Stora Enso boosts efficiency and safety with Agilon Warehouse Management Systems

Stora Enso has strategically embraced digitalization and the industrial internet, aiming to be a leader in using innovative technologies. As part of this initiative, the company piloted several digital innovations, including the Konecranes Agilon warehouse management system. Today, automated warehouses are a reality at Stora Enso’s two largest pulp and paper mills.
A Strategic Shift to Digitalization

Stora Enso's decision to implement the Agilon system stemmed from a need to enhance the efficiency and safety of its operations. "It was a mature product from Konecranes with clear benefits. Familiar with Konecranes' hoists and cranes, we trusted this investment would pay off—and it did," says the Project Manager at Stora Enso's Oulu mills.

The company aimed to optimize the management of maintenance tools and critical spare parts to ensure high equipment availability and cost-effective operations. "With paper prices decreasing and salary and material costs rising, efficiency is our only option."

Implementing Agilon systems - Two Stora Enso sites, four systems

Each Agilon system includes an online portal, a shelf system, an access point, and robots that travel between shelves. A fixed monthly fee covers the system, software, remote support, maintenance, and spare parts. The positive feedback from the Oulu site led to the expansion of Agilon services to other mills, including Uimaharju. The Stora Enso mills in Oulu and Uimaharju currently have two systems each.

The Oulu pilot system - storage for supplies and spare parts is 12 meters long and 5.6 meters high, serving approximately 250 users, including shift supervisors and specialists. It can store a thousand packages, each weighing up to 25 kilograms.

"We have not stuffed the system full. We try to store critical goods and items with a quick turnaround time, such as the filters and washers needed for paper machines. If the Agilon is filled with goods not taken out, it is being misused," the Project Manager states.

Streamlined Inventory Management

Previously, Stora Enso stored maintenance supplies and spare parts in an open warehouse, leading to issues with unregistered withdrawals and supply chain disruptions. "People often choose the easiest way and might be careless with registrations, causing inventory problems," the Project Manager explains. No new goods were purchased because the buyers thought the shelves were still stocked. A paper machine may be needed to shut down if a component is missing, leading to substantial costs.  "Sometimes, parts needed to be delivered from Tampere or Helsinki by taxi or express air freight," the Project Manager continues.

Balances are always in order; no more stock-taking

With Agilon, every user logs into the system, ensuring every transaction is recorded and integrated into the SAP enterprise resource planning system. This reliable system maintains accurate inventory balances, eliminating the need for manual stock-taking.

When inventory balances are always up to date, nobody needs to spend time stock-taking or counting the contents of boxes. The inventory levels of components in the Agilon can be obtained automatically.

Ensuring supply chain efficiency

Stora Enso also aimed to increase transparency and automate its supply chain with suppliers. Agilon automatically sends orders to suppliers when stock levels drop below a specified threshold, reducing the maintenance team's workload. Integration with suppliers like Ahlsell, a technical goods wholesaler, has streamlined the process further. "The major advance is that the systems talk to each other, eliminating manual errors and ensuring real-time data accuracy," says Teemu Paasonen, Key Account Manager from Ahlsell. With real-time data on stock balances, there is no longer a need to check what needs to be brought to the customer, reducing the number of required visits by half, continues Paasonen.

The automatic supply chain runs like clockwork.

The service runs like clockwork from start to finish, as the supplier brings the ordered MRO supplies and spare parts. The orders are then compiled into a single monthly invoice. Suppose more specific items or components, such as planned maintenance, are needed for work; the extra items can be conveniently ordered from Agilon by temporarily increasing the stock balances.

"Nowadays, nobody wants to have goods lying around in the warehouse: the supply chain and operations should be as streamlined as possible. We are happy the system ensures the required parts are always available. " Stora Enso, Project Manager, concludes.

Future innovations

The Konecranes Agilon system has transformed Stora Enso’s warehousing operations, making the supply chain run like clockwork. Fitters are now assured that necessary parts are always available, reducing frustration and increasing productivity. With the success of the initial implementation, Stora Enso continues to explore further innovations to maintain its edge in the industry.

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