Canadel – Radio frequency identification and automated guided vehicle
For more than 40 years, Canadel has produced furniture assembled and finished by hand, according to the highest quality standards in the industry and following eco-responsible processes.
The shift to 4.0: A solution to the labor shortage
Founded in 1982, the family business is a North American leader in dining room furnishings. Of its six factories, the chair factory is the largest, with 200 employees and departments for silk upholstery, fabric cutting, and production (chair assembly, painting, shipping).
The main challenge was to be able to assign all the chairs in order to transport them to the right department. Previously, everything was done by humans. The labor shortage coupled with the expansion of the factory was the trigger to make the shift to 4.0 and manufacturing automation. Solutions had to be found to optimize production and allow employees to work on the products instead of having to transport them.
See Canadel’s 4.0 factory in action and listen to the stakeholders’ testimonials
AGVs and RFID in harmonious interaction
Now, automated guided vehicles (AGVs) directed by radio frequency identification (RFID) instructions drive chairs to the right department without human intervention. Printed labels with embedded chips identify the product to the database, which recognizes the operations to be performed on that chair model and transmits the route directly to the AGV.
AGVs and RFID also help in the association of components and sub-components, for example chair frames and their seats. With the help of RFID, the AGV navigates the right path to the seat store and communicates with it to retrieve the seat corresponding to a chair. This avoids a lot of errors and increases productivity.
A winning solution all around
As for the staff, far from being wary of automation, the employees immediately embraced these new technologies and are indeed proud to work with AGVs and RFID. With more space to maneuver and greater efficiency, the working atmosphere has become more pleasant. And employee satisfaction increases retention – a must in today’s job market.
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