Employees at Elos Medtech Pinol now save 1,650 kilometers of walking annually
Case Studies Service
The gains of automating internal goods transport with a MiR100 robot have been very tangible at Elos Medtech, where staff used to walk an average of 7.5 kilometers a day, pushing goods on a cart between departments.
Now, the mobile MiR100 robot ensures a good flow through production, eliminating downtime and latency.
Elos Medtech Pinol in Gørløse, Denmark, is one of Europe’s leading development and production partners for medical technology products and components. In recent years, this industry has been in a global elimination process where increasing demands for quality, process documentation and product consistency force customers to use fewer suppliers. Elos Medtech Pinol is one of the companies that customers have selected and it is largely due to 8-10 years of targeted optimization, standardization and automation. The automated factory is a mantra used within the company involving all employees. There have been ambitious investments in new user-friendly and flexible production equipment and the latest automation technology, including a mobile robot MiR100 from Mobile Industrial Robots. - A new transportation technology that initially puzzled the employees:
“When we first got our mobile robot it was fun - but also a little weird. - What is this thing doing here? - And how will it do it? But as it started moving around the factory from A to Z, it enabled a much better and faster flow in our material delivery. Before, we tended to collect things in big piles, but now we get a steady stream of deliveries,” says Majbritt Breiling, quality control employee at Elos Medtech Pinol.
MiR100 runs continuously in a fixed route within the company. On an annual basis, the robot logs 1,650 kilometers at Elos. The operation hours amount to a half full-time employee position now freed up to perform tasks other than internal transport:
“Staff members, that normally had to transport the goods for further processing in other departments, can now place them on MiR100 when it passes on its bus route. This means they can avoid downtime and interruptions and continue processing the goods in their own department,” says Per Hansen, developer at Elos.
A wave of automation has flown into the industry worldwide in recent years, even in countries with lower labor costs than Denmark, a challenge that Elos is now ready for, although automating work processes in a company that produces more than 3,000 different item numbers in batches down to 100 units is not always simple.
Elos’ results however speak for themselves: The order book is growing, earnings increased steeply and the growth continues; in just two years, the company has almost halved its average order lead time, with now only 16 days from production start to delivery. In 2012, the lead time was 30 days, in 2013 was 21 days.
In the past two years, the staff has “only” grown from 116 to 145 employees. Elos has succeeded in “growing out of the risk” of having to terminate employees as a result of automation investments; the new jobs have been created within the highly specialized manual assembly, in R&D and in administration.
“We want to grow without adding more people than what is actually dictated by growth. Automation is a strategic focus area and our investment budget is increasingly allocated more automation and not just machinery. Whenever we invest in new equipment, it is now a requirement that it is a more automated solution than the one we already have. The objective is to reduce the amount of repetitive work and to strengthen the quality assurance of our products,” says Head of R&D, Henrik Andersen.
Facts & Figures:
Factory Area: 8,000 square meters.
Benefits gained with the mobile robot
MiR100: A half full-time employee has
been freed up for other tasks.
List price MiR100: 160,000 DKK
/21,500 euros/ 24,000 USD