Woodworking software technology assistant production planning assistant, cabinets making, 5 ways to get lean with simple automation

5 ways to get lean with simple automation

Bringing your shop to the next level with automation doesn’t have to be costly or complex. In fact, you can bring in efficiencies across the factory leveraging the systems you already have in place. How? With a modular MES (Manufacturing Execution System) designed specifically for the cabinet-making industry. Because you don’t need all the bells and whistles of most lean manufacturing systems, you can gain efficiencies focusing on the areas where you’ll get the most value.   

WEB-CAB’s Production Assistant is exactly that. It’s a powerful, user-friendly, scalable, and configurable tool bringing all the benefits of automation and visibility across your factory.  

With challenges in keeping up with supply and demand, labor shortages, and rising costs of materials, our clients are witnessing significant efficiencies and ROI in the first few months: 

  • Reduces unnecessary communication & handling between departments by more than 80%% 
  • Reduces assembly time by up to 50% 
  • 98% of shipments completed on time 

Start where you are, leverage what you have 

Production Assistant is designed to integrate seamlessly with all major engineering software in the industry to leverage what you have. It imports information you already enter in your CAD/CAM, ERP and even excel files, synchronizes it all so everyone is working with the same real-time information, and makes it available in intuitive user interfaces designed for specific workstations across the factory.   

Here are 5 ways to bring your factory to the next level 

  1. Connect your people 

Everyone is empowered to be more efficient and productive with access to dynamic, real-time information they need to help in their day-to-day. Everyone is on the same page, from the front office to production and shipping. No time wasted re-entering data, or looking for information or parts, no miscommunication between departments. On the shop floor, every operator has instant access to tools to improve performance, accuracy, and production. Workstation screens are configured to your precise set-up, projects, and processes not only to provide information, but just as importantly, to capture their input so managers know exactly what’s happening and where. 

  1. Optimize processes 

Here is where automation brings tremendous value. With optimized and automated workflows across the entire production lifecycle, you can eliminate working in silos and maximize available resources every step of the way. As an example, instead of sorting by product coming out of the CNC, you can sort by color of edge, assign a different route, then sort later by product if it makes more sense in the production process. You can also help organize the next working station, for example scanning and sorting items as they become available by scanning the smart label and putting it in the project bin, rather than waiting for everything to be ready to assemble. As soon as a bin is complete, assemblers are notified and ready to get started.  

  1. Track everything, anywhere 

Having visibility of every aspect of a job is extremely valuable to optimize operations. Production Assistant is not just about being able to track a job, but also the people and time spent at each workstation. In addition, it’s about knowing exactly where every part, component and project is anywhere in the factory. For example, with smart labelling from your CNC, every part gets scanned as it moves through the production workflow, providing real-time updates and notifications. If there are issues with damaged or missing anything, anyone that needs to know is automatically alerted. And at any time, you can answer a question about the precise status of a job, and if there’s a problem or delay, exactly why. No guesswork, no bad surprises.   

  1. Synchronize across departments  

From front office to production, manufacturing, shipping and even delivery, everyone is working with the same real-time information to help them do their job better. If a damaged part gets scanned at the CNC and it affects timing, front office gets an automatic alert. If an item is on backorder, the production manager can immediately reprioritize projects at the assembly station to maximize output. When an engineer renders drawings and special instructions in your CAD/CAM for a custom project, you can be sure the assembly team will have it all at their fingertips the minute they scan the part.   

  1. Control production from A-Z 

Knowledge is power, so having a 360-degree view of your factory is extremely empowering. Combined with automation, you have the tools to maximize efficiencies and see big returns by avoiding costly and preventable errors. One key area where more control is crucial is shipping, one of the most important areas to get right because of the high cost of an error. Being able to ensure a truckload never goes out with missing items eliminates the cost of an unnecessary second delivery, sending people to do the labor, not to mention the cost of a dissatisfied customer.  

There are many ways to get lean by making small improvements where you need them most. They add up quickly and bring value to your business, your people, and your customers. As you can see, you don’t need to invest heavily or reinvent the wheel. With a modular MES like Production Assistant, you can start where you’re at and maximize the potential of your people and your existing tools and systems.  

We can guide you every step of the way. Contact us for a demo of a brief meeting to learn more about our solutions. 

Woodworking software technology for cabinets making  – WEB-CAB