“CABINET VISION gives me powerful tools for both my customers and my guys, and it makes communicating all of the ideas a lot easier.”
Layout Etc., Inc.
Hawaiian company Layout Etc., Inc., uses CABINET VISION to produce high-end custom commercial and residential projects“If it’s made of wood, we make it” seems a tall order for any woodworking business, but Layout Etc., Inc., lives up to its motto and thrives on producing the kind of high-end, custom projects that have earned the shop a reputation for excellence.
Based in Waipahu, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu, the shop was opened in 1985 by owner Hanan Katz, who says that the challenging jobs for which his business is known appeal to his creative side.
“The kind of work that we do is not pounding boxes together all day long,” he says. “It requires more than just cutting wood and putting pieces together and, as long as I can utilize my brain, that’s is what I want to do. I like to be creative with the process and with the final project — and when you learn from your own experience, there is the chance that you will be original.”
Layout Etc. performs both commercial and residential work, but doesn’t specialize in high production. Instead, Katz and his 10-member team, who operate in an 8,000 square-foot facility, focus on specialty jobs that tend to be isolated from economic trends.
“Our shop is the one to work on the penthouses, lobbies and spas — all of the custom work, which is my niche,” Katz explains. “We will work on one or two-bedroom apartments in luxury condos, and those are very profitable. My reputation also helps, but it’s something I have worked very hard to achieve and work hard to maintain.”
"CABINET VISION is a very good program that helps a lot and saves a lot of time. Within two or three jobs, the cost of the software was covered, partly because of the amount of labor that I saved."
Hanan Katz, owner
In addition to custom cabinetry and millwork, Layout Etc. has produced a range of high-end furniture, including conference tables, smaller tables, chairs, and daybeds. The company performed work on a house, built by prestigious architectural firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, that was named one of the “10 Best Houses of 2016” by the American Institute of Architects.
“In the process, we worked directly with the contractor and the architects and produced highly customized cabinetry to achieve the quality and vision the designer had intended for the project,” Katz says.
To produce his variety of custom jobs, Katz has utilized the CABINET VISION design-to-manufacturing solution since 2006.
“In the beginning, I just needed something that would give me cutlists because at that time I was doing everything by hand,” he says. “CABINET VISION is a very good program that helps a lot and saves a lot of time. Within two or three jobs, the cost of the software was covered, partly because of the amount of labor that I saved.”
Users create jobs in CABINET VISION by entering the dimensions of the space in which the job will be built, followed by the dimensions and details of the job. The system’s user-friendly interface makes it easy to spot mistakes before G-code, which is generated based upon the project’s design, is sent to the shop floor with the click of a button.
Katz and his team have expanded their use of CABINET VISION beyond cutlists and today use the organizational tools offered by the solution to maximize efficiency and minimize mistakes as projects travel across the shop floor. Automatically generated cutlists, assembly sheets and process libraries are among the solution’s automated and customizable options.
“The software creates assembly sheets, which are basically one set of instructions per cabinet, including the type of edgebanding, the size of reveals, and everything else staff needs to know about the cabinet,” Katz says.
“If there is something special about the cabinet that they need to know, we type it out and highlight it. They have to follow that specific set of instructions, which minimizes mistakes and — if there are still any — they’ll get caught earlier in the process. Along the whole production process, we have implemented a list of checkpoints that also assist to avoid problems.”
Layout Etc. uses CABINET VISION’s automatic nesting engine, which arranges several parts of various sizes on single sheets of material, for both time savings and greater material yield. The ability to edit automatically-generated nests ensures that programming flexibility is retained by the user.
“You can manipulate the nesting once it has been created, move parts on the sheets, move them from sheet to sheet, flip them, or even move them to achieve grain matches,” Katz says.
Katz also uses CABINET VISION as a visual tool, which is especially helpful when customers are unable to visualize a project’s end result.
“If I work directly with the customer, I get to be the designer. Sometimes they love it right off the bat, and sometimes they want me to change things,” he says. “I generate very nice 3D drawings for my customers. Seeing a photo-realistic picture of the project works miracles for the customer because they can relate to a 3D world better than a 2D one.”
Likewise, the solution’s strength as a visualization tool is helpful in communicating potentially complex job details to team members. “CABINET VISION gives me powerful tools for both my customers and my guys, and it makes communicating all of the ideas a lot easier.”
About the Company
Name: Layout Etc., Inc.
Business: High-end custom commercial and residential projects
- Organizational tools maximize efficiency and minimize mistakes
- Ability to edit automatically-generated nests for programming flexibility
- Visual tools help to communicate design details to customers