A manufacturer of hand-made bespoke furniture says the right software is vital to maintain their reputation. Oakleigh Cabinets have been working with Cabinet Vision for about 15 years and always embrace the updates in each new release.
“We don’t offer a standard product range,” says owner Maurice Leigh. “Customers come to us because they want something different; a one-off.” The family-run business operates with 14 employees out of 9,800 square foot premises just South of Manchester, supplying bespoke kitchens, utility rooms, bathrooms, bedrooms, studies and family rooms. Customers include kitchen and bathroom showrooms, interior designers, housebuilders such as Bellway Homes, and the public.
Oakleigh now use Cabinet Vision’s flagship, Solid Ultimate, taking full advantage of its solid modelling technology – along with Screen-To-Machine, the most powerful automated CAM solution in the woodworking industry, which sends all the designs as machine-ready G-Code straight to their Anderson Stratos Pro laser marking machine. And Label-IT helps them keep track of which panels belong to which job when they come off the machine.
Maurice Leigh, who runs the company with wife Linda and daughter Gemma, says they were quick to take two enhancements in particular, on board; one of which, the updated 3D customer rendering feature using global illumination, was introduced in the latest release, V8. “This is very beneficial for us as it gets everything across to the customer in a much clearer way, showing them exactly how their room will look in situ.”
“It gives me more control when I set out a job. We use six or seven different styles of drawer box, and I can simply put those into Cabinet Vision, edit them and run them through the system, instead of having to draw everything manually and then tell the shopfloor how to shape the front or sides.”
As their work regularly incorporates bespoke curved and shaped cabinets, it can take around eight hours to design a full kitchen.
“If we haven’t drawn the part in Cabinet Vision initially, we use the order entry system to input the information from the customer’s drawing, and manipulate the cabinets or joints if necessary, before nesting, and running the job through Screen-To-Machine. The CNC operator loads the machine and the panels are cut. We have a take-off table and printer, so as the sheets come off we print labels using Label-IT, which include all the edge-banding information and correct descriptions.”
Jobs involving mainly square panels are nested using block nesting. For panels needing angular shapes or curves they use Cabinet Vision’s True Shape nesting capability to get maximum usage from their material, which includes melamine faced chip board, veneered and standard MDF and plywood, along with hardwood boards to make oak, maple and walnut drawer boxes.
Job sheets are produced with each order, and a booklet goes to the workshop so the craftsmen can see exactly what they’re making.