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The future of working in office furniture production 4.0

Guido Hübner to speak about digitalisation at the “Living & Home” conference

At the “Living & Home” industry conference at the end of October in Frankfurt, the main focus will be on digitalisation in the furniture industry. This year again there will be high-ranking industry experts from business and administration holding presentations on various aspects of the subject, which will relate to terms such as Work 4.0 and Industry 4.0. Among the speakers is our own technical head, Guido Hübner.

He has already given us a preview as part of a guest article for Management Circle. He talks about working in the smart factory of the future, which is already a reality in many places in the connected production facilities at ASSMANN Office Furniture in Melle.


Working at ASSMANN. Working in office furniture production 4.0 

We paved the way for digitalisation very early on. With a connected production control system and the integration of robotics in production, Melle saw the first steps taken towards Industry 4.0 as long as ten years ago. The result is one of the most modern furniture production facilities in Germany, Guido Hübner reports in his blog article about his own experiences, and he provides insights into the changes that digitalisation brings. There is a clear focus on the changes that we will see in the working world.

The future of working has already begun. However, it is an opportunity that also comes with a lot of challenges. Here at ASSMANN, we face these challenges. The role of people and their work has developed further and will continue to do so in the office furniture manufacturing sector, as well. Brawn was important in the past, but today, brains are becoming ever more essential. 


3 questions to Guido Hübner

What steps towards digitalisation does ASSMANN plan to take next?
We are planning to provide even more technical support to production staff. One such measure in digitalisation is projecting drawings of components onto tools to facilitate assembly. Moreover, we also plan to introduce some measures as part of our new table assembly line. We also intend to integrate “pick by light” after integrating “pick by voice” some years ago. This will involve staff being guided by lights in the warehouse when picking orders. Another project deals with driverless transport systems. 

Is digitalisation given enough attention in the region and where is some catching up required?
The topic now has a considerable presence in the region. I participate in many networks, and digitalisation is being discussed intensively everywhere. One key topic is often the lack of broadband connections. What good is the latest technology when you can’t really use it? However, I keep realising that we have already come a long way at ASSMANN. Not just in production, but also within the administration. Because that’s where all production begins, so to speak. In order to continually optimise our processes here as well, we are always working on improving lean management. 

Will future apprentices be adequately prepared for digitalisation in the economy? 
Above all, we need well qualified specialists for digitalisation. This also requires corresponding facilities at schools and vocational colleges with suitably qualified teachers and technical equipment. This is where thetopic of broadband connections comes into play again. Like the companies in rural areas, the vocational colleges also need better facilities. The theory must be better coordinated to reflect practical applications, in order to create good opportunities for implementation and testing.