Bietigheim-Bissingen, June 11, 2019 – Digitization in woodworking is a hot topic, and not just for large furniture manufacturers. Digital tools can also help woodworking shops and SMEs render their production more efficient and flexible. It is specifically for these customers that the HOMAG Group has developed quick-to-deploy solutions for entry into digital production.
At Ligna, the industry’s leading trade fair held in Hanover at the end of May, HOMAG’s innovations were well received. The world market leader in woodworking machinery recorded strong demand and received numerous orders and leads.
More than 70,000 carpenters, joiners and mid-sized furniture manufacturers worldwide use HOMAG machinery for their production. When it comes to digitization, they can count on the market leader for practical software solutions, digital assistants and the tapio digital marketplace. Pekka Paasivaara, CEO of HOMAG Group AG says: “As the market leader, we are committed to easing every customer into digital production. We do this with tiered, digitally supported production solutions, which are easy to implement for our small and mid-sized customers, while providing pragmatic support. The feedback we received on this at Ligna was very positive.”
Digitization made easy for woodworking shops
HOMAG’s digital concept for woodworking shops starts with the furniture configurator, cabinetCreator. Users of this web-based software can easily create cabinets, among other things, drawing on a range of basic, predefined shapes and a selection of fixtures. All design and order data is then exported from the configurator into a digital job folder – the productionManager. This replaces the handwritten parts list. At the saw, two intuitive assistant apps (intelliDivide and productionAssist Cutting) help, among other things, by suggesting a cutting pattern to meet specific requirements, for example enabling minimal waste or the fastest possible sawing. Labels can be generated at the click of a button, containing all information for the further processing of the workpiece such as drilling or edge banding. A further HOMAG app ensures that the storage rack is kept neat and tidy, while productionAssist Assembly facilitates assembly by displaying the required drawings on the tablet.
SMEs go digital: networked cell concepts
HOMAG’s digital concept for SMEs goes one step further than that which is aimed at woodworking shops, i.e. toward the digital networking of several machines. At the beginning of the digital process chain are the Designer3D and Configurator3D software programs. These enable vendors and customers to individually configure furniture on the screen. Then the parts lists and manufacturing data are sent to production, and the required components, such as plinths, are automatically requested.
For SME production, HOMAG offers networked processing cells, for example for cutting, drilling and packaging. The ControllerMES manufacturing execution system is responsible for the data flow between the cells and overall production control; it is like the brain of the factory. The TRANSBOT automated guided vehicle flexibly transports workpieces from one cell to the next.
Customers who are connected to the tapio digital marketplace can also use HOMAG’s digital tools to optimize the use of tools and materials, as HOMAG demonstrated at Ligna. The individual data for different types of panels and saw blades, for instance, can be retrieved via bar code scan. Another feature:
all machines working in the customer’s cells are connected to tapio and can be monitored using the tapio app, MachineBoard. This app shows what operation the machine will carry out next, whether errors are occurring and when the operator needs to be at the machine, to name a few.