AIDIMA: furniture manufacturing - Trends Forecasting and Collaborative Product Design

Detecting furniture trends before they happen
Decreasing time to collect potential trends from well reputable sources
Connecting to the sentiment and opinions of furniture final customer
Connecting key decision making people through collaborative tools in the creation of new products

Download full trial information!

Read more

Description of the trial

Detecting the furniture trends before they happen, connecting to the sentiment and opinions of our final customers and offering collaborative tools to the people involved in the creation of new products. We have to use technology to automate these processes and make them more effective while improving their quality. These processes are not new. They are simply being carried out currently in a manual fashion, thus: i) the amount of information being obtained is less, ii) the amount of work dedicated by person is larger, iii) the capacity of accessing people’s opinion is minimum, iv) the potential to collaborate is reduced geographically, and so forth. Automation of these processes is key as the processes themselves. We know where the information is. We just need to have the right tools to analyze it and be able to share it among all stakeholders independently of their location.

FITMAN AIDIMA Trial fact sheet

Innnovative service and functionalities

  • Automated versus manual processes

  • Opinion mining and sentiment analysis

  • Location independent collaborative processes

  • Automatic text mining for trend detection

  • More electronic sources can be analyzed in less time

  • Higher involvement of key players in all aspects of design process

Impact & benefits

Efficiency is achieved by the reduction of searching time for electronic sources from having tools to automate the ongoing manual processes. Also by saving time when addressing customers complaints or negative opinions, and at the technical office during the design process. Productivity is achieved by increasing the number of sources that analysts can process giving almost a double value, and helping to develop the home trends report with better and more accurate information. It can also be observed at the design processes since collaborative processes among all stakeholders yield a greater number of sketches developed, almost twice as many as in the as-is scenario. Finally, other indicators of economic, marketing and social nature are being measured such as the number of e-customer opinions that in the as-is scenario were non-existent, consequently with FITMAN the scope is maximized. In addition, the number of players in the design process, limited before by geographical constraints, can be unlimited now, therefore enriching the design experience by adding all important stakeholders to this key process.

Technical challenges

The main technical challenged was to build easy to use software tools with a limited budget using best of breed heterogeneous software modules, while integrating them and applying them to a broad range of sources of information. Developing a cost-friendly solution was necessary to open the solution to SMEs. The solution was developed with a user-friendly interface and a focus on the design of innovative products. The use of the tool is intended to be intuitive so that a faster return on investment is pursued. The solution was conceived from the beginning with a cloud-driven purpose to lower the technical barrier entrance. The architecture solution is an instantiation of the digital factory general reference architecture with trial specific modules developed by UPV. The Unstructured and Social Data Analytics SE provides functionality to tag tweets and facebook posts with sentiments, Virtual Obeya, along with the collaborative 3D web viewer, the PLM iLike SE and the integrator SeMED provide a collaborative solution that integrates diverse information from web applications already in used by AIDIMA (such as google drive, project management web application or a post-it web application). Finally, UPV has developed the text indexer engine and the weak signal server, a couple of trial specific components that execute text mining on RSS sources and identify trends that can be manage, promoted and store on SQLServer databases. Finally, a set of specific interfaces have been developed (Furniture Opinion Analyzer, Weak signal forecasting and collaborative innovative widgets) with an easy to use philosophy that make easy for analysts and managers to tackle with all the previous information.

Business challenges

The original situation was mostly characterized by a lack of automation in all processes. Trend analysis processes, all searches manually, accessing posts and articles, were done manually and required longer times by analysts. Most of the customer’s opinions had to be obtained at retail stores, or at events or fairs, again manually, therefore losing fidelity by not being able to access the wide spectrum of customers of the product or the brand in question. The third business scenario involving the design process from the creative idea to the prototype being developed from it, and later mass produced, is done with limited resources since all decision makers don’t have the right tools to perform a fully collaborative design process. They rely now on standard emails, or basic phone calls, and this subtracts lots of new potential from their work. A to-be scenario breaks through all this, and adds automation, intelligent searches, and collaborative tools to aid the important key processes while detecting furniture trends, studying and analyzing customers opinions and sentiment, and finally, designing custom made products based on the final customers demands. All the processes are largely benefited from FITMAN tools. Tools that assist analysts, managers, designers, and other stakeholders in being more accurate when creating products that will fit customers demands.

IT PARTNER: Universitat Politècnica de València

The Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) is a Spanish Public University with 13 High Technical Schools of Engineers, 30 Bachelors and 60 Masters. The staff is more than 5.300 (2.700 teaching and research, 800 research and 1.800 administrative), with more than 38.000 students. In 2013 its budget was roughly 353 MEuro. UPV is very active in R+D Projects and contracts with private companies, the incomes in 2012 produced by these activities were 30 MEuro). The Research Centre on Production Management and Engineering (CIGIP) is at the leading edge on enterprise modelling, manufacturing planning research, particularly manufacturing assembly, distribution and service supply chain management research issues. CIGIP gathers more than 30 members including professors, associate professors and full researchers dedicated to teaching and research & development in different areas of Operations and Production Management. From 1994 the CIGIP has participated in several European and Spanish Research Projects and several research & development contracts with regional industrial firms from different industrial sectors.


Founded in 1984, the Technology Institute on Furniture, Wood, Packaging and related industries, AIDIMA, is a private, non-profit organization recognized by the Spanish Science and Technology Interministerial Commission. AIDIMA’s purpose is to contribute to increase competitiveness in the Spanish sector for the furniture, wood, packaging and related industries, specially in all aspects related to quality, technological innovation, training, information, security, and environment. AIDIMA also wants to improve management in the areas of design, production, marketing, and to empower of export activities. AIDIMA’s associated companies are part of one of the most important specialized, and highly recognized Technological Centers in the world. Among its different activities are: Research and Technological Development and Innovation Programs (R&D), Design and development of products, Standardization and certification, Quality and security, Environmental, Logistics and process technology, Packing and transportation of goods, Information technologies, Training, Information, Market analysis and strategy, Advice, consulting and advance services, Cooperation, Internationalization, Dissemination and technological transfer