Successful Handover of Atlas WMS to Sweden’s Sandvik
15. 02. 2022
We have installed Atlas WMS at the Sandvik Material Technology finished products warehouse in Sandviken, Sweden. The company is the world’s leading manufacturer of specialised stainless steel bars, tubes and pipes. The implementation of Atlas WMS in Sandvik was one of the largest and most challenging projects involving the installation of this system in the history of our company, so we are especially proud of what we achieved. Sandvik decided to replace their old WMS with our Atlas WMS, which we specifically adapted to their requirements. It now runs both manual and automated warehouses.
Sandvik’s warehouse includes an open-air warehouse, as well as a warehouse in covered halls, where they store rolls of bars as well as individual bars, tubes and pipes. The dimensions of the outdoor manual warehouse are truly remarkable. This is a so-called buffer zone where the forklift drivers deposit bundled bar rolls from the production process. Atlas WMS directs forklift drivers and keeps a record of the material on the basis of its floor location. From here, forklift drivers transport the material to an automated warehouse of long materials. Bar rolls, tubes and pipes are then placed on an automated device that transports individual items from the roll, one by one, to an automated length meter. A robot manipulator stacks the measured bars lengthwise into cassettes, which, once full, are transported to an automated warehouse via the transport system.
Fully Automated Processes
Sales orders from around the world are collected through the ERP system in Atlas WMS. Based on the orders, Atlas WMS automatically transports cassettes with the material to automated saws. Here, robot manipulators with interchangeable vacuum grippers place individual rods – some of which weigh up to 2.5 tons – on automated saws. These cut the rods according to the customers’ orders, while the robots put the residual material back in the cassettes.
Epilog developed so-called Order Scheduling especially for Sandvik. Using advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence, this system automatically divides the tasks among the automated saws, so that they are utilised as optimally as possible. The cut bars are regrouped in the packaging process, and in the last stage of the process the final packages are dispatched to customers.
Introduction of Atlas WMS without Bringing the Warehouse to a Halt
We are especially proud that the implementation of the new WMS took place almost without shutting down the processes in the warehouse. In addition to carefully managing the transfer of data from the old system to Atlas WMS, we also put a lot of effort into the reverse engineering of the old system’s operation. Prior to the launch, we devoted a lot of time and energy to training the warehouse staff, as, in addition to the technology, it is the people who contribute the most to returning productivity to the previous level (or even increasing it) as soon as possible after the system has been replaced.
Sandvik Now Boasts a Modern and Comprehensive Warehouse Management System
With the implementation of Atlas WMS, we also upgraded Sandvik’s existing Atlas WCS (Warehouse Control System) and integrated it into Atlas WMS.
Sandvik now has a modern and comprehensive system for managing the warehouse and controlling the internal flow of material, tailored to their specific needs.