VRD Detailed Joinery – I
VRD Detailed Joinery – I
To Nest or not to Nest
A combination flat bed router and pod CNC machine
One of the most debated subjects in our industry involves Nested versus Single Part processing. Here is one manufacturer that thinks he has it worked out.
VRD Detailed Joinery began with humble beginnings over 12 years ago in a garage behind a house in Fairfield, Sydney. VRD started out making hotel furniture but after 3 years looked like it really wasn’t going anywhere. Roy Borello tells us how he and his brother Dominic have transformed the business into a specialist custom joinery operation, using state-of-the-art CNC machinery and software.
After deciding there was no real future in pub furniture, Roy made contact with a number of architects to attract more profitable work. They met with six architectural companies and soon got their first job manufacturing a curved bar from solid laminated Jarrah for the Picadilly Hotel at Kings Cross. This was soon followed by curved counters in Corian at the Pier Restaurant in Rose Bay. Roy handled the manufacturing and Dominic took care of the installations.
It wasn’t long before they had as much work as they could handle. However, this work was done the hard way. In the beginning the shapes were mapped out on a concrete floor and everything was made by hand. There was lots of work on the spindle moulder, overhead router, panel saw and hand routers.
After a while Roy purchased a computer and started designing in a CAD program, sending cutting lists to the shop and drawings to the floor, where they were checked and corrected before cutting could start. The whole process seemed to be slow and very time consuming, which was made worse with the shortage of qualified tradesmen and unreliable staff not turning up for work.
Roy knew there had to be a better way, but was aware of industry stories about bad experiences with machinery and questionable software products. Roy explained,”I knew what had to be done and I spent over two months investigating new machinery and software. In the end I was still confused about machinery, but very worried about the capabilities of the endless software I had seen. I spoke to so many people who had bought software, tried it but couldn’t make it work and later had to spend thousands more to get it right. Not only that, how would I choose between Nested and Single part processing.
It was about this time that Brian Swan of Biesse dropped in. “Brian brought me up to date with new machines on the market and what they could do”, said Roy “He then introduced me to Peter Page of QuickCAM Systems Software and within days we had the beginnings of a plan coming together.”
“The decision to buy the “Biesse nesting 24 XL Convertible Flat Table” with the twin bed, nested on one bed and single part on the other, was an easy one. This meant I had all the benefits of nested production but when I needed the vital single part features such as horizontal drilling I could do that too.
The software was always the more complicated decision. I needed a system that would provide real automation for this machine to get the best performance. I needed the best of nesting and the best for single part production. But most of all I needed to draw, in a CAD format, the products I required and have them sent to the machine easily and 100% right every time. QuickCAM Systems Pty Ltd, were the only company that proved to me that this was not only possible, but built in to their standard features.”
“QuickCAM Systems recommended AutoCAD as a drawing package. They don’t sell AutoCAD but link to it so that whole assemblies of drawings can be saved to QuickCAM, optimised and sent to the machine at the push of a button. I had never used AutoCAD before, but from now on I will never use anything else. The best thing about QuickCAM Systems is the technical support. Every time I had a problem they were there to help, fast.”
“Our complicated kitchens used to take two guys, six weeks to complete, one week to cut, four weeks to assemble and one week to install. Now we take 2 days to draw and just over two weeks to finish, including installation. Our quality is better because there is no human error, all panels are square, everything lines up, drawer runners are dead straight and everything is perfect.”
Roy and Dominic produce the high end complete homes now and are winning many very spectacular projects based on creative design, product quality and great service. As Roy points out, “With our new Biesse nesting set up there is nothing we cannot do.”