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PDF iconManufacturing the Perfect Vacation

Cabinet vision helps Caribe Inc furnish the ideal beach getaway

It’s probably a safe bet that vacationers on sand-and-sun getaways don’t spend much time pondering the origins of their resort furniture.

When it comes to furnishing the ideal holiday, the subject is best left to professionals like Joe Boyington of Caribe Inc — a business with the express purpose of making wooden resort furniture that withstands the demands of high traffic and rambunctious children.

“The idea is that, if kids are going to come along and jump off the arm of a couch or a chair, it’s not going to break,” says Boyington, who specializes in making furniture designed to please the eye while withstanding the test of time.

In addition to supplying furniture for the Caribe Resort of Orange Beach, Alabama, Caribe Inc builds furniture and custom cabinetry for other properties owned by the resort’s developer.  

Among those properties are the Cayman Grill and the Cobalt Restaurant, as well as the Caribe Interiors furniture store and new projects currently under development. One such new project is a gulf-front duplex in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

"Cabinet Vision is a time saver in pretty much every way. From start to finish, everything you do in it allows you to get to work faster.”

Joe Boyington, CNC Programr/Furniture Manufacturer

 Located on the southern tip of Alabama, the duplex is about one mile from the Florida state line, nestled on the beach in the balmy Gulf of Mexico.

With bookings already lined up for June, the three-story duplex — complete with kitchens, balconies, and sections of 10 bedrooms each — is meant to be a comfortable backdrop for a fantasy family vacation.

Boyington has a background in manufacturing and computer graphics, and joined Caribe Inc just as the company was preparing to implement vital changes that would increase its production.

Tasked with making the couches, cabinets, countertops, coffee tables, chairs and other pieces needed to outfit the property before the resort opens its doors this summer, the company needed to find a way to meet its needs more quickly and efficiently.  

To boost its production, Caribe Inc acquired an SCM Morbidelli CNC router for its high-powered cutting needs. To program the new machine tool, it chose the Cabinet Vision Screen-To-Machine™ solution, by Vero Software.

While Boyington uses Cabinet Vision for the lion’s share of the workload, he opts for the Alphacam system, also by Vero Software, for jobs that require odd shapes or reverse-side-nesting capabilities.

Cabinet Vision was created to meet the changing design and programming needs of woodworking professionals, while Alphacam is designed to tackle a range of metal, stone and woodworking jobs.  

“I picked the programming up completely from scratch,” says Boyington, who had never before used a CNC machine or CAM software.

Prior to the acquisition of the CNC router, basic planars, shapers, sanders and “a lot of hand tools” were the only tools on the job. “Caribe didn’t have anything like this before. Prior to implementing the new machine and software, it was all handmade furniture, made with manual machines.”

In the woodshop at Caribe Inc, it’s just Boyington and colleague Paul Mazur, who oversees the woodworking aspect of the endeavor. Boyington is Caribe’s graphic designer and programr, a self-taught woodworker who is becoming an experienced craftsman on the job, under Mazur’s tutelage.

The pair typically construct large pieces of furniture in hardwoods — such as coffee tables made of 3-inch cypress — and durable plywood. Prior to the arrival of the new machine tool and software, the pair were cutting up to 10 large L-shaped pieces of wood a day to produce the roughly 100 L-shaped pieces needed to build 12 couches.

“Because I was able to learn the software so quickly, we were ready to build by the time we had the machine,” says Boyington, who worked with Cabinet Vision for about two weeks before the machine tool was delivered.

“In a day’s time, I had all the parts ready. That was work that would have taken us a month.”

The support that Boyington and Mazur received from Cabinet Vision helped them to feel confident and maintain productivity during implementation of the software.  

“The integration was a really good experience,” Boyington says. “We felt there was the possibility that we were in over our heads. The experience that I had was relative: It’s like taking a high-school football player and throwing him into a pro league. You have to perform — one way or another.”

Boyington credits several Cabinet Vision features, including its nesting functions, for the shop’s increased productivity and ability to maximize the new machine tool’s capabilities.

“That’s one of the great things about Cabinet Vision: The strength of its nesting capability,” he says. “Without Cabinet Vision, I’d spend a lot of time laying these pieces out. You have to sit down and figure out how to nest all of the parts. In the end, you always need to use as little wood as possible.”

Boyington utilizes Cabinet Vision’s Screen-to-Machine™ (S2M) Center, which dramatically streamlines his manufacturing process by delivering automated tool selection and toolpath generation, toolpath simulation, and more.

“Using the Screen-to-Machine Center is even simpler than using the design part of the program,” Boyington says. “In the background of the program, Screen-to- Machine is keeping up with everything you’re doing. When you’re done, you go to the Screen-to-Machine Center and it’s already there — whether you cut it by hand or on a machine, and whether you’re cutting one, or 10, or 20 pieces.”

Knowing that the S2M Center is keeping track of his complicated cutting cycles gives Boyington greater confidence in machining while eliminating the massive investment of time required to manage large, diverse jobs without CAM software. It also helps him cut overall programming time and significantly reduce human error.

“The more of it you have to do, the more complex it becomes, and everything may be in 10 different sizes,” he says. “Cabinet Vision is a time saver in pretty much every way. From start to finish, everything you do in it allows you to get to work faster.”

The implementation of the software is also allowing Caribe Inc to try the untried. Woodworking techniques once deemed too time intensive to warrant justification are being integrated into the workflow.

Special operations, such as dovetailed drawers and special joints, are well within the shop’s everyday capabilities because of Cabinet Vision.

 “Dovetailed drawers are something we wouldn’t have even tried to do because it’s too time consuming,” Boyington says. “It’s a built-in feature. You can tell the program to do it with or without it — but if you have a machine that can do it, you may as well do it.”


About the Company

Name: Caribe Inc.

Business: Manufacturing of furniture for resorts, restaurants and other public spaces


Benefits Achieved

  • Nesting capabilities maximize both time and materials
  • Use of Cabinet Vision Screen-to-Machine™ Center helps keep track of complicated cutting cycles
  • Increased overall efficiency, with dramatic time savings

Comments

"Cabinet Vision is a time saver in pretty much every way. From start to finish, everything you do in it allows you to get to work faster.”

Joe Boyington, CNC Programr/Furniture Manufacturer


 

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