Traditional Craftsmen in the Digital Age
Tasks once done manually can now be accomplished with the push of a button or a mouse click, allowing sophisticated software applications and CNC machines to work hand-in-hand with traditional craftsmanship and artistry. Complex assemblies come together like a surgical jigsaw puzzle allowing for our craftsman to create flawless architectural components for the commercial construction industry. Panel optimization and accuracy help create a low waste ratio. Our milling enjoys the benefits of v-groove joining, CNC machining and large format custom lamination. With the aid of our design technologies, leveraged by our cutting edge machinery, modern architectural projects reveal themselves.
Panels are a key component in casework. Sometimes these panels are a commodity and have to be ordered in specifically for a project, but for most projects at Milltech, our press line give us the capacity to make our own panels. By pressing our own laminates and veneers, we can offer Just in Time manufacturing without the expense of holding excess project specific inventory. Custom materials that normally have to be ordered in at a price premium can now be laid-up quickly and professionally.
By controlling our own production of laminate and veneer panels, we can offer consistency and superior product stability. Except in rare circumstances where post-laminating is necessary, Milltech always uses heat activated PVA glue to provide maximum adhesion with no movement between the laminate and substrate.
All veneers are hand-selected and sequenced in-house, guaranteeing the best possible results while also removing the vulnerability and inconsistency of dealing with outside sources. Custom laying veneer improves yield and enhances aesthetics. Customers can select the finest grains for highly visible public spaces, and use the remaining pieces in lower traffic zones.
CNC Cutting
When first sizing components, two factors are front and center: accuracy and efficiency. Since material sizing inconsistencies can quickly compound each other when brought together in a product, it's critical for all materials to be sized consistently and accurately. It’s also important to minimize waste and maximize material. To find the best balance between these two, it is essential to have the capacity to program patterns and cut the panels with near perfect accuracy.
Before a single panel is cut, the engineering department runs a project parts list through the panel optimization software. This program plots the optimal pattern for each panel based on a number of factors including: minimizing waste, the cost of the material, the cost of the labor and the time on the saws. The pattern is fed to the Beam Saw.
Our saws are capable of sizing high volumes of material to exacting tolerances with the finest of chip free cuts. Special material handling systems at the beam saw allow a single operator to easily handle as many as six 3/4" thick sheets at one time.
At the time each panel is being cut, a label printer that is synched in with the controller generates labels for every component produced. These labels identify the piece and contain a barcode that direct all CNC machines to extract programming from the database for each further step in the process.
CNC Machining
At the CNC Machining area, the barcode on each component is read and the machining requirements and settings are downloaded from the database. It is at this point that most of the panel modification takes place – grooving, dadoing, rabbiting, drilling, shaping. Not only are these complex procedures easily and accurately managed, the process can be replicated endlessly, and flawlessly. By storing all projects in the CNC history file, it is also possible to rerun the exact sequence at any time in the future.
CNC Edging
Despite the advances in technology, edging remains somewhat of an art. The balance between what a machine can do, and how much needs to be finished by hand affects the time it takes to process manufactured goods. The edging system in use at Milltech still requires the skilled eye and hand of a craftsman to make initial settings. Servo motors control all of the implements giving the operator the ability to make incredibly fine adjustments to the settings. The greatest advantage offered by the system is its ability to store every setting in perfect detail. Once the operator has made all the necessary settings and adjustments, they are entered into the CNC database. A single code entry can recreate the painstaking adjustments made by the operator, allowing settings to be changed in seconds. The end result is a product with consistent flawless edges that require no hand finishing.
Depending on the requirement of the project, Milltech has the capacity to manufacture panels either Surface before Edge, or Edge before Surface. There are obvious cost and aesthetic arguments for either. Our equipment allows us to manufacture in either mode.
The business of woodwork has changed little over time. The same can usually be said for the equipment used, but from time to time advancements and alternatives can drastically affect the quality and efficiency of the industry. The V-Groover is one such advancement.
This machine is used to cut a precise “V” on one side of a panel. The notch is cut to the exact depth of the material with such exacting precision, that a thin strip of adhesive tape on the opposite of the groove is untouched. By gluing the pieces and folding them together, using the tape as a hinge, a perfect joint is created. The “V” can be cut at different angles depending on the type of corner required.
This joint is extremely fine, and incredibly strong. What’s more it is always accurate and very efficiently produced. Beyond the durability of the joint, the precision of the cut creates edges that - in the case of P-lam surfaced panels – have no visible laminate lines, or – in the case of patterns or veneers – have continuous grain across the edge.
CNC Case Clamping
Manufacturing is about speed and consistency. Being able to assemble multiple pieces on an assembly line, and knowing that the job is being handled to exacting standards is key to Milltech’s ability to complete large and small orders in a timely and consistent fashion.
Rather than manually applying clamps on assembled pieces – a process that can lead to product being less than consistently joined and less that square – Milltech uses a CNC case clamp assembly system that applies even consistent pressure while holding a piece perfectly square.
This conveyer fed system ties into the assembly area so that a continuous process of case assembly, case clamping, and completion can take place in an orderly and controlled environment.
The value of a finished piece is as much about the look as it is about functionality. As highly technical and automated as the manufacturing process may be, finishing is an art. Our experienced finishers understand the technical and aesthetic issues that come to play between the finishing agents they use and the surfaces they treat, and use that understanding to create rich flawless finishes on all Milltech’s finished products.
All of the finishing work is conducted in an area of the plant separate from the production line. The room is pressure controlled and can be switched from neutral to positive pressure to prevent any foreign matter entering the room while finishes are being applied.

Milltech Millwork
12410 - 142 St. NW
Edmonton, AB
T5L 4K2
Tel. 780.455.6655
Fax 780.488.6655
Toll Free 800.755.3092
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