Keystone Automation worked with one of the largest manufacturers of high end wood cabinets to develop a more efficient method of producing end panels for their cabinets. The intent was to replace 8 people running up to 5 different machines with one machine operated by 1 person per shift.
The machine needed to be able to handle over 300 different patterns in sizes ranging from 27” x 48” down to 8” x 12”. They wanted automatic setup and the ability to easily switch between panel sizes and patterns. The machine required the ability to drill 2,3,5,7 or 9 holes for adjustable shelves based on panel size. It also had to cut up to four 1/2” or 5/8” wide dado cuts in an end panel for fixed shelves. Each panel had to have the back cut for attachment to the cabinet back wall. There were two options for that: a 1/4” by 1/4” dado cut or a 1/8” groove cut. Finally, base cabinets needed to have a toe kick cut out. The toe kick ranged in size from 3” by 3” up to 6” by 9” for handicap cabinets.
The desired speed of the “End Panel Making Machine” was one panel completed every 7 seconds. Keystone worked with their engineering and safety departments plus met numerous times with plant personnel to ensure that they were getting a machine that fit the plant and their operation. We completed the panel in late 2009 and it is performing reliably to the plants expectations. It is important to note that when Keystone took on this assignment, we had never done any projects in the woodworking industry. We attacked the project head on and got up to speed quickly. We brought common sense, creative ideas and our automated equipment background to the table.
To see the machine in operation please click this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTz3NUKeugE