“With Cabinet Vision, we have a good support network, which is one of the things we looked for in a company in moving away from our former software.”
American Millwork & Cabinetry, Inc.
Commercial millwork and cabinetry specialist uses CABINET VISION to produce high-end, custom cabinetryCABINET VISION user American Millwork & Cabinetry, Inc., or AMC, is a group of companies founded in 2002 that are devoted to the production and installation of high-quality commercial millwork and cabinetry.
“We have relationships with 85 contractors and deal with 15 general contractors at any given time,” says George Reitz, AMC’s president, CEO, and founder. “We are at record employment and record sales, which should top $12 million this year.”
All of the company’s manufacturing operations are housed in a 65,000 square-foot facility in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, where the talents of 80 employees are applied to the production of a range of both popular and custom profiles. The AMC group of companies also includes an installation business, a specialized paneling business dedicated to acoustic design, and a research-and-development branch.
“We harness all of the experience of all of the associates in the company,” Reitz says, noting that his staff represents a collective 150 years of trade experience. “What the end user and architect receive from us is semi-custom cabinetry, which we are able to make in a production setting.”
"One change without the software can take 15 minutes and, when you’re doing 30 to 40 cabinets, you can lose a day’s work."
Tom Hill, process engineer
AMC’s projects include a significant amount of work for educational institutions — which entails everything from elementary schools to colleges and universities — as well as medical facilities, veterinary clinics, offices spaces, assisted-living facilities, and even eateries.
“We also do a degree of historical work, replicating moldings and wainscot panels, and we just received our first casino job,” Reitz says. “Our projects range in scope, but we take on jobs both small and large because we feel that we’re in the service business; we just happen to make cabinets.”
AMC implemented the CABINET VISION design-to-manufacturing solution in 2017, after researching its CNC software options for about one year. The company had used a different solution for 13 years, but knew that a change was needed after realizing that its former system was unable to keep up with its evolving needs.
“With CABINET VISION, we have a good support network, which is one of the things we looked for in a company in moving away from our former software,” Reitz says. “As we have continued to grow, the software has grown with us.”
The automation tools provided by CABINET VISION have helped the company produce a high volume of custom work while maintaining efficiency and quality. “With CABINET VISION, we are fairly automated, and we actually are the first one in the U.S. to integrate an automatic panel retrieval system,” Reitz says.
Though the company also utilizes the ALPHACAM computer-aided-manufacturing (CAM) system, primarily for the millwork portion of its project load, AMC uses CABINET VISION extensively for cabinet production.
“Cabinetry is what we put through CABINET VISION the most, and one of the reasons that we went with CABINET VISION are the customizations that we can make on the fly,” says Process Engineer Tom Hill. “When you change the size of the cabinet, it changes everything about the cabinet. We can type in the number and we’re good; we don’t have to reprogram the whole thing. One change without the software can take 15 minutes and, when you’re doing 30 to 40 cabinets, you can lose a day’s work.”
Among automation tools used by the 11-member engineering team at AMC are CABINET VISION’s parametric capabilities. Applying parametric tools allows users to quickly and easily change the dimensions of projects while maintaining the desired scale of part features. The software’s parametric tool is especially helpful with jobs that are very similar or even identical in every aspect except for size.
“CABINET VISION allows us to parametrically change cabinet sizes relatively easily,” Hill says. “Every aspect that we are looking for, we have the ability to customize.”
To further automate its processes, AMC takes advantage of CABINET VISION User Created Standards, or UCSs, which are customizable company production standards that can be written within the system and automatically applied to specific manufacturing conditions. UCSs allow users to customize and standardize production to both reflect construction preferences and ensure quality. Some of the company’s UCSs were written by CABINET VISION staff, while others were produced by Hill.
“A UCS is applicable to many projects down the road. We like to fabricate all of our cabinetry the same way, but we also want to have that customization ability, and that’s where UCSs come in handy,” Hill says. “Every job is unique, but we try to figure out what we can use as a template to work from.”
Barcodes produced in CABINET VISION help with tracking parts as materials make their way from the shelf to CNC machinery, and beyond. “It allows us to pull the materials to cut and process labels to cut, and take the cut material to the point-and-points,” Hill says. “The saw that we use actually puts the labels on the parts, so the point-to-point machine scans the barcode on the labels and we just move on down the line.”
Due to the complexity and volume of production at AMC, reliable software support has been a must.
Operations Manager Ron Burke says that AMC’s commitment to CABINET VISION required that the software provider be able to understand and fulfill the company’s unique and evolving needs. Over a period of nearly two years, the number of employees using the software on a daily basis has grown from two to seven. AMC continues to invest in both employees and process improvement with ongoing training.
“CABINET VISION staff came in for training so that we understand the software at a base level. Since then, we have software techs come and work with us on issues that we struggle with,” Burke says. “CABINET VISION Sales reps will spend half a day or more with us to work with us. The support is tremendous and they just keep getting better; it’s been a good relationship.”
About the Company
Name: American Millwork & Cabinetry, Inc.
Business: Production and installation of high-quality commercial millwork and cabinetry
- Efficiency and quality in the automated production of a high volume of custom work
- Ability to quickly make last-minute adjustments
- Application of parametric tools enables the adjustment of project dimensions while maintaining the desired scale of part features