Is the Furniture Industry Ready for Industry 4.0？
Industry 4.0 in the furniture industry has been a challenging feat due to some limitations since it was implemented over the years. However, significant strides have been developed moving forward, and that’s what you’re going to be learning about today. Is the furniture industry ready for industry 4.0 or still has a long way to go before it can be implemented for all?
More companies have been switching or thinking about switching to industry 4.0 because of the obvious benefits available. For the furniture industry, however, it doesn’t seem to be the case as industry 4.0 greatly relies on the existing IT infrastructure to integrate properly towards the application of the industry.
What is the Vision of Industry 4.0?
To understand if Industry 4.0 is ready to assist the furniture industry, it’s best to understand its vision to give a sense of scale and wonder that it promises. In a perfect world, Industry 4.0 will standardize the interfaces of data sliding down to several systems. It would eventually lead Industry 4.0 to have just one singular cross-system platform database for all work functions.
The goal is to remove redundancies or errors even in the smallest percentages to eradicate them. Industry 4.0 can ideally be operated through a company-owned server, the cloud, or a provider. However, it’s still not feasible at the moment.
Existing Pre-Industry 4.0 in Furniture Industry
ERP systems or enterprise resource planning is already being used in the furniture industry, while it significantly helps the production flow of each manufacturer. It still has several limitations that would impede growth or need to overhaul the entire system for it to work with the Industry 4.0 standards.
As for MES or manufacturing execution systems, it’s still not as popular in the furniture industry. However, it is already there. Most users are already happy with the results produced, but this is where Industry 4.0 can be of assistance as it may be possible to transfer large portions of data, if not its entirety, to create a partial or fully automated system.
MES would enable a direct monitoring connection of all the information provided to the machine to operate within acceptable parameters. Enabling it to monitor, control, or direct the furniture production in real-time.
Ideas That Can Be Implemented Now Thanks to Industry 4.0
Even before the idea of Industry 4.0, engineers were already talking about how to integrate better and quicken the manufacturing method of their respective industries. But thanks to Industry 4.0, these advances are realized sooner than expected.
Some industries don’t have the liberty of having everything fully automated as compared to others. However, it is still possible to increase product input at a lower cost for the workforce. There are significant improvements of life that are made with a simple yet targeted change, which is the creation of newer interfaces and the recalibration of existing ones such as:
Prevention of redundant data
By focusing on data that are prone to misfire or errors, it would be in the company’s interest to create an interface that its only job is to monitor where and what faulty data are there and correct them as soon as it happens to continue the flow of production.
Improving the flow of materials
Creating an interface that would help improve the flow of materials even by a few seconds is going to stack up in the long term. Hence an interface that you can program to learn to make shorter routes or quicker methods would greatly help out the company.
Increasing efficiency of machine output utilization
Creating an interface that would assist in efficiency and output will bring more money to the company for sure, but if handled incorrectly, it would result in a lowered integrity and poor design output. Hence having an interface that would monitor these would be most helpful.
So to answer the question from our title, is the furniture industry ready for industry 4.0? The answer is in due time. Industry 4.0 has been in existence for almost a decade now. However, the furniture industry is still leaps and bounds behind in terms of relying on technology to assist in the process.
You would, of course, have to think about furniture as a craft that humans often would want to have at least a hand in creating as this is how it started for the furniture industry altogether, by hand. In a time when the furniture industry opts to automate everything for good, that’s the time Industry 4.0 can and will be feasible for them.