Today, due to the diversification of products, due to the realization of specific products, handling and storage with roller tables are no longer possible.
The work to order, or by group of order became a “standard”. The components, often specific, are cut, machined, assembled to order.
Machines make easier work to order :
- Sawing: machines (single-blade saws, chainsaws, nesting), coupled with efficient cutting optimisation software, can work by order or group of orders.
- Machining: The machining lines and edgebanding, machining centers, moulders are now very flexible and allow to work on sequences of totally different pieces.
- Finishing: Robotic finishing lines can process different pieces and different colors.
- Assembling: The assembly order is easily achievable thanks to the new assembly techniques and new generations of clamps.
Information systems make easier work to order :
- Graphic configurator: Graphics design tools allow us to quickly build custom furniture or joinery. These tools require significant work settings initially, but this allows great flexibility coupled with high security.
- Production files : Configurators allow to generate automatically bill of materials and files for machines.
- List of Products : Information systems allows list of products per order or per group of orders according to desired criteria.
Raw materials make easier work to order :
- Melamine panels, medium panels : standardization of sizes, homogeneity and the quality of these products allows custom work, facilitating the cutting optimizations.
- Laminated scantlings: regularity and dimensional standardization of these products allows work to order and just in time.
- Hardware components : rationalization of components makes work easier. Similarly, component comes with its “CAD file” for machining.
But all these technologies, for working “to order”, must have around them a proper flow management. We need a material handling system in line with the custom work.
Storage and handling with roller tables lines cannot operate with such a system. What should we expect from handling system?
- Flexibility and variability: allow handling and storing different types of components, on lower unit volumes and allow for variations of significant volume. Allow to quickly reverse the order scheduling.
- Quality: allow to handle the parts without damaging them, and be able to trace it throughout the manufacturing cycle.
- Ergonomics: allow to handle the parts without fatigue for the operators
- Scalability and responsiveness: allow to change the format of parts, to quickly accept an increase or decrease in volume.
So what is the best system?