Industry 4.0 is coming to your cutting room. Are you prepared for it to supercharge your operation?
The move to industry 4.0 practices is affecting manufacturing companies across the board. It involves more than simply digitizing manual processes by moving paper-based files to a digital format, although that is certainly part of it. It is a transformational tool that uses the data from these digital processes to automate production, driving new efficiencies into manufacturing operations. It also uses the data to make the entire production process more visible, helping manufacturers derive new insights about plant operations and, beyond that, their entire supply chain.
Furniture manufacturing is about to be swept up by industry 4.0. Operational leaders in the furniture industry who embrace it can gain a valuable competitive advantage, delivering products more quickly, with more customization options, and with more efficient use of resources. The question facing those operational leaders now is: How can they make the transition? The journey to next-generation manufacturing starts with an industry 4.0 cutting room. However, a successful digital cutting room project involves far more than simply plugging in a new machine. It is a nuanced project, affecting every department in the company and every stage of production. It is also varied; each company’s project will be different, based on unique conditions including their personnel makeup, organizational structure, financial objectives and skill level.
Modernizing the cutting room is also a product of a company’s existing manufacturing processes and equipment. Each company comes to this modernization project from a different start point. For example, a cutting room implementation can be a replacement for an old CNC (computer numerical control) technology with its own workflows, or it can be a complete digital transformation, such as a CNC installation in a manual cutting environment. Each of these parameters will affect a company’s approach.
Digitalization of processes and ERP system
Digital cutting workflows generate a lot of data that can be used in many parts of the company. They also consume data from other digitalized processes. Manufacturers can optimize these workflows by carefully considering the flow and structure of information. They should document these information flows to make sure that everyone adheres to the new process, enabling it to flow as designed and allowing them to reach the desired objectives. Companies migrating from manual cutting rooms should plan for the transition from handwritten documents or Microsoft Excel and Word files to a more automated system that requires minimal manual input. While human operators can draw from their own knowledge and experience to interpret information and solve problems intuitively, computerized systems require all processes to be spelled out more explicitly. This is why it is important to draw on operators’ knowledge from the beginning when designing digital workflows. An industry 4.0 cutting room magnifies your company’s manufacturing capabilities. The more expertise you encode into it from the beginning, the more powerful it will become.
There may also be opportunities to integrate this digital information further still with tools such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems for maximum efficiency. The IT department will be a key ally in this process. Companies that are migrating from an existing digital solution to a more advanced one should be sure that they can convert information between the two systems.
Lectra cutting rooms solutions and Industry 4.0 principles
Lectra puts its 40 years of expertise in furniture cutting room implementation and pioneering technology solutions at the service of its customers to help them realize the many benefits of an Industry 4.0 solution. Today, all of our cutting solutions are compatible with Industry 4.0 principles. Our connected solutions deliver critical design and production data to the right places, supporting technology innovations such as predictive maintenance to keep machinery operating smoothly and minimize downtime.
Lectra experts provide the support and expertise to ensure customers unlock the full production potential of Lectra’s 4.0 solutions. Standard or tailored implementation projects provide:
- Expertise for secure & speedy setup of your cutting room
- Advanced training programs that deliver in-depth knowledge of your solution and accelerate the autonomy of your teams
- Dedicated workshops to overcome your specific challenges and achieve your objectives
- Strong support to secure the start of production and ensure fast production ramp up
- Project management to guarantee project goals are achieved on-schedule and follow up on delivered activities