“From the time we create an elevation and cabinets, we are minutes away from having the parts to the machine. At the low end, we have reduced the time it takes to design and program projects by more than 30 percent — but it’s probably even more.”
Dover Cabinet Industries
Commercial cabinet specialist Dover Cabinet Industries reduces time devoted to get from design to production by at least 30 percentHigh standards are the not-so-secret ingredient in the recipe for success that has kept commercial cabinetry specialist Dover Cabinet Industries thriving for more than 30 years.
Founded in Dover, Ohio, the company has produced custom architectural casework and millwork since 1985, building a long-standing reputation for unparalleled quality. Dover has made a name for itself in a region recognized for top-notch woodwork by upholding high production standards and implementing the technologies needed to remain competitive in an evolving manufacturing landscape.
“Our mission is to ensure our customers’ satisfaction by maintaining the strictest of manufacturing standards,” says Vice President - Product Design Justin Perkowski. “We will complete your project on time and in-house with industry-leading machinery and software. We’re not satisfied until the customer is satisfied.”
Pride in traditional craftsmanship has long been a staple at Dover, which integrated CNC machinery several years before pairing it with production software.
"Three-dimensional models in Cabinet Vision and the ability to see the nest simulated in S2M enable the user to find mistakes without costing time and material."
Justin Perkowski, Vice President – Product Design
The company purchased the CABINET VISION Screen-to-Machine™ (S2M) and ALPHACAM computer-aided-manufacturing (CAM) solutions in 2013 to simplify and optimize production by “combining the process of designing and cutting cabinet parts,” Perkowski explains.
Dover paired the new software with machinery acquired from SCM Group, including a Pratix N machining center, a Morbidelli flat-table and 5-axis routers, and a Gabbiani beam saw. The company, which employs a staff of 25, also installed a Flexstore material-handling area for even greater efficiency and paired it with CABINET VISION.
Prior to integrating CABINET VISION and ALPHACAM, Dover used a computer-aided-design (CAD) system to draw its projects and, because the CAD system was unable to generate NC code and send it to the shop floor, jobs were programmed on the machine. Implementing the two new solutions meant that a time-consuming redundant step was eliminated, as toolpath is generated and applied to projects designed in both ALPHACAM and Cabinet Vision.
“Before, the process involved drawing in CAD and then sitting down and creating each part through an on-machine CAM program. Now, this is all done at the same time,” Perkowski says. “From the time we create an elevation and cabinets, we are minutes away from having the parts to the machine. At the low end, we have reduced the time it takes to design and program projects by more than 30 percent — but it’s probably even more.”
The integration of machinery and software has enabled Dover to increase efficiency while maintaining construction standards for its range of commercial projects, including those for hospitals, medical centers, assisted-living facilities, restaurants, and more.
The company utilizes CABINET VISION for all of its cabinet production, while Aphacam is used for one-off projects and particularly those with complex shapes.
“Our focus is boxes, but our custom area and solid surface department can get into some fairly complex units,” says Perkowski, who performs the majority of design work at Dover. “We are prepared for anything thrown our way. Our attention to detail is second to none, and we are constantly checking our machines and testing calibrations to ensure our products exceed industry standards.”
In addition to optimizing the design-to-production process, the implementation of CNC software has simplified the process of creating shop submittals. Designs drawn in CABINET VISION can be used to generate shop drawings and renderings that easily communicate important project details.
As detailed CABINET VISION designs provide the basis for production, the system makes it easy to nest parts with the click of a button when a design is complete. The solution’s S2M Center creates efficient nests designed to maximize material yield, and is capable of communicating with an array of shop-floor machinery, as well as defining multiple sheet sizes per material type.
“Any error made is now made at the computer before any parts are touched,” Perkowski says. “Three-dimensional models in CABINET VISION and the ability to see the nest simulated in S2M enable the user to find mistakes without costing time and material. We have never quantified it, but I am sure that our material waste is less.”
The vast majority of parts cut at Dover are automatically nested, though Perkowski and his team retain the ability to edit automatically-generated nests if needed. Utilizing the software’s nesting capabilities has boosted overall efficiency and enabled the company to process more jobs at once without sacrificing quality. “We nest as much as possible, so 95 percent of our production is nesting,” Perkowski says.
To standardize production by consistently applying preferred construction parameters, Dover takes advantage of CABINET VISION User Created Standards, or UCSs. A UCS is a custom production standard established by a CABINET VISION user that can be saved and automatically applied when applicable. UCSs can be written by users or by CABINET VISION staff, and allow CABINET VISION users to adjust the functions of the software so that it conforms to their unique preferences.
“We use many UCSs, some to alter parts, others to apply hardware, and they are very useful. Some came from integration and others from the CABINET VISION customer support forum, as I have not yet ventured into USC creation myself.”
Perkowski notes that customer support for both ALPHACAM and CABINET VISION is reliable, especially with the establishment of an online customer portal. “My first search is normally on the e-support forum and, if my answer can’t be found there, I submit a query through the online portal,” he says. “ In a timely fashion, I am contacted by support and it is rare to not have the issue fixed in that session.”
About the Company
Name: Dover Cabinet Industries
Business: Custom architectural casework and millwork
- Ability to combine the process of designing and cutting cabinet parts
- Automatic nesting for greater efficiency and accuracy
- Reduction of material waste, as errors are caught during the programming process