Copper Canyon Millworks
Copper Canyon Millworks uses CABINET VISION to produce high-end custom cabinetry
For Sam Caprar, success in business has grown in step with ongoing process improvement, which he’s applied to everything from intake paperwork to the implementation of CNC machinery.
Caprar began his woodworking career as an installer in 2001 and in 2009 opened the doors of his business, Copper Canyon Millworks, in Phoenix, Arizona. “I’ve seen everything — both good and bad — about the woodworking industry, and have applied what I’ve learned to what we do here,” he says. “Our process is what really sets us apart from other businesses.”
Caprar and his five-member team perform both commercial and residential work, though their workload is predominantly residential. Caprar works with contractors, developers and homeowners to design and build one-of-a-kind, high-end cabinetry, as well as cabinetry-integrated paneling.
The company’s jobs are primarily those for kitchens, laundry rooms, and bathrooms — though projects for closets, entertainment centers, and “anything else that has cabinetry” make their way across the shop floor. Copper Canyon Millworks also handles a fair amount of paint work for other woodworking outlets.
end custom cabinetry
In 2008, Caprar purchased the CABINET VISION design-to-manufacturing solution so that the system would be in full swing when his first customer walked through the door. In 2010, he bought a CNC router, and today this shop is also equipped with an edgebander, a digitized table saw with weight-supporting sliding fence, and a flat-line finisher.
“The software makes a big difference because, when you have to make a change with paper drawings or even using other types of software, you can’t just shrink or increase the dimensions like you can with CABINET VISION.”
Sam Caprar, Owner
“One of the things that CABINET VISION does for us is simplify the cut sheets and material ordering,” Caprar says. “The system will give you a printout of all your sizes, so as long as you enter all of the parameters correctly, you’re able to accurately see everything that you need.”
Jobs in CABINET VISION begin when the dimensions of the space in which a project will be built are entered into the software. From there, a user-friendly interface enables the user to build cabinetry and associated millwork, and to generate CNC toolpath based upon the drawings.
“The software makes a big difference because, when you have to make a change with paper drawings or even using other types of software, you can’t just shrink or increase the dimensions like you can with CABINET VISION,” Caprar says. “It makes that part of the job a lot faster and easier.”
Caprar has designed his manufacturing process to increase efficiency on the production side and eliminate uncomfortable guesswork for his customers. He has designed a bid sheet based upon linear footage, drawer boxes and associated details, such as whether the product will be produced in stain grade or paint-grade materials, and additional criteria. After an initial deposit is submitted, Copper Canyon Millworks supplies a shop drawing for approval.
Caprar utilizes some of the visual tools within CABINET VISION to accurately communicate project details to customers, some of whom have difficulty visualizing the final product. “I can envision something before it’s done, but some people can’t. In those cases, we have to provide more detailed drawings,” he says. “What I really enjoy is meeting new people and designing, so working with them on figuring out what they’re looking for can be pretty fun.”
By Caprar’s estimation, he’d need to triple the size of his staff to accomplish the output that he and his team are able to produce with the CNC router and CABINET VISION.
“The machinery doesn’t necessarily eliminate employees, but it eliminates the nonessential movements of employees,” he says. “You load the material once onto the router and from there you can take care of a lot of what you need to do without having to move the material again.”
Part labels generated in CABINET VISION are printed and attached to each part, which helps with tracking parts throughout the shop. In addition to helping the team to quickly identify parts, use of the labels reduces error and paves the way for faster easier and faster assembly.
“The labels are placed on the inside of each part, and that helps a lot when you’re dealing with a whole kitchen,” Caprar says. “There can literally be thousands of parts in a kitchen.”
CABINET VISION User Created Standards, or UCSs, are automated standards written into the solution to ensure that the software is customized to reflect the specific needs and construction preferences of the shop. UCSs can be written by users or by CABINET VISION staff, and can be easily applied again and again to cut programming time while enforcing shop standards.
Copper Canyon has used UCSs for a number of different purposes, including the tracking of hardware requirements.
CABINET VISION’s flexible nesting capabilities help the company to maximize material yield and manage scrap. Caprar and his team utilize both automatic and manual nesting options, sometimes combining the two to quickly generate nests and edit them as desired.
“CABINET VISION really helps with the waste part of the job,” Caprar says. “Our off-falls of wood and melamine are recycled; the solution helps minimize waste by giving you a sheet count and it will show you the off-fall for the material. If you don’t count your toe kicks, you can also use the off-fall to produce those.”
The combination of CNC machinery and software has helped Copper Canyon Millworks adhere to an 18 to 21-day production cycle while its competitors need eight to 12 weeks to complete comparable jobs.
“It’s hard to put a number to it, but when I look out at the shop and see the volume that we’re doing, I know that we’re very efficient,” Caprar says. “We can have a 170-cabinet job in and out in a week. With other shops, a job that size disables their ability to do anything else. That’s a lot of doors, a lot of finishes, a lot of sheet materials — and just a lot to keep track of.”
About the company
Name : Copper Canyon Millworks
Business: High-end custom cabinetry
Key benefits achieved
- Simplification of cut-sheet generation and material ordering
- Ability to rapidly make design changes
- Ease in maximizing material yield and managing scrap