Panels & Furniture Asia Nov/Dec 2020

November / December 2020, Issue 6 | Panels & Furniture Asia 38 | FURNITURE MANUFACTURING F aced with a complex market environment featuringmultiple varieties, fewer batches, shorter delivery times and more changes, custom furniture manufacturers are currently pressed for the support of a powerful production information management system. Since the planning and scheduling process is deemed as the core of production information, an information system is even more imperatively needed. As the traditional enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is used to conduct production planning and schedulemanagement, they poorly meet the corresponding needs of custom furniture manufacturers due to the lack of process data sources and limitations in the system architecture. Meanwhile, to meet the crying needs of the market, process software vendors within the custom furniture industry have investigated the needs of manufacturers and industrial characteristics of discreet and flexible production. They have developed a dedicated advanced planning and scheduling (APS) system for the furniture industry, which is designed to address the flaws in ERP’s planningmodule. Using algorithms, the system makes full use of corporate resources to perform intelligent scheduling of the production process, and automatically generate the scheduling and production batch plans, etc. Consequently, such a system facilitates lean production by improving the kitting productivity, panel utilisation and processing efficiency of orders. Taking a simple process in FinChinasoft's production information system for example, a customorder is split through Fin CAD/CAM and the order’s bill of materials (BOM) list is generated; the APS system then divides the parts into special-shaped workpieces and rectangular workpieces according to the manufacturing technique. Through the APS system's order and production- scheduling algorithms, the combined batches are automatically generated; rectangular panels and large-scale standard panels are allocated to the panel dividing saw, and special-shaped panels and batch size one panels head to the CNC nesting machine. Finally, the system is connected to the Fin Optimize Cloud Software to quickly obtain the cutting program files required by the nesting machine and saw equipment to begin production. Nanxing Machinery has successfully combined its equipment and the Fin Optimize Cloud Software to maximise the advantages and efficiency of their machines. This is how the APS system and Fin Optimize Cloud Software work together. ADVANCED PLANNING AND SCHEDULING SOFTWARE The APS system has not only addressed the flaws of the ERP module but also provided effective reinforcement for the existing ERP system. It automatically generates scheduling plans and production batch plans through algorithmic calculations to improve kitting productivity, panel utilisation and processing efficiency of orders. The optimal computing engine can develop the most reasonable scheduling plan even under limited production capacity and provide furniture manufacturers with a more cost-effective scheduling plan. 1. INTELLIGENT ORDER-SCHEDULING ALGORITHM When an order is received, the ERP system can provide feedback of current material storage and production capacity of the plant according to the real-time scheduling results from the APS system. Through its intelligent order-scheduling algorithm, the system, taking into account the order delivery time, production cycle of parts, equipment capacity, and other planned order-