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Day four began with a trip to the office furniture manufacturer, Febru. With around 180 employees, Febru can produce 120 work surfaces, 150 boxes and 80 carriages. It is an extremely efficient facility. All products are made from thermally fused laminate (TFL). The edgebanding process employs only laser for a nearly seamless edge. This midsize office furniture company is state of the art.
The group also had the opportunity to visit the fantastic design center where installations are on display showcasing their beautiful contemporary designs. Each office vignette in the showroom was truly unique.
The next stop was described as a component manufacturer, but turned out to be one of the most interesting facilities we had the pleasure to visit. Horatec in Hovelhof was founded in 1999 by three workers who were best friends. Their idea was produce panel components for other cabinetmakers and business just kept growing. They have roughly 100 employees and make flat pack kitchen cabinetry serving Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Belgium. This state of the art facility had several lines for batch size one component production and unbelievable factory automation as well as sophisticated “pack and ship” automation for the flat pack cabinets.
Horatec maintains a unique arrangement with Egger industries. Finished products are shipped to the Egger distribution facility each morning. Egger distributes cabinets and other components on Horatec’s behalf. The truck is then reloaded with material needed for the next day’s production and returns to the factory for processing. Horatec kitchens are produced and delivered in 7-10 days, which is only possible because they are cutting up to 1,000 components in an 8-hour shift, drilling 700 and edgebanding 900. The fully automated storage system and optimization software make Horatec an efficient producer.