Over the last few decades European manufacturing has been fleeing to foreign countries due to their lucrative low-cost labor. To raise competitiveness of European production more flexible automation should be introduced. Currently our key advantages are quality, trust, fast delivery times and customizability. Flexible automation should cut down manufacturing costs without compromising our strengths. Also, the current global situation requires new solutions for business and a greener future.
Finnish furniture manufacturer ISKU is presenting a challenge for making their furniture manufacturing process more efficient. Their production can be classified as high-mix low-volume production. Furniture, for example sofas, require a vast number of different cushioning parts with different shapes, sizes, and materials. Currently the parts are either hand crafted in ISKU’s own factory or subcontracted. Hand crafting is slow and costly and has its hazards because of the usage of a manual band saw. On the other hand, subcontracting has not been a great solution either because it has led to a very large storage area. Usually, when subcontracting, more parts are ordered than needed.
With Enekos Oy, KILT Oy presents a solution to laser cut parts on demand in ISKU’s factory. Ordering and product customization has been made easy from a web-interface. A robotic system for cutting and sorting the cut products frees human operators for safer and higher-level tasks. The solution is based upon our cloud-based service Web2Print. With a service business model, we can offer even small companies state-of-the-art technology affordably. Also, with one cloud-based solution we can connect companies and create exciting new supply chains, enabling distributed manufacturing and more local production.
In Esmera, we are focusing on the textile industry. The solution could be well applied to many other sectors with 2D part manufacturing.
- A laser cutter with automatic material feeder for soft materials.
- A collaborative robot for picking up material after cutting. The robot is equipped with needle or flow gripper which can reliably pick even highly porous materials.
- Cloud-based Web2Print order and manufacturing system to store product data, handle orders, product customization and automation logic.
- Standardized FIWARE NGSI interface for factories of the future. ERP and MES integration possibilities.