2022/03/08   |   Bönnigheim   |   Germany

What is the best possible way to manage the variety of materials in cutting?

Schurig GmbH in Bönnigheim, Baden-Württemberg, has helped to develop the answer.

"With materialManager Advanced, we have the certainty of using the right tool with the best possible settings for every material. This ensures a reliably high processing quality and gives us and our customers a good feeling."

Klaus Schurig, Schurig GmbH

The company, which is always hungry for innovation, specializes in high-quality interior fittings. Sometimes, more than 20 different materials are used for each order. To manage this diversity of materials in cutting more easily, the company has installed materialManager Advanced from HOMAG, sharing its experience as a pilot customer.

Bright and spacious, well thought-out from start to finish and very stylish: this description applies both to the numerous showrooms and interiors built by Schurig GmbH in Bönnigheim internationally for world brands from the BSH Group and to the company's 3000 square meter production hall. This is the center of the company building, which was built from scratch by owner and managing director Klaus Schurig in 2020.

Schurig GmbH is anything but a joinery start-up. The company can look back on more than a hundred years of history. It was founded in 1920 as Altmann construction and furniture carpentry and was family-owned until 2015. Klaus Schurig joined the company in 2012 as a member of the management board. He took over the company in 2015 and renamed it Schurig GmbH in 2019.

Standard: Batch size 1 in production

Under the brand motto "Holz. Raum. Passion." (English: "Wood. Space. Passion."), today at Schurig around 30 specialists produce a portfolio of modern interior design solutions that is as wide-ranging as it is customized. The spectrum includes brand showrooms, event and trade fair stands or shop fittings, as well as office and catering fittings or modern kitchen worlds for private customers.

"Almost everything about our interior fittings is custom. Therefore, cutting in batch size 1 and an above-average variety of materials is the norm for us," says Schurig. In order to remain competitive with this high degree of individuality in production and to be able to offer customers economically attractive room solutions, the interior fittings specialist makes use of an increasingly networked production setup.

Manufacturing: Highly networked and state-of-the-art

"HOMAG is one of our most important partners in this regard," says Schurig. "We have been maintaining this partnership for decades and we renew it regularly. For example, in 2020, we took advantage of the opportunity and, with the move to our new building, we put a new saw-storage combination into operation." This consists of the HOMAG SAWTEQ B-300 horizontal panel dividing saw and the HOMAG STORETEQ S-200 automatic storage system. This system stores between 700 and 800 unprocessed panels, which have very different surfaces and material properties in parts, in a random and space-saving way.

The new storage system supplies the unprocessed panels to the saw in a cycle and fully automatically. "Compared to the previous solution, this makes work a lot easier," confirms Schurig. Even before this system was acquired, the cutting took place on a HOMAG panel saw. However, the saw had to be fed by hand; there was no storage control connection. Most of the panel materials were stored in a warehouse outside the production hall and had to be brought to the saw by employees individually or in pallets as required.

Today, the process is fully automated and networked. This makes life easier for employees and makes the work at Schurig even more attractive to specialists. "For me, this is also a philosophical question," says Schurig, "because we have a system for setting up processes that are as efficient as possible." This is how the company established an almost completely digitalized workflow with the acquisition of the new hall: from the room layout and the transfer of information to a CAD system in the work preparation department to the data transfer to the processing machines.

The advantage: the digitalized workflow makes the work quicker, reduces sources of error, protects the material and saves costs. The same applies to the automation of many work steps. "In the past, for example, we had the problem that panels from the outside storage had a different temperature to the materials that had been in the production hall for a long time. If the acclimatization time was too short, this could lead to damage due to warpage — for example, in the case of cabinet connections." This is a topic that is now a thing of the past since the commissioning of the new saw-storage combination.

New: materialManager Advanced

Experiences like these are another reason why Schurig is very interested in digitalization and innovative solutions. "I am generally open to new technologies," he says, explaining that his company has already been an active HOMAG pilot customer many times. The most recent case was the introduction of a new digital HOMAG assistant called materialManager Advanced. "Our contact person from HOMAG panel dividing technology approached us to ask whether we wanted to test this product as a pilot customer and share our experience. We saw this as an opportunity and agreed," says Schurig, "not least because we were convinced of the functional principle and the maturity of the new development."

materialManager Advanced automatically gives the HOMAG saw the optimum processing parameters for each material. In other words, the digital assistant sets the ideal values for feed speed, speed and saw blade projection depending on the selected panel material, the saw blade currently used and the desired cutting quality. This means that the processing quality always remains at the same high level, even with a wide variety of materials and different machine operators.

"Our machine operators are very experienced, but even these old hands were able to learn something from the new materialManager Advanced," says Schurig. No wonder: HOMAG has set up materialManager Advanced as a cloud-based system that is subject to continuous further development. For this purpose, the experiences of all users are continuously integrated into the software algorithm. Machine operators can adjust the parameters recommended by materialManager Advanced to meet individual needs at any time. This ensures that all freedom in machine operation is maintained.

"With materialManager Advanced, we can manage our wide variety of panel materials easily and conveniently," confirms Schurig, emphasizing: "The main benefit for us, however, is a significantly increased tool life and the resulting reduction in sharpening costs. We also achieve the desired qualities with around 20 to 30 percent faster feed speeds. This is enormous, even if the issue of saving time is not the decisive factor for us at the end of the day."

Partnership: Proven over many years with good prospects

In any case, the interior fittings specialist from Baden-Württemberg does not regret being a pilot customer. On the contrary: "With materialManager Advanced, we have the certainty of using the right tool with the best possible settings for every material. This ensures a reliably high processing quality and gives us and our customers a good feeling." Schurig has enjoyed the latter in collaboration with HOMAG for many years.

"We regularly look at other suppliers and their products, but have always remained loyal to HOMAG. There are a number of reasons for this. The most important thing is that we are convinced by the HOMAG products and the service," says Schurig. "However, proximity also plays a role. If we need help on site or a spare part, the HOMAG technicians can be with us within one and a half to two hours." Parts that are subject to wear and spare parts are always available from HOMAG. This is proving to be a great advantage, especially in times of global supply chain bottlenecks. Schurig GmbH wants to continue to benefit from it in the future. The next investment projects are already being planned.

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