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Plastic Omnium Automotive Ltd. used to encounter issues with stock management, slow stock access as well as low stock accuracy and lack of space. Today, its maintenance and repair operations (MRO) materials are continuously accessible, the location of each required item is easily identified, and no transaction goes unnoticed as each pick is recorded. The benefits brought by a Konecranes Agilon® automated warehouse bring substantial savings of approximately £70,000 annually. The investment payback time was less than six months.
Plastic Omnium is a French family-led independent group that operates globally with 135 production plants in 25 countries and 25 R&D centres. Its diversified customer portfolio, industrial excellence and innovation strategy make it a major player in the automobile sector. The Edison Road facility supplies tailgates to Jaguar Land Rover.
We were looking for better control of our maintenance spares
“We were looking for better control of our maintenance spares. The main driver was knowing if we had a spare or not for parts and related transactions. We needed to reduce the occurrence of spare parts not being available at time of breakdowns. Space reduction was another consideration,” says Duncan Lewis, Plant Engineer and the main user of Agilon at Plastic Omnium.
We visited a site where we saw Agilon in action, got the “wow effect” and decided that Agilon was the way to go.
The company looked at several traditional alternatives to solve its stock management issues. Duncan Lewis saw an advert for Agilon and first thought it might be a warehousing option for the tailgates. Upon further investigation and discussions, the system seemed to suit better for storing smaller maintenance spares. “We visited a site where we saw Agilon in action, got the “wow effect” and decided that Agilon was the way to go. Out of the many options, it was the best suited for our needs, especially because of transaction accountability, the photo and weight options, and the accountability by PIN/fingerprint logon.”
Saving up to nearly £70,000 annually
We estimated that we could pay back the Agilon system in six months
Before making the decision in favour of Agilon, Plastic Omnium made a detailed ROI calculation to find the total savings potential. They added up the time taken up by the current manual process of searching for spares and the value of manual work that Agilon does automatically plus the future savings potential through an automatic replenishment process.
“We estimated that we could pay back the Agilon system in six months and save up to £69,600 per year. It is a massive saving for any business,” Duncan points out.
Installed in only three days
Its installation took only three days whereas installing a traditional stock management system takes from six to eight weeks.
The 10-metre long and 6.1-metre high Agilon system at Plastic Omnium features one robot and one user access point. Its installation to only three days whereas installing a traditional stock management system takes from six to eight weeks.
According to Duncan Lewis, installation was very efficient and well-controlled, meeting all their expectations. “The staff were a bit wary at first, but once taken through to see how the device operates, they really liked it. In addition, other members of our staff have been very impressed seeing it in action.” Currently, there are some 2,600 parts stored in the system.
Shorter response time to breakdowns
Agilon has improved our response time to breakdowns as people know where to go to get a spare
Deploying Agilon in the Plastic Omnium warehouse has brought significant benefits – and solved the earlier mentioned issues. “Agilon has improved our response time to breakdowns as people know where to go to get a spare and if we have one or not and act accordingly if we don’t. It has also helped us pass financial and system audits,” says Duncan Lewis.
It improves budgeting, accountability and working with suppliers as we have given them access with fingerprint to replenish the stock.
“We have quick access to the parts through the portal, control over P&L and stock levels. It improves budgeting, accountability and working with suppliers as we have given them access with fingerprint to replenish the stock.”
The system uptime has been over 99%.
In case of technical issues, the staff is backed up by the Agilon Global Technical Support (24/7 Remote Service team). Lewis goes on: “We have had couple of issues, but the Agilon team is very responsive and know the issues before we do. We communicate by chatting. The system uptime has been over 99%.”
In the future, Plastic Omnium plans to add new features to its Agilon system. These include automated orders and replenishment with the suppliers as well as an external Agilon store for big items. “All in all, Konecranes has proved to be a very professional company who provides us with good support. We are all very impressed with it,” Duncan Lewis concludes.
Agilon benefits at Plastic Omnium
✔️ Control between P&L and Balance sheet ✔️ Ability to forecast maintenance budget with greater accuracy ✔Easy access to check stock/inventory from any web browser ✔️ Closed loop process with full traceability from user log in profile ✔️ System can be accessed by supplier (consignment stock) to load parts ✔️ Speed of access to correct part improved impacting positively on down
Learn how Agilon has revolutionized material handling for our customers