KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
17th November 2017
We strongly recommend viewing KBzine full size in your web browser. Click our masthead above to visit our website version.
Ellis Furniture invests to reduce product development times
As part of an ongoing programme of investment, Ellis Furniture - one of the UK's leading suppliers of kitchen and bathroom furniture - is streamlining workflow and reducing new product development times after investing in Autodesk's 'Inventor' product design suite.
This up-to-the-minute CAD system integrates fully with the existing Ellis Furniture enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, achieving significant efficiencies, eliminating data re-entry and reducing the time from design to manufacture significantly.
The new system feeds a three dimensional product image and the entire data behind it into Ellis Furniture's ERP system, creating work orders and automatically driving the company's computer numerical controlled (CNC) machinery, resulting in greater efficiency.
After an implementation period of 18 months, an investment of more than £100,000 and a specialist Autodesk consultancy on hand to facilitate the entire process, the first pieces of furniture designed and produced using the system were completed recently.
Ellis Furniture and its retailers are already reaping the benefits with a stream of new products to be launched this summer, and ranges to be introduced and modified on a more regular basis than ever before, resulting in a higher number of new products available to Ellis Furniture customers.
Whilst a streamlined design and manufacturing process and reduced processing times were the main goals driving the project, numerous other benefits are now becoming evident. Not only are errors avoided in the translation of designs, Autodesk Inventor's animation capabilities help designers communicate ideas with shop floor colleagues using simple visual explanations rather than written instructions to demonstrate the functionality of a design concept.
Ellis Furniture director Tom Ellis explains: "Ellis Furniture has a real focus on continual improvement, and having identified the tangible benefits to be had from streamlining the design and manufacturing process, we wanted to maximise our investment.
"Whilst the integration of CAD and ERP systems is a relatively new initiative for companies of our size, we saw it as an opportunity to bring everything together, reaffirming our position at the forefront of our industry whilst reducing costs and improving our time to market with new products.
"We are really excited about the true extent of the opportunities and benefits to our customers that this investment brings. From now on we will be able to launch more new products in a continual manner, ensuring we keep things fresh for our customers."
Ellis Furniture is a privately owned, family company, now in its fourth generation. With more than 200 employees, it has been manufacturing high quality kitchen, bathroom and bedroom furniture for 120 years from its 200,000 square foot factory in Huddersfield, Yorkshire.
The company offers a design service and an extensive showroom allowing visitors to experience the Ellis Furniture product ranges for themselves. All its carcases are manufactured from Forest Stewardship Council approved materials and a 10-year guarantee applies to all furniture.
Ellis Furniture is an ISO9001:2008, ISO14001:2004 and BS OHSAS 18001:2007 accredited company which boasts its own fleet of vehicles driven by Ellis Furniture employed drivers. A dedicated team of installation managers is on hand to co-ordinate the offloading and installation of furniture.
Picture shows: Ellis Furniture director Tom Ellis
T: 01484 514 212
6th July 2012