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CNC bi-directional saws and OptiCut
January 28, 2014
8:49 am
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Ness

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Here’s a query from Rachik, one of our suppliers, that I wanted to share with everybody…

Hello Ness,

 

1. I am looking for a saw and its table for 4’8″, 4’10” or 5’12” boards of Melamine, Plywood and Wood panels. Which German machine or other has a CNC saw to cut the boards but in TWO DIRECTIONS, with the saw rotating on its pivot access. Who are the manufacturers and which work best with the Polyboard software?

2. Do you recommend us also purchasing OptiCut to optimize the parts or can Polyboard do that?

3. Do you expect any productivity gains using the CNC or with our static tables or do we need something else? Can it reduce the production time?

 

Regards, Rachik

Here’s my reply…

Hello Rachik,

There are quite few CNC bi-directional saws on the market and it’s difficult for me to advise you a particular brand. However, I would advise you to:

  • buy a new or recent saw as older models might have problems with our software.
  • buy a machine with good technical support
  • buy OptiCut to optimise Polyboard cutting lists

All modern bi-directional saws will work seamlessly with the OptiCut PP program but to be 100% sure send me the brand and model of the saw before you buy and I’ll check it out with our developers. This is more important if you are considering buying second hand.

Productivity gains differ between flat bed nested construction and optimised, cut and machine construction.

Flat bed construction is slightly faster because you don’t have to move material from one machine to the other (although the CNC machining can be longer and hard wearing on the cutters).

On the other hand joints and assembly details must be designed to machine all boards on one face, with no possibility to machine edges.

Edge banding also must be added after machining which can create some problems if your edge bander has a tendency of dipping into some assembly details like recesses and holes already cut on the edge.

Cut and machine construction requires 2 operations but it’s much easier to adapt to any type of cabinet or joinery construction.
The big advantage is that you can cut assembly details like dowels and tenon onto board edges. The other advantage is that you can edge band before machining if necessary.

With OptiCut you can also manage stock and off cuts and real materials costs easier than nesting. The other advantage of cut and machine is that you can machine solid wood parts as well as sheet material. This is a big advantage if you want to build stairs.

I would say that all in all, although flat bed construction may be a bit quicker you might find that the versatility of cut and machine has a neat advantage if you have to choose between one or the other.

To conclude flat bed and nesting is good for cabinet production, cut and machine is good but slower for cabinet and a must for joinery and stairs.

Of course if you can afford it and have enough work buy both…………

If as a supplier you’ll be setting up your offer to machine cabinets and stairs, to fully optimise you’ll be better off with cut and machine construction that will enable you to cope with all the work. If you do mainly cabinets and only offer flat bed cabinets with cam joints then flat bed nested construction will be faster.

For optimal cut and machine cabinet construction you’ll need a CNC saw with OptiCut and a CNC router with vacuum pods. Although it’s also possible to cut efficiently on non CNC the profitability depends on the number of units you’ll be making. If you are also building stairs you might also need OptiNest to nest stair parts.

For optimal flat bed nesting cabinet construction you’ll need a router with a vacuum bed and OptiNest.

As one of our cabinet and stair suppliers you should have lots of work coming in but the actual workload is very hard to predict for the moment. I suggest that you invest based on your known work load for the moment and use our community as an extra. If this extra create lots of work you be able to buy equipment as the work load builds up.

It’s always good keep in mind that machines and software are nothing without good work shop organisation. It’s better to have minimal machines, a well organised workshop and work flow that use them to their maximum capacity, than lots of high tech tools that are sitting in an badly organised workshop.

Thanks very much,

Ness

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