Design Automation: Why Furniture Manufacturers should adopt it?

Sheet metal furniture is currently the most profitable business; but with some of the biggest challenges in the industry. What usually happens with a furniture manufacture is that by the time a 3D CAD model design is released for the product to be manufactured, and it penetrates the markets, the designs tend to get redundant.

Even if a furniture manufacturer creates custom-made products, by the time it is ready, customers would’ve lost interest. We ourselves have experienced this so many times that we ordered a certain product, be it a reclining chair, with some particular specifications but when it was actually made, it wasn’t exactly like the one we imagined. Either the color, the finishing, the material etc. wasn’t satisfactory or probably the look was all messed up.

All these are probably due to the fact that sheet metal furniture manufacturing industry is very dynamic. Apart from low cost and adherence to local standards, need for quick delivery is another constraint that puts the furniture manufactures to struggle. Especially for sheet metal furniture manufacturing, collaboration with metal fabricators with sheet metal fabrication drawings also plays a significant role.

On other hand, the introduction of CAD customization and design automation services availed from advanced CAD platforms such as SolidWorks & DriveWorks or Autodesk’s Inventor will drive the sales to new heights. Starting from managing design standards, eliminating repetitive tasks, growth, sales, and profitability, everything will be taken care of.

New design tasks only

Furniture designers upon receiving an order, spend most of their time in finalizing the designs. Design drafts will flow several times from designers to customers and back to designers before they are finally sent to manufacturers. Also, the data gets distorted in this repetitive transits and cannot be reused since it is all custom made.

But with design automation, generating a product configurator will ensure that the design engineer is not engaged in such tasks. The customer can give their specifications to a product configurator; and fabrication drawings, models, and fabrication details will automatically get generated while eliminating all intermediate processes. Additionally, once a product configurator is developed, managing the data within becomes simpler and convenient.

Embrace the productivity growth

When furniture manufacturers embrace design automation, they are indirectly embracing growth along the way. Once design automation is in place with the manufacturer, engineering lead time consumed otherwise is shortened. The product configurator and logical set of rules will manage the processes of generating CAD drawings for assembly and fabrications including details about stamping, bending, rolling etc.

Also, it will eliminate non-permissible values of the furniture designs considering it as an error or null-input. As a result, ECOs will also be almost none giving the manufacturer a considerable time between actual manufacturing starts and delivery dates. Fewer design changes and longer time limits will empower the manufacturer to deliver the best quality on time, which in turn brings accurate and satisfactory sales projections.

Sky is the limit for profits

Sheet metal furniture manufacturers find it very difficult to gain profits if their customers’ deadlines aren’t met with. Besides explaining design intent repeatedly is a cumbersome process. However, to rescuer them, product configurator will show the design updates in 3D model step by step, incorporating customer inputs and design specifications.

Design automation will help you spend less manpower by automating most of the manual work associated with design generation and documentation. Such automated tasks will enable quick configuration of designs, immediate pricing and quote generation [CPQ] to facilitate a faster response to customer inquiries. Cumulatively, all of this will drive the manufacturer’s profits at sky-touching heights.

Achieving high-quality design automation will thus benefit a sheet metal furniture manufacture in every possible manner. The database-driven logical set of rules and web-based product configurator will help them touch new zenith of productivity, quality, and profits.

About Author:

Usha B. Trivedi is a Technical Writer at Hi-Tech CADD Services. She has graduated in mechanical engineering discipline. She contributes in-depth articles for mechanical and industrial equipment designs, processing plants and fabrication sector. Her contributions are primarily focused on enabling engineering professionals, fabricators and plant owners to optimize design outcomes through CAD and CAE tools.

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