Show Update
“Talent, software and hardware “are 3 indispensable elements to realize intelligent furniture customization - Interview with Mr. Addie Kwan, Managing Director of Homag China
Publish Date: 2018/07/09

Booth No.:7.1 D05

How would you comment on the current level and maturity of China's customized furniture industry?
As expectations for quality of life continue to rise in China, there is a growing need for customized size and style furniture products. Many enterprises on the market are currently promoting “professional customization” slogans. And many large-scale furniture customization companies have emerged in China and realized the industrial 4.0 production model in which workpieces and production data are dynamically transmitted.

Currently, the level of software and equipment of local furniture customization companies is uneven. Some brands and enterprises' production management software (MES) has reached the international advanced level; however, there are still some that have a relatively low starting point for both software and hardware, which has caused uncertainties in their customized products. Also, the “whole house customization” introduced by some companies is actually a simple combination of standard and non-standard design, and there is still a certain distance from the real full house customization.

How Industry 4.0 is like in the furniture industry? What's your opinion on the future development trend of furniture machinery industry?
Furniture Intelligent Manufacturing (Industry 4.0) is a system engineering that integrates sales, order processing design, production management and intelligent equipment. During the production process, the QR code of the workpiece is directed through the MES software for conveying, processing, sorting, packaging, storage and delivery. That is, the workpiece and equipment real-time communicate throughout the entire process, guiding equipment to complete the required actions.

At the same time, with the introduction of refined decorated houses in China, the standardized production of small and medium-sized batches will be an industry hot spot.

Mr. Addie Kwan, Managing Director of Homag China

The woodworking and furniture industry is facing a labor shortage. How do you think furniture enterprises should attract new talents to join the industry?
With the diminishing advantages of China's labor force advantages, the drastic decrease in manual labor market and replacing people with machines are inevitable trends. Some colleges and vocational schools have set up professional and disciplinary orientations to empower the industry with a number of technical talents, especially in field of software and industry applications. Meanwhile, the industry has also attracted many returnees and this has helped promoting the advancement of customization technology. Indeed, our company has also set up training center providing training for specialized technical personnel in cooperation with local enterprises in terms of software use, equipment operation and maintenance.

Do you have any advice for those manufacturers that are still struggling with how to unlock value from Industry 4.0?
“Talent, software and hardware “are 3 indispensable elements to realize intelligent furniture customization. Regardless of the type of software used, the product database needs to go ahead of customization. Otherwise, customization is just a fantasy without product database.

Therefore, the first step of customization is to improve the database of sales and production according to the characteristics of enterprises' own products. It is crucial for enterprises to realize seamless connection between sales & production by unifying the product database

Secondly, it is necessary to select the appropriate software. The software on the sales side and order processing need to share the same database, and it should be seamlessly connected with machinery and equipment.

Finally, hardware must be intelligent and able to talk to the artifacts.

Why would you choose WMF and what do you expect form WMF 2018?
WMF is one of the most influential woodworking exhibitions in China. The show scale and audience are among the best in the same category. We anticipate WMF 2018 will become the vane of local furniture, software and equipment players!

What kind of new exhibits and technologies from Homag China will be showcased at WMF 2018?
We planned to launch some new technologies and equipment, mainly focusing on automation and intelligent manufacturing technologies and equipment. Please stay tuned!