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Milk delivered from dairy farms to Juustoportti must be processed quickly not to spoil it. In a critical operating environment, machinery must operate reliably 24/7, and spare parts must be quickly and readily available. The Konecranes Agilon material handling system gathered spare parts in a single location, brought digitalisation to the maintenance warehouse, and improved the availability of production machines. It also allowed employees to focus on more productive tasks and made room for a growing production.
Juustoportti Ltd. is a Finnish family-owned company that has grown from a small dairy farm into a thriving business over the past 50+ years. They produce and offer many high-quality products, including dairy, cheese, and gluten-free oat drinks. Abroad, Juustoportti is better known for the export brand Friendly Viking´s.
The company has proliferated and invested in new production machinery. While the investment rate has been high considering the company’s size, maintenance resources have grown more slowly. Maintenance employs about 13 people. “Before Agilon warehouse automation, spare parts for production equipment were here and there in small storerooms around the company. Some were catalogued in an Excel file, some in notebooks, and some purely in certain employees’ memories,” says production director Janne Vilén. The dairy’s operating environment is critical, as incoming milk must be quickly processed into products. No extended stoppages due to machine failures can be afforded, which puts maintenance and repair activities under pressure in terms of competence and the easy 24/7 availability of spare parts.
“Managing spare parts was our challenge before Agilon. We struggled to keep them in one place and find them quickly, resulting in weekly parts shortages for the maintenance unit. We spent too much time searching for spare parts by calling suppliers and assigning couriers for rapid delivery. The process was both frustrating and time-consuming”.
Spare parts in a single place – automated warehouse Agilon
The solution to our challenges was the Agilon material handling system.
The solution to our challenges was the Agilon material handling system. The 30 meters long and six-meter-tall unit was installed in Juustoportti’s maintenance facilities, where most necessary spare parts were added centrally. Since the beginning, production has grown, and it has been expanded twice.
“Konecranes offered excellent support during the project’s specification phase, and they still support us during operations. All we had to do was define the space we had available, the sizes of the boxes and the volume of the parts we would place in Agilon. Konecranes took care of dimensioning and capacity calculations. The project was incredibly painless and easy. We only needed an Internet connection and a regular industrial socket. The system was delivered and installed on schedule, and after a short training provided by Konecranes, we started using it immediately”, recalls Vilén.
“We built hype for the development of Agilon as we processed the system on several occasions with mechanics and supervisors and watched videos of its operations. We also visited the Agilon production plant in Tampere, Finland, where they operate.” In addition to Juustoportti’s maintenance, the system is used by subcontractors who can obtain spare parts or supplies using their unique identifiers. In total, the system has some 60 users.
Higher reliability for production lines through automation
We don’t have it” and “I can’t find it” are now things of the past, as balances are always accurate.
Agilon brought digitalisation to Juustoportti in warehouse management. Spare parts balances are now monitored automatically, with alerts sent directly to the inbox of the person responsible for spare parts orders. “We don’t have it” and “I can’t find it” are now things of the past, as balances are always accurate.
The Agilon system can be adjusted to send orders to suppliers automatically, and it can be integrated with enterprise resource planning systems.
Agilon has met and even exceeded its expectations
"Production stoppages due to missing parts were immediately reduced by over 50%, and the production lines' reliability has improved with the availability of spare parts. Spare parts can now be found quickly, and balances are accurate, which is a key factor in minimizing the duration of production interruptions. In addition, Agilon facilitates picking spare parts packages for preventive maintenance. It saves time for productive work in many ways," says Vilén.
Agilon has saved a significant amount of floor space and released it for growing production.
In addition to time savings, Agilon has saved a significant amount of floor space and released it for growing production. As another helpful feature, the production manager mentions monitoring spare parts transactions and consumption: every pick-up, drop-off, and timestamp is saved in the system’s memory. Agilon processes an average of 650 transactions a week.
I don’t know what more we could hope for.
“The search function is excellent. Mechanics have written nicknames for spare parts in additional information fields to make it even easier for Agilon to find spare parts. The user interface is clear and easy to use. I don’t know what more we could hope for. It seems that the system can do everything we want it to do. And there are still many properties we have not tried yet.”
Enhanced Warehouse Efficiency
24/7 accessibility for all parts
100 % picking accuracy for every part
no more manual stock take
no more downtime looking for parts
For more information, please contact Jarkko Hemmi, Agilon Sales Manager, Finland
In a critical dairy operating environment, machines must operate reliably 24/7, and in the event of failure, spare parts must be easily and quickly available. Agilon brought the spare parts together in one place and digitalisation to the maintenance warehouse, improving the usability of production machinery. Welcome to watch the webinar. Our guest is Janne Vilén, Production Director at Juustoportti Food Oy.
Webinar recorded 4.2.2021
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