Industry 4.0 for Furniture Manufacturers

Executive Summary

Situation: Industry 4.0 and changing consumer requirements create challenges for furniture manufacturers
Integrated production, or the “smart factory,” and the consumer’s desire for customization pose new challenges for today’s furniture industry. Meeting the increasing need for customization while remaining competitive, specifically in high-wage countries, require efficient production capabilities. Vertical and horizontal integration of production areas along the entire value chain combined with increased automation are necessary to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Challenge: The demand for customization is increasing, and it’s expensive
While furniture manufacturers could meet consumer needs with a standard product offering just a few years ago, the current rising demand for customized products forces manufacturers to think differently. Production in batches of one (Batch 1) results in considerable costs when manufacturers use conventional production methods as well as increased manual effort that often results in errors and potentiallly expensive customer dissatisfaction. Therefore, “specials” production must match mass-produced products in both price and delivery times.

Solution: Investing in software helps optimize production processes
Software solutions tailored specifically for furniture manufacturing make it possible to link people, machines and resources, creating a necessary hub for all the data required for efficient production. An industry-specific system also permits precise mapping of production processes and workflows relevant to furniture manufacturing and provides cost-efficient processing for Batch 1 production.

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