The carpenter arrives for his early-morning appointment at the customer’s home. He looks at the room and starts designing together with the customer. Cupboards here, drawers there, fridge at the end, cooker in the middle. The carpenter carefully measures walls and floor, notes down lengths, widths, heights, angles and distances. Then from his laptop he logs onto his supplier’s website. The kitchen manufacturer manages the sales process with the help of HOMAG’s woodNET program. Once the carpenter has entered all the dimensions, a picture of the new kitchen appears on the screen. Each cupboard can now be viewed from different angles and changed individually. The carpenter and his customer can experiment with colors and shapes, or change knobs and handles. The woodNET software provides all data required for this from the manufacturer’s electronic catalog. Then, finally, it is decided: this is how the new kitchen should look. One final check, and the carpenter presses the send button.
At the furniture factory, HOMAG’s woodCAD/CAM software starts processing the order. The program converts the data sent by the carpenter into specific commands for the machines, which is a fully automated process. When this takes place depends on the manufacturer’s production philosophy. Some start manufacturing as soon as the order comes in, while others first collect several orders and then carry out sub-operations simultaneously. It is more efficient, for example, to cut furniture of the same color for different kitchens from the same boards, as they are collected from the same stack. This reduces material wastage. Good planning saves trips and reduces costs. Before production begins, HOMAG’s woodFactory software decides which saw is best for which board, where edges are processed and holes drilled. Each workpiece is given a bar code, showing which order it belongs to. Guided by this electronically scannable ticket, each item travels through the factory, taking an optimized route. Manufacturing is either fully automated or relies on a worker manually placing the items into the machines. Most older furniture factories can also be retrofitted and networked using HOMAG’s digital systems.
woodFactory organizes the internal logistics, and checks the completeness and quality of the processed order. Just before leaving the factory, all items belonging to one kitchen arrive at the same place. They are sized, carefully stacked and eventually wrapped in cardboard packaging. Each packet receives a label, so the carpenter on site can see straightaway what it contains. Kitchens can be delivered in several different ways: some businesses collect the material from the factory, others have it delivered directly to the end customer. This is handled either by the manufacturer or by a delivery company.
The carpenter unpacks the items at the customer’s home. Before assembling the components of the fitted kitchen, he checks the delivery. Nasty surprises hardly ever happen. Carpenters no longer have to worry about holes being in the wrong place. The system automatically decides the right positions for the holes. Now, nothing stands in the way of a fast assembly. Just two days after the order has been placed, the kitchen can be installed at the customer’s home. It can even happen faster. Some manufacturers who use the HOMAG system guarantee a 24-hour delivery.