EWM-based mobile robot warehouse.
Successfully implementing automation that works and pays off is a real challenge. That is what faced one of the world’s biggest leading automotive lighting providers, Hasco Vision Co. Ltd. Westernacher Consulting was the sole partner that implemented the world’s first SAP EWM-based robotic intelligence system at their warehouse. The automotive supplier was confronted with tough competition in the market which required them to transform their approach. With increased warehouse automation, Westernacher enabled Hasco Vision to become leaner across their entire supply chain.
Customer Success Story at Hasco Vision: Westernacher implements world’s first SAP EWM-based mobile robot warehouse.
Expensive and intensive becomes slick and quick.
Producing over 500 types of automotive lighting products and supplying some of the largest car manufacturers in the world, Hasco Vision were looking to streamline their warehouse operations at their Wuhan distribution facility, which leveraged SAP’s ECC system with the built-in warehouse management capabilities. While the existing solution provided sophisticated inventory tracking functionality, it also required several dozen workers to be engaged in picking and put away tasks at all times. Looking to optimize their operations and cut costs, the company’s leadership had a choice whether to engage in a process of incremental improvement or to revolutionize their operations with full automation in both the decision-making, as well as the goods-movement aspects of their warehouse.
Following over a year of testing, exploration, trials and promotion, Hasco Vision has changed its model of ‘people finding goods’. Now, the warehouse has been transformed into an efficient, agile, intelligent ‘goods finding people’ model.
Facing tough competition in the market, transformation, upgrade and development are inevitable choices. This requires us to be leaner in the entire supply chain, ranging from raw material supply, parts manufacturing to semi and finished products. Today, when the importance of the digital economy is highlighted, Hasco Vision must further strengthen its efforts in all areas, including smart logistics, comprehensive intelligent facility construction and tap into the value created by IoT data.
Guo Zhaoji, General Manager at Hasco Vision
Opening up the boundaries of automation for transformation.
Westernacher Consulting was selected as the ideal implementation partner for the job. Extensive warehousing expertise and being specialists in solving concrete problems in the supply chain with cutting-edge technology, it made Westernacher the natural choice for Hasco Vision. The technical complexity of such an implementation allowed the team to push the boundaries of what was considered possible. “Thanks to Westernacher, the EWM system supports flexible, configurable inbound and outbound strategies and meets diverse inventory management requirements for different types of goods. This brings out the real meaning of flexible production, which fits the vision of our company,” explains Guo.
number of robots
km daily mileage
accuracy of production supply
Having opted for complete automation, it was necessary to identify the technology solutions that would best fit the company’s requirements. From a hardware perspective, the choice fell to mobile platform robots. These automated guided vehicles are able to navigate warehouse facilities at a speed of 1.3 meters per second and retrieve portable bins that are then brought to a human worker for picking tasks.
It has solved the problems of traditional warehouse management but also extended the lean management from the logistics sector to production line and stations. The SAP EWM system helps us to regulate the collaboration of nearly 100 robots round the clock, completing over 3000 logistics assignments.
Guo Zhaoji, General Manager at Hasco Vision
With the robots being responsible for the goods-movement component of the warehouse operations, SAP EWM was chosen as the optimal solution for the decision-making part of the initiative. By having sophisticated process management functionality and being able to integrate with both the Manufacturing Execution Systems at the plant, as well as the robots’ middleware in the warehouse, EWM became the centerpiece that tied the various components of the solution together. Through expertise developed during the pilot run at Hasco Vision’s Shanghai location, Westernacher’s technical team were able to ensure full operational capacity from the beginning of 2018 at the Wuhan warehouse – just three months from the start of the project.
Achieving systemization, integration and transparency.
Today, the Wuhan facility has 86 autonomous robots running a total of 640km per day and managing over 2000 SKUs on a daily basis. Spread across the raw materials, work-in-progress and finished goods sectors, the robots are able to support a sophisticated and flexible inbound and outbound workflow, while providing data for future optimization.
Reduction in logistics personnel
Increase in storage bin utilization
As with any successful IoT implementation, the real test of success is in the improvement of concrete KPIs. Most crucially to the Hasco Vision leadership, accuracy of production supply at the Wuhan plant rose to 100%. An impressive metric on its own, it was accomplished while not only increasing storage bin utilization by 30%, but also being able to reduce labor costs by almost a third. Most importantly, these KPIs will continue to improve as the accumulated process data allows continuously improved operations.
All of this transformation success is attributed to our innovation efforts and our implementation partner Westernacher Consulting, who brought their leading global experience.
Wang Yazhou, Head of Production Planning, Hasco Vision
“By reaping the innovation success on the SAP IoT platform, we hope to continue our digital transformation journey, bringing more value and a better experience to users,” continues Wang.
The Westernacher team were extremely proud to have successfully completed the very first SAP EWM-based project with automated warehouse robots globally and look forward to many more projects of this kind in the future.
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