Nesting for wood and composite materials in the furniture & caravan industryCase Study
Having embarked on a quest for a recreational vehicle for the whole family, in 1931 Arist Dethleffs designed and built the first caravan Germany had ever seen. This made him the founding father of modern-day camping. However, the Dethleffs company‘s caravans and motorhomes have little in common with the modest wooden constructions of yesteryear.
Today’s vehicles today offer a level of comfort and equipment that rivals that of a luxury apartment. At the company’s plant in southern Germany, state-of-the-art CNC machines produce the interior design and construction components. Several 2 ½ D machines for horizontal milling and water jet cutting have been controlled by WiCAM PN4000 since the 1990s.
Mr. Heumos, CAM project supervisor at Dethleffs, gives a brief insight into the processes: In a production like ours, the individuality of our vehicles is the biggest challenge. For some years now, we have only manufacture vehicles according to customer requirements so the superstructures, but also the components, right down to the holes drilled into the interior fittings, are all custom-made. Every day up to 50 finished vehicles roll off the assembly lines. This is only possible thanks to highly efficient process control and the connection to the automatic processes in WiCAM PN4000.
WiCAM interacts with the ERP and CAD system to import and analyze the individual elements from the assembly lines and generates the nestings ‚just in time’. The milled parts are programmed with 3D elements, such as chamfers, T-slots, holes, pockets, back-cuts and side holes, and they are included in the nesting process. The machine operator can trigger the reprocessing of rejects using a barcode scanner so defective parts with the highest priority are automatically regenerated in the next nesting. The insulating materials are cut at the water jet plant. Here, PN4000 generates ERP-controlled components and nestings with common line cutting, which optimizes waste and cuts down on production time.
As Mr. Heumos says, We are proud to be the world champion in variant design with our family-friendly holiday companions. The WiCAM solution is a crucial component in our data and production chain and it helps us to turn almost any customer wish into a reality.