into operation at AmeriCase and it catapults the Emmaus woodworking manufacturer literally onto the cutting-edge of technological achievement within the national woodworking industry, said company owner and founder George Reitz.
This Schelling Panel Saw and Retrieval System has transformed a significant footprint in Reitz’s 60,000-square-foot plant, where it is currently the first system of its kind designed for and installed in an architectural millwork/casework plant in the United States.
“It will make our AmeriCase line much more efficient, allowing us to increase our ability to meet tighter deadlines, while achieving expanded production demands and competitive prices,” Reitz said.
The system was featured at the International Woodworkers Fair in Atlanta from Aug. 20-25.
“It makes us more competitive,” Reitz related of the system produced by Schelling Inc. of Austria. “It allows us to re-assign employees from non-value added jobs to value-added jobs. There will be less forklift use, which means less damage to sheet goods, and it gives us better time and inventory management.”
This Schelling panel saw and retrieval system encompasses a computerized number control (CNC) rear-loaded panel saw with the ability to cut plywood or composite sheet goods up to 5 by 12 feet into smaller panels -- or cabinet components -- automatically to aid the fabrication of cabinetry, woodworking, and countertops. The retrieval system reduces the need for human intervention to load the saw, thereby significantly reducing possible damage to the sheet goods in handling as well as any potential injuries to workers.
It also requires less manpower to operate, and it will accomplish a significantly larger throughput than any saw without a retrieval system. In addition to all those benefits, this retrieval system keeps a perpetual inventory system of all sheet goods in the entire facility, which offers management greater control on material usage and purchasing cost.
According to Reitz, his engineers can program the retrieval system in the evening before the plant shuts down, and it will work through the night retrieving, sorting and stacking the panels necessary for following day’s production schedule. It can store and retrieve materials from stacks 80 inches high -- up to 4,500 sheets in total --and maintain inventory of up an infinite variety of raw material SKUs (stock-keeping units). It can also retrieve and sort up to 100 plus panels in an eight-hour shift, or overnight. Optimally, it takes approximately one sheet to make one full cabinet, so it compressing dramatically the fabrication timeline for the successive day.
Similar systems, which have been in use in Europe for many years, were originally designed for much larger production facilities. Recently, Schelling has begun to target companies such as AmeriCase with new versions of their systems. They worked with Reitz and his team to design, build, and install the system in Emmaus, to train his employees to operate the saw and retrieval system to its most efficient capabilities, and to promote its acquisition and use at AmeriCase to the industry nationwide.
“It offers us greater material utilization and makes us even more competitive on price,” Reitz said. “It enhances the concept of on-time deliveries. We will be able to do more work, in a much more efficient and proficient manner.”
AmeriCase is a subsidiary of American Millwork and Cabinetry and it was formed several years ago to highlight and differentiate the strengths and capabilities of the two distinct operations. While American Millwork specializes in high-quality architectural millwork such as wainscoting, specialty desks, wall panel systems, standing and running trim and custom cabinets which often utilizes a unique design element such as the type of wood, veneer, materials or color and stains, the AmeriCase line produces a more standard, or semi-custom product primarily for targeted the institutional, educational, retail and medical/healthcare users.
Founded by Reitz in 2002 the AMC group is now a multi-million-dollar corporation working with architects and contractors from Long Island to Virginia, and areas east of Harrisburg to the Jersey shore. AMC now operates with almost 50 full-time employees, and the company has experienced strong annual growth despite the challenges of a regional economy struggling from the recession.
AMC products are featured in places such as the new Freedom Tower (WTC) in New York City, the Endless Mountains Hospital in Montrose, Susquehanna County; the Lehigh Valley Health Network facilities, the Lehigh Country Club, Bay Head Yacht Club in Ocean County, N.J. and the L.L. Bean store in Center Valley, Pa.
Reitz has a strong background within the woodworking industry. Prior to beginning American Millwork & Cabinetry, he gained experience through a career in cabinetmaking that included roles as an estimator, plant foreman, and general manager for some major manufacturers in the eastern parts of Pennsylvania.
To learn more about AMC and the technology used in its operations, contact Reitz at GReitz@AMCMillwork.com, or call 610-428-5907.
Source: American Millwork & Cabinetry
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.