Top 4 errors in cabinetry plants

In the Industry 4.0 era, technology is leading while skilled labour is fading. Here are woodworking factories’ top 4 errors—and how preventative technology can help.

  1. Stray parts

Ever get the feeling that an otherworldly power is making parts disappear from your factory? And then a few days later, you spot them forgotten on a cart or leaning against the edge of the edgebander or doweling machine? Don’t worry, it’s not just you: lost parts are a predominant error impacting factories’ efficiency. To assess what it costs to lose parts in a factory, consider:

  • Time lost looking for a part
  • Delays in assembly and, potentially, delivery
  • Part rebuilds (material, machines, etc.)

These factors combined, it is estimated that a lost and rebuilt part can cost a factory an average of $100 to $250. Whereas some errors are more difficult to eradicate, lost parts can be significantly reduced by manufacturing execution systems (MES). Production Assistant, for one, not only optimizes sorting and assembly, it tracks parts’ progress throughout the factory.


  1. Design errors caused by misunderstandings between Sales and the Production Technician

A forgotten, unfinished side. Poorly calculated sizes or non-compliant appliance specifications. These errors do occur and are regrettably very costly for businesses that often won’t detect them until installation. This typically entails a rebuild and reinstallation of the part or even the whole cabinet. What’s more, this type of error suddenly puts pressure on production. But it can be avoided with proper quoting and estimating software that includes a smart catalogue.


  1. Using the wrong machine – Small parts that move on the CNC

This happens with drawer sides, for example. Depending on the condition of a spoilboard or nesting machine, small parts can move and ultimately have to be redone. To avoid these redos, it may be wise to consider cutting these smaller parts on more suitable machines like a table saw or beam saw.


  1. Applying the edge on the wrong side

This error often occurs on shelves. The edge is applied on the wrong side, exposing its pressed wood side. It’s a seemingly trivial error, but one that can cost dearly depending on when it is found in the manufacturing process. An effective solution to avoid this issue would be to put a label on the component with an image that indicates on which side to apply the edge (see image below).

To go one step further in terms of efficiency, you could have a visual tool directly on the cutting pattern that would show the direction in which to apply the label on the part. This is one of many tools included with Production Assistant. The image below represents the cutting plane as presented by the Production Assistant. The green parts are the completed ones, the blue parts are the ones «in progress» and the red part is the «active part». At the bottom of the image, you see the in which direction the label must be applied on the red part.

Contact us to book an appointment with one of our consultants. We’ll analyze your manufacturing process and assess what your factory stands to gain from our varied technology solutions.