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Flat line furniture manufacture.

The flat line process is the furniture manufacturing system that maximizes the uses of woodworking machinery in the production process. It is the answer in the woodworking industry to the problem about the labor cost that is going to be more expensive according to the development of civilization. The woodworking technology keep developing many new technology and provide new machines to reduce the uses of the man power in the woodworking process. The furniture manufacturing process traditionally could be well-known as the low tech and labor-intensive process, but with the advanced technology there many woodworking processes can be done by the modern machinery and high technology with less labor. Many woodworking processes such as: cutting, boring, sanding and even finishing can be done fast and consistent by less uses of man power with modern woodworking machines.
Flat line woodworking machinery will change the woodworking industry from the dirty, noisy, low tech and high labor industry to be the modern high tech and less labor. The concept of the flat line furniture process is started from the construction and design. The furniture construction must be made in the knock down in the simple component form a
s far as possible to let the machinery do the processes. The production processes from cutting, sizing, boring, sanding until finishing is done by modern machinery. To do it, then we need to break down the furniture in the simple components and do the whole process in the component. Even the packing and shipping is done in the components. The assembling is the last process must be simply done, since it may be done in the customer side.

woodworking industry

This system needs the high precision and consistency. Every component must have same size and for to let can be assembled without any problem. This requirement can be fulfilled with the uses of the modern machinery and system. There are many modern woodworking machines such as: CNC router, molding machine, and even carving machine that is reliable to cut and form the wood or wood product with high precision. They work automatically and controlled by computer program; the operator work to create the proper program to set the machine and let the machine to do the woodworking process automatically. The modern machines now has capability to cut and form the wood pieces, MDF, plywood or other wood product to make the components.

The same way is in the finishing. The sanding and finishing must be done to the component. There are many wood sanding machines such as: wide belt sander, brush sander, stroke sander to do the sanding process that work faster then the manually hand sanding to the built up furniture. Even the manually sanding with the hand sander will lot time faster when performed at the component shapes.

In the finishing process we need to reduce the manually spray and maximize the uses of flat line finishing machine. With the flat line machine, the finishing process can be done much faster and more efficient compared with the manual spray application. With the UV coating and roller coater machine  we can coat the wood to built 3 mill film thickness with the coating cost about US $ 1 per square meter surface area. Whereas to get the same film thickness with spray application by using PU, NC or Acid Curing coating will costly about 4 USD per square meter. The other flat line machine such as the curtain coater or automatic spraying system may not as cheap as the roller coater, but it still cheaper then the manual spray application.

Although the flat line system will reduce the production cost in the furniture manufacturing system, but in fact it is not suitable to every furniture manufacturer. There are some furniture models that are not economic or even cannot be made with the flat line machine. The furniture product with complex form such as: carved furniture, chair, leg, or some special form cannot be sanded with machine, either cannot be finished with the flat finishing line. The antique or special finish will need lot of handwork that cannot be accommodated with the flat line finishing system. The finishing for high end product such as: the very high gloss finish also still need manually hand work, either the spraying application or the rubbing to get the perfect coating film. 

The flat line finishing process is also not economically feasible to make the product with small amount. The machine will be able to do the working process fast and consistent but only for the same size product and with the same finishing material. To run the machine we need the electricity that could be expensive if the volume is small. The machine need to be set up according to the product size and requirement and every changes to the product specification then he need new setting. Every changes at the machine will costly since the time consuming and electricity start up. The flat line finishing is more suitable to do the mass product with high volume. It is suitable to the furniture manufacture which makes product with the same form, size and model with high volume. 

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