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New production facility: more efficiency and possibilities for made to measure wardrobes

During the recent year, Deli Home was able to realise a more efficient and sustainable production process by investing in modern technologies, new production lines and training of personnel. The renovated process offers new possibilities for the range of customised closets produced in the Deli Home factory in Gorinchem. Wart van Nuland, Category Manager Storage and Peter Schrauwen, Team Leader of Made to Measure Production  tell us more about this.

Digitalising as a starting point
The optimisation process had already begun earlier when the company moved from its former factory in Lekkerkerk and integrated it into its existing factory in Gorinchem. The new combined factory is connected to its digital configuration system Ivenza, which was developed by Numdata, a recent takeover. Consumers can now put together a customised wardrobe online. After ordering, this data is sent to production and based on this, the production process is actuated automatically. Van Nuland: “This process actually exists for some time now, but is now implemented further by investing in new machines that have an even smaller error margin and that are using the materials more efficiently, resulting in less waste.” “But this is only the tip of the iceberg,” explains Schrauwen: “This optimalisation has been in place for three years. Together with a German engineering firm, we have completely revised the flow at the production place in which the starting point was Ivenza, our control system and the online configurator. Moving the factory, a new set-up and all the investments all focused on one thing: improving efficiency. What we derived from this was to increase the efficiency of our production area.”

Increased efficiency
First of all, we not only realised a new warehouse, which automatically pre-sorts the right plates during the night before production and puts them in the correct order for the planned orders of the day, but it also offers the room for using half formats instead of quarter formats. More components can be sawn from these larger plates, resulting in less residual materials than when smaller plates are used. The complete process from the warehouse to the sawing machines and finally to the edge-band machine is now a fully automated process. Furthermore, the new setup of the production area offers the possibility to produce in batches in which we combine the various orders for wardrobes, making the production process and use of material more efficient. Van Nuland: “For example, a small board for a drawer can be added to another order without the need to start a new production process.”

However, a more efficient production flow also demands tighter planning. The tightly steered processes and the automated pre-sorting system of the warehouse do not give us much room for shifting or advanced planning of certain production processes. Schrauwen: “When a train falls behind schedule, it is difficult to catch up; the train is not permitted to travel faster than its maximum speed. That is also the way I see the production process. You are permitted only limited changes in the schedule. That is something that we had to get used to in the organisation. We compromise somewhat on flexibility, but we gain much more in terms of efficiency and sustainability.”

The flexibility in the product range actually profits from this new production flow. The new machines offer added possibilities for combining different materials with various decorations and thicknesses, which translates into more possibilities in the range of made to measure wardrobes. Therefore, our customers also profit from these investments.

With an eye on the future
The developments in the production facility are also a step forward to a new configurator (‘Ultimate’) for new, more luxurious, made to measure wardrobes and furniture with countless additional possibilities. Now that the production place here is ready, this new customised concept can be introduced at a selected group of dealers.

Now that greater automated work is possible, we also have the possibility of increasing the production capacity. Schrauwen: “In the future, using our new factory, we will be able to produce in a single working day what in the old factory we did using two shifts.” The developments in the factory are textbook examples of efficient production of customised work connected to a configurator. Van Nuland: “By continuously expanding our possibilities, we reinforce our position as a customised work specialist and we can accelerate our growth in the Netherlands and certainly also in Belgium.”

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