Components – Computer Numeric Control for Precision
- Computer Numeric Control for the best precision
- Machine shop tolerance to plus or minus five thousandths of an inch
- Monolithic louver tenons provide greater strength
Brooke: Brant, if this is where you make your shutter components, why do we only see rails and louvers?
Brant: That’s pretty observant Brooke. On our panels with the horizontal louvers, louvers and rails are the only components we build to stock. That’s all we do in this area.
Brooke: What about styles and tilt rods?
Brant: On those we just stock the molded profiles, the styles and tilt rods get processed in our pre-assembly.
Brooke: So here is where the louvers and rails are made. What are the processes?
George: We use CNC machining centers to form the primary tenons.
Brooke: For those that don’t know, explain CNC.
George: CNC stands for Computer Numeric Control. Most people use conventional double end tenoners. We like CNC for their precision. We can hold a machine shop tolerance on our louver and rail shoulder width.
Brooke: How close is that?
George: Plus or minus five thousandths.
Brooke: That’s close!
George: CNC’s are also good for fast setup and short runs. Our hold-down fixturing has an infrared system to tell the computer what size to run. So the setup’s automatic.
We just set the hold-down on a size, load the louver and rail moldings, and the rest the machine does.
Brooke: I see these louver tenons come out square. You must have a secondary process?
George: Yes we do. We round the tenons in our louver processor where we also add a staple to connect to the tilt rod.
Brooke: I know most shutters have nylon pins on the louvers instead of tenons — why not use pins?
Brant: The nylon pins are ok, but our louver tenons are far stronger because our monolithic tenon is formed right out of the louver profile. A shutter does get some abuse, even in residential use, but our tenons will stand up to quite a bit of abuse.
Brooke: So with tenons you have fewer broken louvers. What about louvers coming loose from the tilt bar? Isn’t that a bigger problem?
Brant: You’re absolutely correct, Brooke. The problem is that the staples on the back of the tilt rod are the ones that come out.
We solved that problem by using a linkage rod instead. But we won’t get too far ahead of ourselves and instead, visit our pre-assembly and assembly section where I’ll show you our tilt rod linkage.