Originally appeared on Woodworking Network
Edmond, OK – When Paul Lucas decided to grow his cabinet business by increasing his output and investing in CNC equipment, he consulted his Würth Louis and Co. representative, Kyle Ward. Together they found the ideal CNC choices for his new 7,600 square ft. shop, and his cabinet business’s growing needs. Lucas owns and operates Preferred Millworks and Design in Edmond, Oklahoma.
The company is on schedule to create, construct and install the cabinetry for 170 homes by the end of 2020. Lucas says the two-year-old company has seen phenomenal growth in 2020, even in the depressed economy. Lucas provides the millwork, trim and cabinetry to six builders in Central Oklahoma. “With the way we have been growing, we are on schedule to outfit 300 homes in 2021.”
One of Lucas’s strategies for growth is to construct his own HDF cabinet doors, as opposed to buying them from a door supply company. Implementing the latest CNC technology is key in manufacturing those doors and meeting year-end aggressive timelines. “We know we need to automate to double our capacity by next year. Truly, we need to automate to fulfill our 2020 fourth quarter demands,” says Lucas.
The 5th Generation CNC Factory Python features a 12-tool carousel and intelligent vacuum hold-down. Würth Louis and Co. Machinery Sales Representative, Kyle Ward, went to work in assessing Preferred Millwork and Designs’ immediate and long-term machinery needs. “Because we advise our customers on hardware and hinges, we know a lot about their business needs and can clearly advise them on the bigger decisions, such as CNC machinery,” Ward says.
“When considering the machine’s availability, Paul’s needs and expectations, and Return-on-Investment, I had no problem in steering him to the 5th Generation CNC Factory Python,” Ward says.
Lucas shared that the CNC Factory Python was chosen over other CNC manufacturers because: 1) the base price was “very nice”at the mid $70,000 range; 2) it was extremely robust and scalable; and 3) the machine could be delivered in three weeks.
According to Würth Louis Machinery Representative Kyle Ward, the CNC Factory 5th Generation Python is more scalable than all other machines on the market. “Paul needed the large 5 x12 conveyor table, nine-position drill block, and an extra vacuum pump. We recognized the value in each of these, recommended them, and made sure they were delivered with the order. Paul is also going to be purchasing the CNC Factory auto loader and unloader very soon,” Ward says.
Lucas says the ability to get the machine in just three weeks was an important factor in his purchase. “The timetable was huge because our work is just exploding!” Lucas says. “When we started, we had four guys in the shop and me in the field. Now, we have ten guys in the shop, three in the field and about 30 contractors. We have a lot of homes to complete by the end of the year.”
The Würth Louis and Co. representatives are integral partners in Preferred Millworks and Design’s growth, and integral partners for CNC Factory’s product demand. “I really appreciated CNC Factory Owner, Chris Corrales, and his responsiveness to our timeline, tooling needs, delivery and training,” Ward says. “It was all a very smooth process.”
“The machine was here in three weeks and Mario, the CNC Factory representative, was here training my team,” Lucas says. “This was in the midst of the largest ice storm I’ve ever seen in Oklahoma!”
During training the power at the cabinet shop went out for about 30 seconds, but the Python never had to recalibrate. “It picked up right where we left off,” CNC Factory Sales Engineer and Trainer Mario Tellez says. “That’s a big advantage of having a 5th Generation CNC Technology— it never needs homing!”
For two days Tellez coached the Preferred Millworks Design employees in operating the machine and its software packages. “The shop has one designated CNC operator but Paul wanted at least two employees to be trained on it,” Tellez says. “They were both running it the first day of training.”
“With a large 20-inch touch screen, intelligent vacuum hold down system, and 12-tool carousel, the Python is super easy to learn,” Tellez says. “Paul’s 12-year-old son, Jackson, was creating wooden boards with the image of Yoda in the included VCarve Pro software the very first day.”
Tellez says that with the intelligent vacuum suction hold down the 5G Python delivers exact, precision cuts. “All the thinking about which zones to activate is automated, so much of the stress of operating a CNC is alleviated. The operator never touches a valve, and the machine does all the work.”
“Our CNC operator loves the new Python,” Lucas says. “It’s the easiest CNC he’s ever operated with a whole lot more capabilities,” Lucas says.