Testimony to Konecranes’ commitment to embracing the era of the emerging industrial Internet is the company’s latest service innovation – Agilon – set to be launched here in the UK in September. Standing as a patented, fully–automated and modular intelligent materials management solution, the system is set to revolutionise the way in which components are managed, stored, picked and replenished, irrespective on end-use application.
The result of a ten-year research and development programme that has also involved extensive field trials, Agilon has been created to help deliver added value to the materials management process. This is achieved through increased productivity, as the efficiency of the system reduces time spent looking for goods, counting parts and making purchase orders.
The Agilon materials management solution consists of a net portal, user access point, a shelving system and one or several robots that travel within the system to pick parts and deliver them quickly and efficiently to one or more service points. The user interface shows the availability of parts or components, whilst also displaying an image of the specific part’s package that is needed. A fully modular system, Agilon can also be supplied with transportation tubes that can be used to connect multiple modular shelf systems, even when located on different floors.
As Paul Nagy, General Manager Agilon UK and the person responsible for delivering the service into the UK states: “Agilon has the real potential to totally transform the materials management process. It is a solution that can be used to not only store hundreds or thousands of components; it enables information to be shared in a full and transparent manner with all parties involved in the supply chain. Indeed the flexibility of the system not only comes from its ability to locate, pick and deposit individual and standalone components, parts or products, it can be instructed to do the same for multiple parts required to assemble a larger component.
“And if you add into the equation 24/7 inventory control that eliminates the need for stock taking, real-time supply monitoring of thousands of components that makes the procurement process more efficient, coupled with the ease with which the system can be adapted and expanded after deployment, we are confident that the system will be widely adopted here in the UK.”
In addition to being able to accommodate parts in original packaging and capable of handling goods or components from matchbox size to 60cm x 40cm x 45cm and weighing up to 25 kilogrammes, Agilon is supplied under a service lease contract that not only includes the modular, upgradeable system, but maintenance and spare parts.
“Whilst supplying the system within a service lease contract not only negates significant initial capital or large-scale investment, it ensures that the customer is guaranteed to receive Agilon system updates on a real-time basis, which future proofs their ability to ensure that ongoing production efficiencies are realised,” adds Paul Nagy.
Each Agilon system is designed to meet the specific needs and objectives of each individual customer, the only requirements being suitable premises, internet connectivity and power supply. All Agilon system components are delivered to site in a fully enclosed container, with installation time of a typical 22m x 5.6m primary structure taking just 3 – 5 days. Not surprisingly, Agilon is truly universal in that it can be deployed across the fields of warehousing of production parts, production assembly, internal logistics, e-commerce and retailing.
In terms of system robustness, Konecranes claims that over a two-year test period Agilon delivered 99% uptime. Being built around self-aware operating software, the system not only has the capability to monitor its own operating performance, but a Konecranes Global Technical Support (GTS) Team is in place to provide remote back up.