The Konecranes Agilon automated storage and retrieval system frees up space, saves time, makes inventory easier and improves customer service at EC Electro Center Oy in Tampere, Finland.
Electro Center Oy manufactures e-house solutions related to electric power distribution and machine control as well as electrical and automation switchgears and control panels. The company’s most important market and customer segments are shipyard cranes, renewable energy, glass technology as well as the mining, paper and marine industries. Its products are included in solutions delivered by global machinery and equipment manufacturers around the world.
Challenge: More space needed for a component shop
EC Electro Center is especially proud of its component shop that offers a wide selection of electrical and automation components to meet the needs of machinery and equipment manufacturers, electrical contractors and industrial maintenance service providers.
Agilon occupies only 55 m2 of floor space, leaving 245 m2 free for the component shop
Mika Vaherla, Sales Director, Electro Center Oy
EC Electro Center wanted to improve its services and expand its pickup desk and small item storage into a component shop. The open shelves in the small item storage occupied almost all of the 300 square-meter floor space, and the company wanted to free up most of it for the shop. Additionally, warehouse management was completely manual and mainly relied on the employees’ good memory.
Solution: Agilon frees up 245 m2 of space
Konecranes Agilon® warehouse management system was installed between the component shop and the production facilities. The 32-metre long and 6.1-metre high device is equipped with two robots. It occupies only 55 m2 of floor space, leaving 245 m2 free for the shop. In addition to creating the shop, floor space was freed up in the production cells, since part of the components were re-located to Agilon.
Users quickly learned how to use the system. It has been designed so simply that you only need short guidance to get started
Petri Helminen, Component Seller and Agilon main user, Electro Center Oy
“In total, about 15 users quickly learned how to use the system. It has been designed so simply that you only need short guidance to get started,” remarks Component Seller Petri Helminen, who is the main user of Agilon.
Agilon has been integrated with a Lemon enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to create orders and Agilon picking lists.
Easy inventory and online warehouse management
An automatic warehousing system saves time. You do not need to go to the warehouse to search for a product, as you can immediately see its availability in the system. EC Electro Center’s buyer keeps an eye on the alert list in Agilon and orders more products when the stock alert limit is reached. While the ERP system currently being updated, the company is considering an option to add an automated order call-out feature to Agilon with integration into its suppliers’ ERP systems.
Inventory is now easier: the system saves us several weeks of manual work annually
Petri Helminen, Component Seller, Electro Center Oy
“Also, inventory is now easier. The system saves us several weeks of manual work annually that was previously carried out by several staff members. Now, the same information exists both in Agilon and the ERP system. This saved time can be used for productive work that leads to higher production,” Helminen goes on. “Real-time inventory balances are available through the portal. So when I visit customers, I can check product availability right away if necessary.”
“In the future, we intend to reduce storage space in our production cells, and Agilon plays a pivotal role in helping us achieve this. We want to optimise system use and store products only with high turnover,” Vaherla fills in.
Next: Direct feed to assembly points and 24/7 customer service
In the future, the company has great plans to make more use of Agilon and its features to improve both production and customer service.
“We envision extending Agilon to assembly points with large volumes. Feeding some particular components directly to those points would save our picker’s working time. Our plan also includes improving customer service by offering some specific customers 24/7 access to our facilities and Agilon, enabling fast service round the clock.”
They react even before the customer has time to pick up a phone
Helminen gives special recognition to the customer service at Konecranes for its rapid response in problem situations. They react even before the customer has time to pick up a phone. “There have been a few times when we have not even noticed that a package has fallen off the shelf. Customer service has called us to say that a technician is on the way.”