eCabinet Productivity

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Kerry Fullington
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eCabinet Productivity

Postby Kerry Fullington » Sat, Mar 12 2016, 11:41AM

I wanted to start a thread discussing different ways to increase productivity using eCabinet Systems Software. I really don't want this to turn into a "Wish List" or complaint thread. I hope it is viewed as a brainstorming session to make using eCabinets software more productive by sharing "Tips and Tricks" that we have all developed through the years.

Recent improvements to eCabinets like the use of formulas and especially the ability to lock openings have already helped a lot but I am still getting bogged down with creating paperwork. I need a better way to get line drawings (floor plans and elevations) as well as shop (assembly sheets) drawings created.
Until recently we built only frameless cabinets. We have taken on some face frame jobs and creating the assembly sheets for each face frame is so say the least tedious.
My solution when I had my one man shop was to have a laptop on a stand in the assembly area and I simply pulled up the job, took each cabinet into the cab editor/face frame editor and mouse over parts and clicked on openings to get the information I needed to build. This worked great for me but we don't presently have anyone trained to do this. How do all of you handle this.

I would also like to find ideas on better ways to extract usable cut lists from the software. I now save the eCabinets cut list for a room then use a macro to clean out all the stuff I don't need and then I have to copy and paste the cleaned up information into another spreadsheet that creates our cut lists. This works OK but I want to eliminate the cut and paste. I think Scott Marshburn has addressed this in his video series but I haven't had time to explore all of them. Has anyone tried his techniques? I would also like an automatic way to group doors or drawer boxes of the same size in the cut lists so if I have 6 doors 16 X 20 it doesn't list each of the six on a separate line.

In this same vein I would like to extract specific information about materials and parts from eCabinets to use in a separate spread sheet for job labor costing. eCabinets has always done a good job of costing materials and hardware but the labor calculations for me look like guesswork and are far too tedious to change. How are each of you calculating your labor on jobs?

I would be grateful for input on these issues and would like to hear what everyone else is looking to improve with the goal of getting more jobs through the office faster.

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Re: eCabinet Productivity

Postby Leo Graywacz » Sat, Mar 12 2016, 4:05PM

I process face frames. Put the cabinet in the line drawing editor and use the top view. Put it into parts mode and draw a square around everything but the face frame, click hide.

Hit the cabinet button and surround the cabinet and then hit reset view and the cabinet will flip front view. Go into parts mode again and then choose the doors and drawer fronts and hit hide.

Then you can dimension out the frame. Usually a few minutes per cab.
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Re: eCabinet Productivity

Postby Scott Marshburn » Sat, Mar 12 2016, 4:30PM

I do basically the same thing as Leo described. But you can use tables to get all of the part sizes for the face frame without having to dimension each part.
Here is a video on how this can be done
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https://www.youtube.com/user/ecabinetstips

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Re: eCabinet Productivity

Postby Kerry Fullington » Sun, Mar 13 2016, 11:39AM

Leo,

That is the way I have been doing it. I do the same for elevations, I remove all the parts that get in the way then pick nodes.
I timed dimensioning a face frame cabinet with one mid stile and two mid rails. If picking the nodes goes well it takes 2 minutes 15 seconds to take the cabinet to the Line Drawing Editor perform all the tasks, print it to pdf and return it to the editor. On an average job that will mean at least an hour doing this. I will also have probably 2 hours creating elevation and floor plan drawings. Add another hour to create cut lists for doors drawer fronts and drawer boxes and about thirty minutes calculating how much crown, buildup and light rail. I can add another thirty minutes to write the .twd and print the sheets and labels so the job is ready to produce. That is five hours to get a finished drawing into production. Of course a lot of this was guessing at times. I will time track the next job to get some actual numbers. I am still thinking of training the assembly people in eCabinets and passing the face frame portion of this on to them. I guess it comes down to which of us has excess capacity. I will still need to do the elevations and floor plan for the installers unless I train them in eCabinets and send them out with a laptop loaded with the job. (which is how I did it when I did my own installations) The only way I can see improving on those times is to change how I do the line drawings. I can forget about changing fonts for notes and headers as well as not being so picky about lining up measurement arrows. As long as it is readable it doesn't matter how neat it is.

Scott,

Thanks for the video but I don't think that saves me any time. I can probably dimension nodes as fast as I can create the table and copy and past to it.

What I need is something as simple as selecting "Print Assembly Sheets" and pressing the print button.

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Re: eCabinet Productivity

Postby Scott Marshburn » Sun, Mar 13 2016, 5:03PM

Kerry,
The process of formatting the BoardStockListing worksheet as per required for the export to cabinets can be automated Via VBA. If you are running your macros from your personal workbook. You can record a macro in excel as per my example in the video posted. Just stop recording at the point where you would choose the cabinet number to filter.
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Re: eCabinet Productivity

Postby Ralph Balanik » Sun, Mar 13 2016, 6:45PM

Something as simple as "Print assembly sheets" followed by hit the print button sounds a bit like a " wish list" item. I am considering hiring someone (Scott if he has time and I can afford his rate :D ) to do some work with excel to create a simple macro which when I export my cutlist to excel I will be able to generate a list of doors (With a print button) that I can forward to a supplier for production. I can do it myself given enough time but I need to spend that time on other things as do you by the sound of it. I need to do my homework so that I can explain clearly what I need. My current needs are simple but there are some of you who might have need for more in depth features such as interfacing with you billing systems. Certain aspects of working with Ecabinets I have to do myself but not all so I am considering outsourcing some of the work. I would like a " print button" for populating dimensions into a line drawing and I think that perhaps a community wish list of common things is something that should be started somewhere for a next beta version. I am guessing there is a growing list somewhere but I don't have a link. :D

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Re: eCabinet Productivity

Postby Dean Nickel » Sun, Mar 13 2016, 7:16PM

HI Kerry,
I would highly recommend that you get to know Scott Marshburn. He has helped me out tremendously with some pretty complicated processes, spanning across several different programs, and made the solutions to those problems quite simple. Not only is he an e-cab "go-to" guy. But he is extraordinarily talented with excel as well. If he doesn't already have the answer, it wont be long before he finds it for you. If I understood your post, he literally helped me out with a very similar problem last week. He post here frequently, and also has a GREAT website.

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Re: eCabinet Productivity

Postby Kerry Fullington » Sun, Mar 13 2016, 7:19PM

Ralph,
It probably is a wish list item but right now my wish is aimed more at the things Scott is doing. I think the things he is discussing in his videos will get me there but finding the time (and in my case finding the desire) to do it myself is hard to come by.

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Re: eCabinet Productivity

Postby Kerry Fullington » Mon, Mar 14 2016, 6:44AM

Hey Scott,

Won't I still need to open each individual cabinet in the Line Drawing editor and hide parts to get the diagram?

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Re: eCabinet Productivity

Postby Scott Marshburn » Mon, Mar 14 2016, 5:12PM

Kerry Fullington wrote:Hey Scott,

Won't I still need to open each individual cabinet in the Line Drawing editor and hide parts to get the diagram?

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Re: eCabinet Productivity

Postby Donald Thomson » Mon, Mar 14 2016, 7:52PM

Kerry,

What you describe for getting dimensions for assembly cabinets seems to be a place where some improvements could be done. I'm with you that complex cabinets that have multiple faceframe parts, partitions, fixed shelves, etc. need to be taken to LDE and all the dimensions added then printed.

I know it's a wishlist item, but it would be nice to stay in the cabinet editor, put dimensions on the cabinet and print. Like you, I spend a LOT of time doing this when it's time to assemble the cabinets. Having this ability in CE would significantly improve productivity.
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Re: eCabinet Productivity

Postby Scott Marshburn » Sun, Mar 20 2016, 4:21PM

Ok. I did a short time test on dimensioning the face frames in LDE. I used 7 base cabinets. Six were 2 op 1 drawer and 1 was 3 op 3 drawers. All of the cabinets where already on their own page. With no parts hidden.

First test using the conventional method.
Select cabinet drag it on the page
Click on Part highlight all parts
Deselect the face frame parts right click and hide
Dimension all parts and necessary openings
10.82 min.

Second test using the user form that I made in the video thisvideo. (By the way I did get it to stay on top in eCabinets)
First I created the tables for each cabinet
Hide parts using the same processes as above.
I only dimensioned the necessary openings.
9.85 min

I did make a few bobbles on both test so it was pretty fair

So it seems to me that the most time consuming part was actually hiding the parts.
I will continue to do some testing. Timing the individual steps and see what kind of results I get.
Yes! Oh Yes! I Think We Are Going to make It!
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Re: eCabinet Productivity

Postby Scott Marshburn » Sun, Mar 20 2016, 4:24PM

Ok. I did a short time test on dimensioning the face frames in LDE. I used 7 base cabinets. Six were 2 op 1 drawer and 1 was 3 op 3 drawers. All of the cabinets where already on their own page. With no parts hidden.

First test using the conventional method.
Select cabinet drag it on the page
Click on Part highlight all parts
Deselect the face frame parts right click and hide
Dimension all parts and necessary openings
10.82 min.

Second test using the user form that I made in this video thisvideo. (By the way I did get it to stay on top in eCabinets)
First I created the tables for each cabinet
Hide parts using the same processes as above.
I only dimensioned the necessary openings.
9.85 min

I did make a few bobbles on both test so it was pretty fair

It seems to be that the most time consuming part was actually hiding the parts.
I will continue to do some testing. Timing the individual steps and see what kind of results I get.
Yes! Oh Yes! I Think We Are Going to make It!
https://www.youtube.com/user/ecabinetstips

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Re: eCabinet Productivity

Postby Ralph Balanik » Mon, Mar 21 2016, 12:43PM

I read you the first time! :D

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Re: eCabinet Productivity

Postby Scott Marshburn » Mon, Mar 21 2016, 1:02PM

Yea, I don't know how that happened
Yes! Oh Yes! I Think We Are Going to make It!
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