Here are a few tips on how to survive the recession and stay ahead in the competition by cutting down costs, effort and energy and how to convert crises into opportunity. A smarter way of working is the best remedy for the situation.

Fixing of Hardware

This is one of the most important operation that value adds the furniture. It is a very precise work and needs a lot of care while doing it. Even a very good furniture fitting-hardware will perform in inefficient manner if not fixed accurately. We normally see that the drawers are not sliding smoothly or hinges are not working properly, the door lifting mechanism is very rough, all this happens due to inaccurate fixing of hardware.

Perfect fitting of Hardware: Drilling mirror holes

The drilling of the holes for the hardware fittings are done on the side panels and these should be mirror holes. Slightest mistake in drilling holes results in to improper fixing of the hardware.

All the hardware companies provide detailed drawing about the drilling of the holes, it’s positioning and the fine-tuning.

The weight of the component like door, drawer & the size plays a vital role in proper selection of the hardware. Slightest mistake in the selection of the hardware will result in the over loading and consequently failure in long term working.

It should be noted that the particleboard / plywood/ MDF used in the making of the drawers and furniture boxes are just sanded but these need to be calibrated. The variation in the thickness of the panel board is very critical as it directly affects the inside or outside dimensions of the furniture cabinets & boxes when they are manufactured in batches. One can adjust the hole positions of the dowel / KD fittings in order to maintain either inside or outside dimensions of the boxes. For accurate and smooth fixing of the drawer slides and drawer boxes, the inside dimension of the furniture are very important.

If one tries to maintain the inside dimension then outside finish does not match and if tries to maintain out side finish then the inside dimensions does not come accurate causing problems in drawer movement. Hence it becomes very crucial about the manufacturing process to achieve both i.e. to have both inside & outside dimensions accurately maintained.Fixing-of-Hardware01 Fixing-of-Hardware02 Fixing-of-Hardware03 Fixing-of-Hardware04

The above precaution is also applicable for the drawers that are manufactured in batches and for the drawers that need interchangeability. In most of factories we see that the drawers are marked with numbers so that these are used at fixed position only. Interchangeability of the drawers is not possible. This operation needs a lot of skill and precise work, and the final finish of the product is dependent upon the skill of the worker.

Hence high quality panel furniture manufacturers/ and those who plan to avoid the manual work, always perform an extra operation of accurate calibration of the panels in their factory and then these are upgraded with paper / veneer / laminate etc. As the thickness of all the panels after calibrating will be uniform, hence after accurate cutting of the components, the boxes have the same inside & outside dimensions. This assures accurate and smooth working of the drawer slides and drawer boxes.

Precise assembly for perfect motion : Courtesy Blum

Blum’s templates and assembly devices help you assemble Blum products. Tried and tested in everyday applications, they ensure that assembly is simple, efficient and straightforward.

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They are a perfect combination of high precision and practical value, which is greatly appreciated both in workshops and directly on site. Ease of use and durability make them essential tools and guarantee top quality assembly that inspires professionals.

Assembly Devices

Blum assembly devices and machines facilitate the assembly of drawers and pull-outs. They are very simple to use and set up, and make it easier for you to do precise and efficient assembly.

The use of these devices assures damage free assembly and uniform fixing of the accessories.

Quality hardware does not automatically guarantee quality furniture

—– Courtesy By Hettich

Imagine a furniture or kitchen buyer interested in spending money on a beautifully designed, quality piece of furniture or kitchen. This person, pr ivate or dealing on behalf of any company, will be interested to invest the money wisely. Thus he or she would investigate the latest trends or ask a competent person for advice to ensure that the furniture or kitchen ordered should of course not only be good looking (modern or traditional is after all a matter of taste) but expect the product to be of perfect quality, delivering high performance.

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This is possible only if all parts are properly aligned in perfect harmony and all drawers and doors open and close silently in a most comforting manner and be durable enough not to wear off or fall apart after just a few months or years of use. This is possible only if the manufacturer undergoes a process of product development, engineering, procurement and preparing of components etc. in order to make and deliver in the end everything as per specifications to meet the customer expectations.Fixing-of-Hardware11 Fixing-of-Hardware12During this process, there are many chances to cause major quality problems to the end product, remember that each piece of hardware, every component of quality furniture fittings, has been designed, produced and tested with precision engineering! The fittings measurements often meet an accuracy of under 1/10 or even 1/100mm, which is usually impossible to meet in woodworking, due to the nature of the material itself, i.e. wood. It shrinks and expands with the temperature and humidity, easily exceeding 1/10mm on a piece of solid wood or chipboard. Therefore, it is good to know that engineers designing quality furniture fitting keep this factor in mind and prepare fittings to forgive some inaccuracies.

What may happen?

There might be errors in the furniture design.

1.1     Panels may be calculated to wrong measurements, e.g. not matching requirements of     the fittings.

1.2     The wrong choice of hardware ( e.g. mounting plates are available in different     thicknesses to create different overlays and reveals, runners and sliding doors     systems also come in versions for different panel thicknesses )

1.3     The fixing position of the fittings may be calculated incorrectly, thereby causing the         cabinet or Front panels to be positioned incorrectly.

  1. Mistakes can also happen during production.
  2. 2.1 In industrial production, mistakes mostly happen when measurements are set on the machines. Even if a single setting is one or two millimeters off to either side, the entire series of furniture May be facing a lack of quality: Panels will not fit to each other, doors or drawers may not Open / close correctly or reveals will not be in line. Luckily, with some experts working hand in hand, chances are good that someone will discover the  mistake before it can cause too much trouble and thereby cost too much to correct.2.2   Small manufacturers often face difficulties because of lack of precision tools with them. In case employees make up for the missing tools, stress causes problems: Again, measurements may be only a millimeter off or a hole might be drilled through or not deep enough, it can destroy at least a panel it not the entire furniture.Unfortunately, projects in small companies without access to a proper workshop and sophisticated equipment are often taken care of by one single worker or small teams. These companies seldom run a serial production, but benefit from offering one off individual piece of furniture, this often leads to changing designs and thereby running the risk of making lot of mistakes!There are simple ideas and tools available to avoid mistakes and make the process more secure and more efficient.
    1. The general idea of system 32 furniture construction, relates to three standard and simple rules to remember measurement.

    * Drill holes for many fittings, they remain 32mm apart from each other

    * The distance to the front or rear edge of a panel is usually 37mm in case of overlay construction.

    * Most system 32 holes are diameter 5mm, perfect for either dowels or special screws used for system 32 fittings.

    1. System 32 can be referred in many steps during the manufacturing process:

    Fixing-of-Hardware132.1   Every furniture designer should remember System 32 when starting to plan: Have a quick look at the fitting to understand if it is designed according to System 32. In that case, planning is simple! Very often, different fittings can even be used for the same holes. Avoid mistakes in planning, save time if you can use the old standard drawings.

    2.2   If the workshop is equipped with System 32 jigs or tools set to System 32 standards,    and if the designer worked according to system 32, then there might not even be the need to reset the tools! This is saving time again and also avoiding the possibility to    make mistakes. At the same time System 32 standards are easy to remember and to cross check. If there are not tools available in the workshop yet, there are many useful, simple and cheap System 32 jigs in the market. These are always a good investment, not only useful for the workshop, but also for jobs done on site: Especially simple drilling jigs can be carried to site and used for retrofitting or fixing mistakes. This investment often pays the very first time these jigs are used as you save a lot of time for not returning to the workshop, not destroying a cabinet and still delivering perfect quality to the customer!

    2.3 Assembly of System 32 fittings is also very simple and allows for many options: Hinges can be Mounted on different mounting plates fitting into System 32 holes, different runners can also be mounted in System 32 holes, sometimes in different positions. Even sliding door runners and guides are often mounted in holes following the System 32 idea, using the same screws for3mm holes and making it easy to screw-fix them on site.

    After all: A good preparation always supports the next production or installation step to work just perfect, saving time and supporting the final quality to be delivered. Finally, only the happy customers Will return and recommend the supplier to others.