The initial situation
KALDEWEI is one of the leading international manufacturers in the production of steel enamel washbasins, shower trays and baths. The group of companies is represented in over 80 countries, with twelve subsidiaries in Asia, Europe and America.
The company has been manufacturing since 1918 and has continuously developed at its headquarters in Ahlen. Constant growth and the further development of technologies demanded modernisation.
The concept phase
A+K was commissioned to create a comprehensive modernisation concept for intralogistics and the extensive final packaging system. This included the introduction of a warehouse management system (WMS), a manufacturing execution system (MES) and a transport management system (TMS).
The WMS manages the shower and bath materials, packaging materials and assembled load carriers.
The TMS controls the material flow on the monorail overhead conveyor, the tub conveyor technology and the pallet conveyor technology.
The MES manages the packaging orders, sends target information for the tubs to the TMS, allocates provision orders to the automatic packaging warehouse, supplies the unloading robots, packaging machines, lasers, labellers and palletising robots with the necessary order data.
As a first step, A+K completely reengineered the existing system. This included all systems, processes and a multitude of telegram interfaces.
Based on this information, a comprehensive detailed concept was developed. This also incorporated the improvements and extensions to be carried out in the course of modernisation.
For the complete modernisation of the extremely large final packaging facility, only a single repair break of one week was available. This meant that all systems to be replaced had to be fully tested in advance.
The complete system – consisting of servers, operator stations, control systems, printing systems and interfaces to upstream and downstream systems as well as to superordinate and subordinate systems – was set up and fully tested at the premises of A+K.
The commissioning process
Only one week was available for commissioning. On Monday, the WMS and TCS and MES were put into operation. All interfaces to the monorail overhead conveyor, to the stacker crane for the automatic packaging warehouse, unloading robots, tub conveyor technology, packaging machines, lasers, printing systems, pallet conveyor technology, palletising robots and transverse transfer carriages were checked once again.
Starting on Tuesday, the plant was run in 3-shift test operation.
Starting the following week, the plant was run in 3-shift normal operation.
Production monitoring was carried out in 3 shifts for two weeks.
Modernising such a highly integrated system intermeshed with so many subsystems is a demanding task. One reason for this was the high number of interfaces, another the high number of automated processes.
The initial comprehensive re-engineering of the systems as well as the absolutely complete in-house testing of the software created for WMS, TMS, MES and control systems proved to be absolutely essential.
It was confirmed once again that even such a highly complex system with extremely short downtimes can be reliably modernised with the help of highly structured project management.
It was particularly gratifying that the modernisation of the software systems and the processes controlled by them increased the throughput of the plant by almost 12% without any mechanical changes. That's how modernisation pays off for a company.
Scope of services of A+K
- Complete reengineering of existing systems and controls
- Creation of a comprehensive modernisation concept, coordination of all processes and systems with the customer
- Creation of a WMS, TMS and MES based on the A+K modular system
- Complete project planning of the WMS, TMS and MES
- Creation of Scada system with plant visualisation, reporting system and weak-point analysis on the basis of ProLeiT Plant IT
- 3-shift commissioning and trial operation in one week
- 3-shift start-up support for two weeks
Scope of services