BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas (KBTX) – For this edition of Made in the Brazos Valley, Kent Moore Cabinets shows how its famous cabinet door is crafted and constructed, a multi-step process that spans two facilities and the expertise of dozens of people, machines, and robots.
“The process starts with first selecting the lumber,” said John Trcalek, Kent Moore’s vice president of production. “We touch every board with our hands.”
Sometimes the robots and humans work in perfect harmony:
“At the Salvador Chop machine… The operator has an orange marker, and he marks out the defects. The saw sees that and starts cutting around all those defects.”
Yet other parts of the process are pure machine, like an automated board loader that looks more like an arcade attraction grabbing toys for hopeful kids.
“The program knows hey, I’ve got to go take this sheet, pick it up and take it to this machine at this time,” Trcalek said. The robot even weighs the sheets of wood so as to identify them.
Finally, the frame piece and inside panel are ready for wood glue and elbow grease–the assembling process. After that, the constructed door will run through several sanding processes both by hand and machine.
“After the final sanding process, Liz [the final inspector] will make sure that it’s ready to go, that it’s the perfect door,” said Trcalek. Because only perfect doors are shipped to Kent Moore’s other facility for ‘finishing.’
One there, “everything is separated by color, and we send it through the process to be either stained or painted,” said David Powell, a Kent Moore quality assurance team leader.
Robotic machines detect which doors are which to stain and coat them appropriately, leaving a shine and durability Kent Moore is known for.
The finished door is outfitted with its hardware, then assembled with the rest of the cabinet.
The last step is a final inspection by a trained person.
“When that happens and everyone does what they’re supposed to do, that inspection is just to make sure, one more time that it’s ready,” said Powell. “It’s a culmination of everything coming together.”
Written by Kathleen Witte