Increasing output from the capacity you have is the holy grail of wood products manufacturers. To do so requires having your finger on what is happening to every item in production at every stage.
 
While technology has been advancing continuously, it remains a daunting challenge to link individual machines into a plant information system. And since many of the work processes involved in cabinetry and furniture production are manual operations - often involving wood components and specialty items sourced from third parties - capturing production data must happen on two levels.
 
Production Coach, a newly released manufacturing plant control system, represents a fresh approach to addressing these challenges of plant integration. 
 
Among the 1,000 exhibits at IWF 2016, it would have been easy to miss Production Coach, where it was generating buzz in its pre-release phase at the RSA Associates booth. A version of Production Coach is already in use by 400 users in Canada, where it has established a track record for managing and monitoring work-in-process on factory floors, tracking all manufacturing information in real time, receiving up-to-the-minute data from robots, machine monitors and employees.  
 
"Of all the factories I go into, perhaps one out of three hundred are operating at capacity," says Roger Shaw of RSA Associates.“I see idle machines all  the time.” 
 
Production Coach addresses the reality of wood products manufacturing at the piece and project level. Modular in nature, the system is built around workstations positioned at key production points. It allows you to have as many or as few stations in the shop and office as desired, and only those features activated at any station that are required. For some stations, tracking first operation, assembly and shipping may be enough. At other stations, tracking and production progress may not be as important as kitting and ensuring that everything makes it on the truck.
 
Production Coach software has established links with Cabinet Vision, Microvellum, and woodCAD|CAM, which simplifies implementation. This provides the opportunity for quick implementation and harnessing of existing CAD|CAM data. 
 
RSA Solutions will perform a capacity audit for prospective adopters, and identify how to roll out Production Coach for best implementation. The system will be on view at AWFS Fair 2017 in July 19-21 in Las Vegas, and featured in a presentation at the July 18  Leadership Conference, where early adopter Kent Swinson of e Timberline Cabinetry & Millwork will describe his firm's experience with the system.  Learn more at  www.rogershaw.com/products/production-coach/