Lechner modernises its wood materials warehouse

Lechner makes some key investments and increases its operating capacity by 30 percent

In response to growing demand for wood-based worktops and back walls, Lechner is investing in the expansion of its production facilities: Thanks to a fully modernised wood materials warehouse, this traditional company from Rothenburg ob der Tauber has achieved an average capacity increase of 30 percent. Quality has also been given an additional boost and delivery times have shortened.

Lechner project team

As a specialist in worktops and back walls, and with its investment approach, Lechner has responded to long-term trends within the furnishing industry: The demand for natural materials continues unabated, and is set to increase in years to come. Wood, in particular, is experiencing something of a renaissance when it comes to worktops and back walls, and is considered an indispensable component of modern kitchen designs. Thanks to the modernisation of its machines, increased automation and streamlined work processes, Lechner has now set a clear course for the production of larger volumes.

The customer’s the real winner

“It’s important to us that our production facilities are always state-of-the-art” explains Andrea Lechner-Meidel, CEO of Lechner AG. “Not as an end in itself, but rather in order to provide customers with an optimal range of services.” These services, now possible thanks to the company's new production facility, include a number of key advantages that directly benefit the customer: On average, a capacity increase of roughly 30 percent has been achieved. That, in conjunction with quicker turnaround times, translates into shorter delivery times. An increase has also been achieved in terms of quality: Dimensional accuracy, workmanship and precision cutting have all seen a repeat improvement. There were also a number of innovations regarding edge manufacturing technology: Following the deployment of its laser edge machine, production has now achieved a new level in terms of join quality. Laminate worktops incorporating the new zero joint look, making them appear as if forged from one single piece of material. Finally, all these modernisation efforts are great from a sustainability point of view: Paperless production is now possible with these new machines. This means that production papers are eliminated because the order form is simply displayed by scanning the barcode.

The keywords here are “lean manufacturing”

All this modernisation was implemented by a project team headed up by the Ops Manager for Wood Materials, Emin Güner, and Lean Expert Tommy Wendler. For roughly two years, the pair worked together with the wood production management team to draft and implement the necessary plans: “It was especially important for the project to focus on the future” says Emin Güner, who, as a qualified plastics technician, has managed the wood materials division at Lechner for the last two years. “It was important to us that any such investment in new plants and the optimisation of production processes were sustainable, in order that, in a few years, we will still be running our production operations to a state-of-the-art standard”. Project managers Martin Hofmeier and Cosimo Gianfreda as well as Thorsten Pistler from Sales with the IMA Schelling Group worked closely with the Lechner team to make these sophisticated plant solutions a reality. IMA Klessmann GmbH Holzbearbeitungssysteme is a long-standing partner of Lechner. Our large-scale production hall has been equipped with IMA machines since as far back as 1999 – and Lechner relies on the tailor-made machine solutions from the IMA Schelling Group for the modernisation of its wood materials warehouse. A new machine for wood cutting has now replaced the previous four saws. The result of this lean manufacturing concept is shorter distances, improved ergonomics and a significant increase in employee safety. Clear material flows have also been established as a result. It is now immediately apparent which production line is intended for which material. “The implementation of these measures means that we have set an important course for our future”, much to the delight of Andrea Lechner-Meidel.

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