This spring Midland took delivery of a new machine for its fabrication facility. It’s not just any machine—it’s cutting edge. And Midland is the first company in the United States to have this particular model.
The machine is a Felder Format 4 H22 from the Felder Group, Austria’s master equipment manufacturer, and the newest model in the company’s line of CNC “point-to-point” machining centers.
A machining center is exactly what it is—a one-stop, automated shop for doing all the machining required in cabinet making, including sawing, drilling, and shaping. Plus, since it’s computerized, the blueprints for a job drawn in AutoCAD are wirelessly delivered to the H22, which then “reads” the instructions and gets to work.
“The H22 speeds up jobs. It saws wood faster and more accurately. It drills holes faster and more accurately, and it produces compound curves in any configuration extremely quickly and accurately,” says Midland CEO and founder Rob Boynton.
Boynton had been considering this particular model, but it wasn’t yet available in the U.S., so he and his key machine operator, Jose Villalobos, traveled to Mexico to visit the Felder factory rep there and see the H22 in action. They were sold.
“It is the newest state-of-the-art machine in the industry,” says Boynton. “This machine gives us the ability to do very accurate machining at a high speed. It also does our curved and radius work, and once it is programmed and the blank wood stock is secured in the machine, the operator can walk away from the machine and let it do its work without supervision, many times for as long as an hour.”
The H22 is no shrinking violet. The 18-foot-long, 7-foot-tall multi-tasking, multi-axis machine can move its parts left, right, up, and down, and rotate them. The machining head has a number of tools that can drill different sized holes; it can pick up individual shaping cutter tools from its storage rack and it has a saw and router head that can turn in any direction.
While the H22 is almost like hiring an additional master journeyman cabinetmaker, no one person could work as tirelessly or with such precision and speed. “It doesn’t take jobs away,” says Boynton. “It augments what we do, and helps us produce an overall better product.
“It allows us to do work that previously was only a dream in the eyes of the architect or interior designer,” he adds. “It speeds up jobs, produces a better quality product, adds flexibility, and allows us to be more competitively priced.”
Midland’s fabrication shop is open to the public during business hours. Drop by and see the H22 in action.