A+W: networking along the value chain

Window companies on the path to Industry 4.0

Software-controlled buffer systems, shuttles, and transport routes direct the components and elements through production

Digitalization has arrived in the German window industry. It’s still possible to see operations where too many production steps are controlled manually, where paper and folders route the component through production, but there are fewer and fewer of these companies, which tend to use software programs in isolation. And that’s the way things should be, for anyone who goes on like this will soon disappear from the market.

Strong thanks to digitalization
Although ever more window companies are implementing automated, networked production, this is usually a reaction to the rapid price decline on the European market and the simultaneous lack of specialized workers. A company that wants to remain successful will digitalize consistently and eliminate work that does not add value, for example, a lot of searching for required elements, which frequently continues even onto construction sites.

The current Corona pandemic has accelerated this development: administration is increasingly being done from home offices, which shows that digital company-wide communication is indispensable. Intelligent digitalization ensures maximum efficiency and faster throughput times with the resulting market advantages.

Network the whole company

Workplace with A+W Cantor CIM: monitors and scanners replace production papers and flow folders

In addition to a state-of-the-art machine park, such innovative companies especially need a comprehensive software solution, in the best case along the entire value chain, one that includes all area of the company and also networks heterogeneous machine parks thanks to intelligent interfaces. Integrated software systems such as A+W Cantor can map all processes, from order entry in the Webshop to production, on through to service/installation planning. This is done based on a central database, without doubled master data or the need for re-entry of orders.

Monitors instead of paper
In such a well-organized company, aside from barcode labels, there is almost no paper in production. CIM monitors provide the required data at each workplace, so that it is always available without tiresome searching for papers or lost sketches. Production cockpits can be designed individually: at a glance, you can see whether an element is in cutting, glazing or already in dispatch and which workstations are occupied or where there is a fault.

Control systems intelligently
Barcodes provide information about the precise storage location of materials, important inserts, and the finished elements. Software-controlled buffer systems, shuttles, and transport lines ensure that components in the various areas make their way correctly through production and that they are combined and glazed intelligently. A+W Cantor provides the required concepts and interfaces in close cooperation with the machine and system builders.

Incorporate the partners
But the value chain doesn’t begin and end at the individual window company. That’s why intelligent cooperation with glass suppliers, for example, ensures clever logistics for glazing. Digital orders are sent directly to the insulated glass manufacturer’s ERP system with optimal configuration, so that the order can be integrated quickly into production: the lites are delivered to the window company precisely when they are needed in the desired sequence so that end customers can be offered quicker delivery times.

A window company’s trade partner sent the order directly to the producer’s A+W Cantor software via the dealer software A+W Cantor Reseller or the A+W iQuote Webshop: dealers are optimally incorporated into the supply chain. Since suppliers such as roller shutter and sunshade manufacturers are also integrated, the dealer can configure the product easily, e.g. via the A+W iQuote Webshop, and create the necessary orders.