Networked Production: Individuality on a Mass Scale
In modern furniture production, there is an increasing trend toward individual living spaces. The home is set to become more and more important as a retreat and place of recovery. For furniture manufacturers, this trend means focusing more heavily on the individual home requirements of end customers; customers who now have a wide range of options to choose from when it comes to furniture dimensions, shapes, materials, colors and surfaces. In some cases, this may even mean that customers design their own item of furniture on the manufacturer's website and order it online.
While this trend is already a matter of course for carpenters, it presents a challenge to larger companies: Their aim is to manufacture furniture adapted to individual customer's requirements but on an industrial scale — preferably at a cost similar to that of series production.
It is against this background that "Industry 4.0" has become a hot topic in the wood processing industry. In the HOMAG Group, we use the term "networked production", and to demonstrate the concept, we presented a batch size 1 system with a length of over 100 m live in action at LIGNA.