Chea Ee Industries

Positive Partnership

Still standing strong after three decades of being in the furniture industry, Malaysian family enterprise Chea-Ee Industries shares how it stays relevant with the help of its trusted machinery partner.

In recent years, consumer behaviour has changed; instead of buying off the shelves what is ready-made and available in the market, more furniture buyers are opting for customised furniture. By getting manufacturers to make furniture according to their specifications, buyers can create ideal environments that are not only functional but also reflect accurately their personal styles. Starting out as a home and office furniture manufacturer when it was founded in the1980s, Chea-Ee Industries Sdn Bhd has responded to this shift by changing its business strategy. While the company specialised in the mass production of office furniture during the late 1990s, it has decided to shift its focus from furniture production to the production of customised furniture components since 2003 due to changing market demands. Chea-Ee’s business development manager, Woo Chin Ee, said that these changes were happening in both commercial and residential markets and that adapting to them would help the company remain competitive. Therefore, the company has devoted itself to being a reliable original equipment manufacturer and has supplied to furniture manufacturers in both Malaysia and other countries. Chea-Ee embarked on its factory expansion project in 2012 to increase production capability to fulfil the growing demand for furniture components in the office, residential and hotel furniture sectors. This saw the extension of its production area and investment in more machinery. Chea-Ee has worked with Biesse machines for decades and trusts them to deliver what it needs. The company purchased its first Biesse machine 20 years ago to achieve good finishing and efficiency in the production of curve-edged components, and it has never regretted since then. Today, Chea-Ee depends on machines of various functionality, such as panel storage system, panel-sizing, edgebanding, CNC and drilling machines from the Italian machine manufacturer for its daily operations. Woo said investing in Biesse machines has increased productivity and reduced manpower needs while keeping the quality of its products consistent. He added that although multiple machines are needed in order to have a complete processing plant, Biesse’s technologies makes it possible to minimise the required number of machines for production by offering machines that perform multiple functions. For instance, a Rover CNC machining centre can carry out routing for both straight and curve cutting followed by edgebanding; drilling can also be done in a single cycle. Its advantage also lies in being able to produce both small and large volumes of components. Furthermore, the use of Biesse software opti-planning has also reduced machine set-up time because the software is able to optimise the programme automatically. The investment in CNC machinery has also brought many conveniences to our company, and the most significant one is the reduction of human labour. Despite the need for less manpower, these machines consistently produce furniture components at high precision and with good finish. When asked which his favourite buy from Biesse is, Woo names Winstore. As an original equipment manufacturer that does not impose a minimum order quantity on its clients, it is challenging to produce single pieces of panels. To overcome this challenge, Chea-Ee brings in panels of several thicknesses and in some 30 colours, and, with Winstore, prepares a certain volume of all the available colours and thicknesses in advance. The machine automatically manages panels made of different materials and of various sizes, reducing time and manpower required for the task. This significantly reduces delivery time and has allowed Chea-Ee to fulfil its clients’ needs in an efficient and cost-effective way. Woo pointed out that it is necessary for a good OEM manufacturer to have very good understanding of materials, production and technologies and that his team is always mindful to keep up with the latest innovation and technologies in the industry. Woo said, “To maintain our competitive advantage, we equipped our factory with innovative technology such as the Biesse Air Force System to ready ourselves for the market demand of higher-end products. We are very pleased and satisfied with what we have achieved since getting our first Biesse machine as it had really brought our products to a higher level. Our overall experience in working with Biesse is fantastic.” While challenges occur from time to time due to unforeseen technical errors, Woo said Chea-Ee continues to work well with Biesse’s service team which strives to resolve and prevent the problems his company faces. Woo is positive about the future of Chea-Ee and its collaboration with its long-time partner. He said, “By having the production technologies from Biesse, we are confident that we will be able to meet the demand for our regional market and at the same time achieve the desired standards required by our customers around the world. We are excited for what is coming ahead in the future as the demand for MFC components and products in our regional market is getting higher over the years. We strongly believe that Biesse will still be our choice in higher technologies of woodworking machine.”

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