How We Cut Assembly Times in Half with Lockdowel
The Journey to the Fastest Assembly
Our company has a long history of experimenting with different cabinet assembly methods. Originally, we tried a blind dado cabinet construction which, as a starter, was honestly a decent solution for how we assembled cabinets at the time. The hardest part was training someone to build blind dado cabinets quickly and consistently.
Our next move was more of a confirmat screw cabinet, definitely a strong cabinet and easy to assemble. The confirmat screw cabinet was easy to run through the machines, it was milled quickly because it didn't have any extra operations on it. Outside of Lockdowel that was our favorite construction method.
However, what both of those methods lacked was the opportunity to pre-laminate your finished ends. At the time we were doing some contract work for a national distributor and there were quite a lot of finished ends. That’s when we discovered Lockdowel, which was also a great fit for our flat pack ready-to-assemble cabinets.
Lockdowel- Our Key to Efficiency
After having several talks with Lockdowel and looking at their kits in order to find the right fastener for us, we chose the E-clip channel lock fastener, which is basically a slide and lock fastener; this means it doesn’t require any tools to assemble and can all be done on the CNC machine. I had a few main things that I looked for in cabinet manufacturing and Lockdowel fulfilled all of those things:
1. Easy to mill
2. Easy to train for assembly
4. Had to make a very strong cabinet.
Lockdowel checked all the boxes and we soon ordered a demo machine that did all the horizontal boring, measured the parts, and inserted the lockdowel. We have recently ordered a new machine that is a bit more robust than the prototype machine. But we still use lockdowel to this day and will continue to.
Honing the System
After the first couple of months, we got the system honed in, and we were finally comfortable enough to start using the system on a real job. We began a contract and started using lockdowel for our work in house. The first job or two we probably didn’t have any real time savings, but after we got all the kinks ironed out, we noticed very large increases in productivity, and reduced our time per cabinet significantly. Not to mention we were able to pre-laminate our finished ends!
After two or three jobs, we got everything ironed out we cut our time per cabinet down by 50%. That is: building the box, putting the doors and drawer fronts on, outfitting and adjusting, and it’s ready for the pallet. We cut that time in half, and we reduced it by at least one person in the line up because we no longer had to laminate, so that person was better utilized somewhere else to help sustain the growth we were experiencing at the time.
Reduce build times with Lockdowel
With Lockdowel, after you get accustomed to the new cabinet assembly method, there’s no doubt in my mind that you can reduce your build times by at least 50% if not more when you become really proficient at the assembly. Lockdowel may or may not be a fit for everyone, but for our company it certainly was.
More importantly, I believe in this system so much that we model our business around selling ready-to-assemble flat pack Lockdowel components that other people are assembling every day. If you would like to experience the system for yourself, just log-in, create an account, order a sample kit and you can witness first-hand all that Lockdowel has to offer!