specialized contract manufacturer
of employees by offering a good salary.
“We’ve done a lot of training, and
people that are more flexible and capable
in different areas have the most growth
opportunities,” Friebel says.
Optimizing the operation
Cooper was introduced to Eurosoft
through a program for saw optimization,
and it is also used with the TigerStop
system to automate strip cutting.
“When we got into Microvellum we
called on Eurosoft to help us to devise
something that would allow us to take the
information that Microvellum generates
(code, reports and parts lists) and send it
to the saw of our choice,” Friebel says.
“Eurosoft partnered with Dakota
Automation, and they did an audit of
our plant, going over all the fine details.
They came back with recommendations,
which we’re analyzing.”
From the audit, one recommendation
was an inventory retrieval system. Another
suggestion was improving storage of
laminates. Another program, Smart Clients,
is designed to correct the lag between
the time material is stocked and when the
office knows it’s out there and available, al-
lowing faster throughput through the plant.
“We know as a rule that every time
you touch a part, you’re incorporating
cost,” Friebel says. “Sometimes it’s more
costly to eliminate handling and storage.
Sometimes it warrants moving work from
point A to point B because the equipment is so efficient.”
Cooper has a lineup of heavy-duty Heian routers, including a 5 x 16 machining center
with two heads that are fixed. Plenum tables, installed over the original pods, hold
parts in place.
machine while it is cutting at the front. It
keeps everything in motion.”
“It increased our efficiency in labeling,
because the old way, you had to pull the
parts out, pull the label off the machine
and stick it on the part,” Murray says.
“Now, the machine is actually sticking the
labels on the panel before it’s cut.”
Also, Friebel says the saw blade has
a shorter distance to travel, and over the
course of a shift that can result in a large
time savings. Two different length cutoffs
can be made at the same time.
“The Duplus feature enables us, after
doing rips, to have two strips cut off at
18 and 20 inches simultaneously. That
really helps throughput, especially if
Panel saw flexibility
Programs on the server can go to any
machine. A Schelling fh4 panel saw was
added in January and it incorporates label
printing and a turntable that allows the entire book to be turned, using Eurosoft Ardis.
“The biggest advantage is with
casegoods and nest cutting when we’re
cutting one or two parts, or one sheet
at a time,” says Friebel. “It enables label
printing to go on at the back of the
Many companies keep a few
spoilboards around, but Cooper
Enterprises keeps spoilboards at
least 18 months, and has a large
selection on hand.
“If the same job comes in,
we retrieve the spoilboard from
storage,” Edward Friebel says..
“Our programs are all cataloged,
we have all the information,
the tooling that has to be used.
It identifies the spoilboard, all
pertinent information for the
setup. The program identifies
the pin locations we need to
locate spoilboards, depending
on the machine. We’ll have
multiple programs, one for
5 x 16, another for 5 x 10.
We can use spoilboards on
multiple machines. They
locate the spoilboard, tools
are set, locate the program,
do a setup check. Once it’s
signed off by the operator
and quality control, they
just have to continue to do
those quality checks while
we’re machining those parts.”
Spoilboards are organized like library
books that are ready to be checked out.