Let's say you have a standing order for 500 cabinet doors per month. Do you set out each day to complete 25 doors from rough lumber to finished product, or just mill out the amount of lumber for 500 doors, then when all this is done, start the assembling of doors? I am trying to work out a daily routine.
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor V:
There are a wide range of variables that will affect the answer - things such as shop size, layout, manpower, shipping and other timetables, material storage, etc. If you are talking about a specific number of doors to the same client each month, pick the number of doors you can safely work at one time given the amount of space and material carts, etc. and go from there. As to start to finish numbers per day, not necessarily. Depending on the above variables you could be best off doing each stage start to finish before moving on.
Here's some unsolicited advice. Your rolling carts should be 3' x 3', with a top and 1 shelf, so they can roll down your walkways, with large 5" or 6" wheels so they can roll over sawdust. This gives maximum combined storage and mobility. The assembler puts assembled doors on rolling conveyors, and they ride on conveyors until they are put in storage or on the truck or boxed up.
Contributor V, I like your suggestions on doing each stage start to finish. I think with this way there is more order. It would be good to do as contributor L says and go production line, unfortunately as mentioned, it's only three of us with not that much equipment, so production line is out for now.
Contributor W, thanks for the tip on the carts. This is something that I completely forgot about, but will definitely have a couple rigged up.
So I guess batches it is. I'll aim for 125 a week and see how it goes.
If there's a finish, then you can all pile in and start 3 more procedures for that, since they are all the same size. Also if you are doing this many, you should consider ordering the material for the rails and stiles precut if possible. Right now we have one guy that does around 2-300 doors a month or more depending on door style.
Doors are sanded finish. Thanks for the info on work order assignment. I will look into having the material for rails and stiles precut. The doors are just one standard size for now.
After that, I would batch for whatever amount of parts you can assemble in a day. More than that and you start tripping over parts. So 2 assembly days per week at 65 doors per day should work fine. With 3 guys, you should be able to keep things flowing pretty well with 2 guys making parts and the third doing assembly, sanding, edging, QA, and staging.
What are you planning for a finish grit? Can you do it in one pass per side? I think that the sooner you upgrade the sander, the better. The Performax does okay considering the cantilever flex, speed limits, wrap changes, and single drum finish, but even a bigger double drum will cut sanding time in half.
Most importantly, work safe!
I'm running assembled doors through the sander with 80 grit, then switch and finish at 120 grit. Hopefully in a year's time I can upgrade the sander to a double wide belt and complete all in one pass per side.