WMS presents Muskoka Cabinet’s 15-year journey to an Industry 4.0 Smart factory
October 15, 2019 | 5:04 pm UTC

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario – Luke Elias, president of Muskoka Cabinet Company Inc., will retrace the pivotal steps his world-class manufacturing company has taken to develop an Industry 4.0 Smart factory in a keynote address set for noon Thursday, Oct. 31, the opening day of the Woodworking Machinery & Supply Conference & Expo.

Elias said his presentation, “Muskoka’s journey to automation,” will highlight how his company has integrated RFID, ERP, MES, CRM and robotics to maximize manufacturing efficiencies from inventory management through shipping. “A lot of people don’t understand the connection between all of this stuff," he said.

Key takeaways attendees can expect to gain from Elias’ presentation include:

Why RFID (radio frequency identification) is superior to bar coding for tracking parts and products.

“We’ve been using RFID in our factory since 2012,” Elias said. “RFID is much more accurate than bar coding. It's always reading 24/7 without any interaction from the employees on the shop floor. When RFID is implemented properly and placed in strategic locations -- machines, doorways, pallet wrapping machines, warehouses, etc. -- it collects data constantly without employees having to scan with a bar code reader.  It keeps track of materials and supplies from when they come through the receiving door and are placed into inventory to when finished goods arrive at the jobsite.

“With RFID technology today, I wouldn’t go back to bar codes any more than I would buy a fax machine. It’s been said that what gets measured gets improved to achieve success in manufacturing. RFID is the ultimate data collecting tool to help facilitate many of the activities required for Industry 4.0.”


Why it’s important to have a fully operable ERP (enterprise resource system) in place to successfully implement MES (manufacturing execution system).

“Recently all of the buzz in the wood industry, other than Industry 4.0, is about MES,” Elias said. “MES is designed to track parts and products on the shop floor and in the process get a better handle on your costs to manufacture them. We’ve been tracking the status of every part in every department and every production station for 15 years, first with bar codes and now with RFID.

“I recently heard a prominent industry software vendor say wood shops should adopt MES over ERP. This is totally false. You can’t have one without the other. MES is simply a vehicle to collect, monitor and control manufacturing systems and data flow on the factory flow. ERP is the central hub that will tie all data together and generate meaningful reporting. Without ERP, MES is of limited value."


How ERP can help with inventory management, purchasing and capacity planning.

“ERP can manage your whole operation. Tied with your accounting system it can help with tracking inventory and work in progress. For shipping and warehouse management it can help with shipping orders complete. For production scheduling it can help with triggering when to order material just-in-time for a job. For production management it can help identify bottlenecks in production flow.”

Elias said his presentation will also focus on “common pitfalls when implementing new technology,” evaluating vendors and “overcoming employee resistance” to change.

Click here to register to attend Elias’ presentation and WMS.

Learn more about Muskoka Cabinet and Elias' presentation.

About CCI Media
CCI Canada is owned by CCI Media, a business-to-business media company focused exclusively on industrial wood products manufacturing markets in North America. CCI Media’s flagship publication, FDMC magazine, circulates monthly in print and digital formats. CCI Media also publishes the bi-monthly Closets & Organized Storage magazine. Woodworking Network is the umbrella brand for the combined portfolio of wood manufacturing print, digital, and web products and industry events operated by CCI Media. CCI Canada also produces the Woodworking Machinery & Supply Conference & Expo, Oct. 31-Nov.2, at the International Centre, Mississauga, Ontario and Salon Industriel du Bois Ouvré (SIBO), which will be held April 23-25, 2020, in Drummondville, Quebec.

In addition to WMS 2019 and SIBO 2020, CCI Media produces Wood Pro Expo Texas and the Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo, both of which will be co-located March 11-13,  2020, at the Arlington Convention Center in Arlington, Texas. The company also produces Wood Pro Expo Lancaster 2019, to be held October 17-18, at Warehouse at the Nook, Manheim, Pa., and the Executive Briefing Conference, November 8-10, 2020, at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo.








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About the author
Rich Christianson | President/Owner/C-Level

Rich Christianson is the owner of Richson Media LLC, a Chicago-based communications firm focused on the industrial woodworking sector. Rich is the former long-time editorial director and associate publisher of Woodworking Network. During his nearly 35-year career, Rich has toured more than 250 woodworking operations throughout North America, Europe and Asia and has written extensively on woodworking technology, design and supply trends. He has also directed and promoted dozens of woodworking trade shows, conferences and seminars including the Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo and the Woodworking Machinery & Supply Conference & Expo, Canada’s largest woodworking show.