Usually having a comprehensive product range on offer, furniture manufacturers offer it all, from setting up a living space or office for laboratories, to hotels, industrial kitchens and industry. Customers can usually select from amongst standard products and modular systems which are compiled according to their requirements.
With Lantek’s software, the manufacturers have all the processes involved in metal processing at a glance and in hand at all times, from the quotation, through production and billing, right up to purchasing, management overview, storekeeping, and the administration of packaging materials.
“Permanently changing and customised requirements”
Rob Powell, Sales Director for Lantek in the UK, getting to the heart of the challenges facing the sector commented: “The main aspects are permanently changing and customised requirements. Businesses must respond, on the one hand, to a constantly fluctuating demand for customised furniture and, on the other, to parameterised designs, which enable the supply of standard products in different sizes and layouts, and all of that in quantities ranging from 1 to mass production.”
Continuing Powell said: “Moreover, many items are combinations made of metal with other materials, e.g. for seat upholstery or table tops. With Lantek’s modular software, manufacturers have the freedom to first of all effectively control individual areas and then to expand their entire IT architecture little by little, right up to the overall Lantek Factory concept.”
The technology of the Lantek Expert CAD/CAM nesting software is ideal for furniture manufacturers. Geometries can be read and reprocessed or created directly. Following this, the program nests the shapes and generates the CNC code. Lantek Expert Cut is the module for the automated control of sheet metal cutting machines with oxy-fuel, plasma, laser and water jettechnology, whilst Lantek Expert Punch is the expert for the automated programming of CNC punching machines. With CAD add-ins from Lantek Flex3d, the parametric processing takes place of, for example, three dimensional parts in a 3D cupboard design. These can be processed ready for cutting with Lantek Expert.
Cross-project working method
Comprehensive nesting options guarantee manufacturers high productivity and quality. Time and costs are saved by the cross-project, as opposed to, order-specific working method. For a specific sheet metal thickness, the software combines the cutting of jobs from various orders and ensures that each metal sheet is optimally used to the full with minimum wastage, and, at the end of the process, the respective parts in each order are also brought together again. To reduce the stock of remnants, standard parts can also be integrated into the cutting procedure and produced in advance.
An important plus point for customers is the option to control their heterogeneous machine shop with Lantek software from one interface. This allows interfaces to more than 1000 machine types. This avoids a proliferation of software products, as well as the individual training of employees for each system. At the same time, the company has the best possible leverage through accurate information when investing in new machines.
With Lantek Integra furniture manufacturers are also given tools for the control and supervision of the entire manufacturing process at their fingertips. “With the permanent monitoring of all processes, production managers must ensure that the quality is just right, delivery dates are adhered to and the costs do not get out of hand. This is just what our software solutions offer at the click of a mouse and in real time”, commented Powell explaining the other advantages for the sector.
The software can be personalised to the needs of each and every customer thereby making it an ultra-flexible solution that includes CRM, purchasing, inventory management, control of current projects and quality controls plus linkage to accounting programs.
For the manufacture of standard products, warehouse stocks of components can be analysed to ensure that exactly the right amount of each part is available for a purchase order. Even with regard to items such as handles, hinges, seat surfaces or table tops and worktops, which can be obtained from suppliers, the system allows the control of stock as well as purchasing so that all parts are available on time enabling products to be completed according to schedule.
A comprehensive database allows finding each component with its product history, even after years, whether this is as the result of a new request from a customer or to allow seamless traceability for comprehensive quality assurance.
Mobile access to production data
The project status for any order, and the available capacity of the machines, can be followed in real time, not only via the PCs in administration and using a touch panel at the machine, but also on mobile devices such as smartphones. Powell explained: “A production manager away on business therefore has access in real time to the most important data from production.”
Should there be a problem then the comprehensive and quick Lantek Support comes to the rescue. The software company is always close to customers all over the world thanks to its network of 15 offices. The promise made by the Lantek Managing Director, Alberto Martínez, can be relied upon: “We’re immediately available all over the world, regardless of your production location.”
Lantek will present its innovative software for companies in the sheet metal processing industry at the Euroblech 2016 in Hannover, the 24th International Technology Fair for sheet metal processing. From 25th to 29th October 2016, customers will be able to view the most recent developments and innovative presentation formats at Stand B104, Hall 12.