involves 99 employees in a two-story,
100,000-square-foot plant producing
45 to 50 caskets a day.
One their first major upgrades, the
conventional rough mill operation, was
converted to a computerized sawing
and ripping line using a Stiles ripsaw
with Cameron automation. The company crosscuts first for more efficient
use of material in casket production.
Nearly all the machines used in regular production have custom features
specifically for manufacturing caskets.
For example a Doucet CSS Casket Side
Saw and Router has features to speed
production using barcode labels and
automatically changing settings. “On
the fly, we can make different size and
styles of caskets,” said Tobia.
The machine cuts sides or ends of
a casket, including top and bottom
mouldings in one operation. Lasers
help the operator position parts for
cutting. Cutting sides and routing for
lock recesses is done automatically. A
bank of automatic nail guns fasten the
parts together. “Side and end produc-
tion used to take 28 minutes per cas-
ket,” Tobia said. “Now it is fewer than
6. 5 minutes for these parts.”
Three CNC routers from C.R. On-
srud also have special features for cas-
kets. Cradles on the beds hold unusual
shaped casket parts for machining. To-
bia says CNC machining will eventually
supplant some processes that are still
done with decades-old special-purpose
casket manufacturing equipment.
High quality requirements
Casket customers demand high quality,
so New England Casket takes steps past
what many wood manufacturers would
do. For example, all mouldings are
sanded to finish before assembly. “We
go above and beyond on sanding,” said
Tobia. “We don’t use knife cut mould-
ing.” That means mouldings com-
ing out of the Weinig moulder feed
straight into a custom-built computer-
controlled stroke sander before they
are ready to be used on caskets.
New England Casket Co. is known for its high-quality wooden caskets. This one, made of
mahogany, is finished with high-gloss nitrocellulose lacquer.
Multiple CNC routers are used in the 100,000-square-foot plant, including this small Legacy
router that cuts the flutes on corner columns for caskets.