Learn more about how Haugstad Møbels use sustainability circlular economy and industry 4.0 to increase their competitiveness.
Invest in technology to stay competetive
Haugstad Møbel is a Norwegian furniture manufacturer that has sold tables, lockers, bookshelf, and chairs for many years with an operating margin of 3 percent. and an annual turnover of 1 mill nok per employee. They competed with companies in Europe which had an annual turnover of 8-10 mill nok per employee, due to digitalization, robotizing and atomization. For the company to survive and stay competitive in the future, they needed to start a technology journey towards industry 4.0.
In our industry you need a margin of 10 percent to be able to invest enough to keep up, so we were forced to choose between thinking new or continue like before and eventually disappear, says Steinar Gulaker, CEO of Haugstad Møbel.
Brand new digital factory - with mobile robots
Steinar got inspired when he went on a study trip to the European furniture industry. He was inspired by an Italian furniture factory with only 30 employees, with a yearly turnover of 225 million Norwegian kroner ($22 500 000). Haugstad hired the Italian designer behind the factory to design a brand-new high-tech furniture factory of 3000 square meters back in Norway.
Haugstad invested 75 million Norwegian kroner ($7 500 000) in the building, equipment, and software. And after some months, the mobile robot solutions and production line was in operation. In just a few years, the turnover has almost tripled, and the manufacturer is steadily approaching the target of an annual turnover of 8-10million Norwegian kroners per employee.
Robotic Innovation has delivered a mobile robot solution to the factory consisting of 3 MiR500, 80 Smart Pallet racks, 1 Palomat, 5 Smart Pallet Stations and a JIWA application. JIWA is a virtual, industrial, web-based solution that enables scaling, differentiation, and integration of all types of mobile robots, machines, and computer systems to automate internal logistics and machine performance.
More effective and less wasted time
The raw materials at Haugstad’s warehouse are now equipped with barcodes that ensures an overview and transparency throughout the factory. When an order comes in, the autonomous mobile robots retrieve different components from the raw material warehouse. The materials are then delivered to the production lines, where the machines read the barcodes and are programmed to adjust correctly. The automation continues all the way to the transport line, where the trucks pick up the finished furniture on pallets. At the end of the process, Haugstad’s system automatically sends an invoice when the driver has signed for the goods.
The technology makes the workplace more effective when it comes to keeping and recruiting clever people. Some were sceptical at the beginning of this huge transformation process, but when they had to start running a new production line and the robots, there was great enthusiasm. No one has lost their job, and we now employ 35 employees, including assembly and processing, of which 4 work exclusively with software. We eliminate wasted time with mobile robots because our employees can focus on their tasks instead of spending time transporting materials, says Steinar Gulaker.