Panels & Furniture Asia Jan/Feb 2019

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 1 • January / February 2019 PANELS MANUFACTURING 31 A worker at the Gio Home Kitchen can now monitor the cutting process as the machine is connected to the CADmatic 5 software, allowing for full control and overview in real-time “In the last five years, we had never stopped thinking about how to improve our efficiencies and errors, especially human errors. Now that we have bought machines, we are still trying them out and figuring out what we are lacking, then we can consider adding more machines and further optimising the process.” WOOD CAD|CAM: TIME-SAVING WITH THE ABILITY TO TRACK PROGRESS REAL-TIME Gio Home Kitchen also purchased the HOMAGWood CAD|CAM, a new software product which allows production drawings and bills of material for standalone furniture or complex room designs to be completed shortly. Design data can also be forwarded to the HOMAG CNC machines for further processing as well as saved in a database for further uses. “Our retail side can now draw out the design on the new programme and send it straight to the machines in the factory. It is time-saving and helps to track the inventory as well. We are still customising the programme and hopefully it will be fully integrated into our production line soon. By then, the sales and production department will truly be connected.” The greatest advantage of using the HOMAG Wood CAD|CAM software is the streamlining of the drawing process. For a condominiumproject, Gio Home Kitchen’s two teams of designers – one from the retail department, and one from the factory – will only need four days to prepare the drawings, instead of at least one to two weeks, as was the case in the past. Designers from the retail department and factory used to work with two separate programmes. Each time the retail department sent a design drawing to the factory, designers at the factory had to redraw all the diagrams in another programme. “In terms of time saved, we shave off about two to three weeks per month.Weonlyhavetwodesignersatthefactoryandfourtofivesales people on the retail side. If the sales team brings in 25 customers per month, the two designers at the factory will have to redraw 25 designs per month, and that is not including the bigger projects yet, which sometimes amount to 10 to 20 types of kitchens. So, no matter howmany people we hired, it was still not enough. The cost of hiring two to three more designers is high. It also takes a lot of effort to train them to become good, professional designers. Rather than hire extra designers, why not invest the money into the new software?” said Chou. DIGITALISATION: A WORTHY LONG-TERM INVESTMENT The new software might be a costly addition but Chou saw it as a worthy long-term investment. “In the future, it doesn’t matter how many distributors you have, it will all be managed and controlled by the programme. You can provide a fixed discount, furniture designs and quotations directly to the distributors through the software. Without it, my sales people will still be drawing the designs and making excel sheets to calculate the quotations. Human errors will persist -- miss out one product and miss out 10,000 baht. We want to reduce the pricing errors and also force the sales team not to sell lower than the discounted price,” said Chou. EASY TO RETRAIN WORKERS “The transition was quite smooth, with only a few workers who were afraid of damaging the machines but they got used to them after a while. One worker only wanted to take care of one machine and the easiest one at that. I said no, of course. He learnt to use the cutting machines within a few days and is now in charge of them. Transiting to the new machines was mostly about teaching the workers how to use them, and letting them accept them.” ℗ The HOMAG SAWTEQ B-300 (HOLZMA HPP 300) machine