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Furniture production is changing

The European furniture industry has been and still is confronted with great challenges. The framework conditions are continuously changing in many areas. As an integral part of the supply chain, the HOMAG Group intends to deal with this development proactively. The sixth part of the series "HOMAG Spotlight" outlines how the largest manufacturer of machines for wood processing is involved in shaping the changes on the furniture market.

Another change took place back in the 1970s, and not just in the furniture industry. Supply began to exceed demand. This change from a seller's market to a buyer's market caused the market to split into two segments: mass production and mass customization. As a consequence, businesses in both segments increasingly came under pressure from two sides. On one side was the market with continuously increasing customer requirements, ever-decreasing model cycles and a greater variation even though quantities were falling. On the other side, the pressure as a result of competition increased, demanding high product quality, short delivery times, and higher flexibility, paired with a reduction in price which was reflected in an increasing price/performance ratio. For many producers, the result of this paradigm shift was a realignment of corporate objectives. While mass goods manufacturers continued to focus on the highest possible utilization of capacities, manufacturers of customized goods began to center their objectives on flexibility, meaning short throughput times. HOMAG Group Engineering responded to this situation on the one hand by developing double-sided machine concepts (powerLine) that enable high output volumes. On the other hand, the engineers and technicians developed flexible single-sided machine concepts (flexLine) that allow a high product variation.

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Published in HK magazine 6/2014. We would like to thank Michael Kratzert (HOMAG Group Engineering).

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